Improved sport facilities to boost youth development, sports tourism

Charles Ramson

Last year, the ministry identified several sport facilities to undergo construction, among them the Leonora track and field ground in Region Three. New stands and bucket seats will be installed with works scheduled to be completed by mid-year.

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson, M.P, in a recent interview disclosed that remodelling of the Guyana National Gymnasium into a multi-purpose facility is nearing completion.

“The only thing that needs to be completed is the basketball court. There were some remedial works that we need to verify just to see that it is at the level that it is supposed to be.

“Ultimately the ministry is responsible, and I am lead for the ministry, so when it comes to verifying that it is done to the standard that we would like to see it be done, you know somebody has to be held accountable for that and that’s me. When it comes to facilities, they want good facilities and they are expecting that we get good facilities,” the minister said.

Thus far, works on the fence are completed to ensure the entire area is secure. The ministry has also installed LED lights planted on 50-foot concrete poles with underground wiring. A washroom inclusive of a changing room and shower has been constructed, but not yet opened to the public. With the execution of the basketball court underway the ministry has already commissioned a number of basketball hoops.

Additionally, the ministry has procured the synthetic materials for the Linden and Berbice synthetic track and field ground from a German company. The construction company needs 21 days of consistent sunshine to asphalt both international standard eight–lane 400-metre synthetic tracks.

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In Budget 2022, the Ministry was allocated some $2.2 billion to expand the sport sector. From this sum, a new pavilion will be constructed at both locations.

Meanwhile, the Minister noted the importance of hosting international events to boost sport tourism, as Guyana is expected to host CPL in 2022and CARIFTA in 2023.

“We want to do international events much more now; the Government of Guyana sees this as something important for the country from an economic stand point and it sees also the benefit of how talent is developed from young people, how it is inspired, so that’s why you see a heavy emphasis being placed on hosting international games. A lot of people talk about sports tourism, we have made it a firm intention for Guyana to become a regional home for events.”

As it relates to CPL semi-finals and finals, the minister stated that the process is in its final stages and an announcement will be made before the month ends.

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