While the PPP/C Government recognizes the profit-making potential of the sports industry and is keen on unlocking same, it is acutely aware of the power of sports in nation-building. It is with this understanding in mind Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d), Mark Phillips disclosed that the government will continue to demonstrate an unmatched commitment to initiatives that drive sports development. In this regard, the Prime Minister noted that he was indeed proud to be part of the historic hosting of the country’s first Sports Conference which was piloted by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport at the National Cultural Centre this morning.
During his opening remarks, the Prime Minister said, “…A relationship of partnership for nation-building is crucial if we are going to transform our country. The sports sector is no different. Sports today is a business, big business, and that is undeniable. But more than it’s worth, our government understands the value that sports have in the lives of citizens, including the lessons it teaches about working together,” expressed the Prime Minister. It is on this premise he stressed that the approach of building a relationship of partnership in Sports Associations and Federations is the only assured way to achieve sustainable, national success in sports. He believes that the Sports Conference which will gather frank input from stakeholders will provide a key platform towards strengthening the partnership that is needed on the transformative route the local sports industry is taking.
The Prime Minister noted that today’s activities will focus on areas surrounding the design of Guyana’s first sports academy, how the government intends to increase and foster collaboration, and ways in which it can improve systems pertaining to sports administration and governance.
Phillips said, “Discussing these critical areas is important and will aid us in finding ways to contribute to sports development.”
Turning his attention to the unparalleled support to sports from the government since assuming office, Prime Minister Phillip’s said the reestablished ministry has been meeting regularly, and consulting and collaborating with Sports Associations and Federations hence the birth of the conference.
He said, “There is a completely different attitude towards sport today and this is demonstrated in sports receiving the largest budgetary allocation ($1.5B) to date and it signifies the government’s commitment to our citizens.”
Expounding on how this allocation has been expended thus far for 2021, the Prime Minister said there has been a clear focus to modernize sports facilities. Phillips highlighted that the National Racquet Centre has been transformed into a modern-day and night facility along with the gymnasium being transformed with improvements to the basketball court and other structures.
He further noted that the Guyana National Stadium which was opened to the public is being converted into a multisport facility with basketball and volleyball courts and even a new football field. The Prime Minister said these projects are on track to be completed before the end of this year.
Along with major construction works at the new track and field sites in Linden and New Amsterdam, the Ministry recently completed the payment for two new track and field synthetic tracks to the tune of $272M.
The Prime Minister disclosed too that a new stand is being built at the Lenora Track and Field Centre along with a warm-up track. A new pump was also procured for the National Aquatic Centre and the Colgrain Pool is undergoing a complete overhaul as well.
But the exciting transformative work has not been limited to facilities. Phillips was keen to note that 25 grounds across the country have been upgraded at the cost of $250M. All of these projects have commenced and will be completed before the end of 2021.
It should be noted that maintenance for these grounds has always been an issue over the years hence the Ministry has procured 17 lawn mowers and brush cutters to support this cause. The Prime Minister said this will be distributed from tomorrow.
Additionally, three multipurpose sports stadiums will be constructed at three locations: Albion, Linden, and Anna Regina.
While the foregoing can be deemed transformative, the official said the government is aware that is not enough to single-handedly catapult sports development to new heights. “Even as we pursue world-class sports development we acknowledge that we must continue to build our skills and this is where the Sports Academy comes in,” Phillips expressed.
With the conference set to foster greater partnership and the Sports Academy in the pipeline to be launched soon, Prime Minister Phillips expressed confidence that Guyana is on the pathway to building a world-class sports industry.


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