Historical! French Guiana’s first sports academy launched – Guyane newsroom
Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Charles Ramson Jr, along with National Sports Commission Sports Director Steve Ninvalle, were at the National Racquet Center and Cliff Anderson Sports Hall on Saturday, December 18 to see the start of the very first National Sports Academy.
The Academy will initially focus on the 12 core sports: cricket, soccer, track and field, basketball, table tennis, swimming, hockey, squash, rugby, volleyball, tennis and badminton.
At the National Racquet Center on Woolford Avenue, the squash players, under the direction of national coach Carl Ince, began their training.
Guyana Squash Association (GSA) President Owen Verwey called it a momentous event.
“We are very proud and happy to be the very first (Association) to launch the Sports Academy. In squash, we are a relatively small fraternity, but we are dedicated. So we’re focused on doing what we’re supposed to do for sport and for young people in particular, ”said Verwey.
Minister Ramson Jr. informed that facilities were a major factor in identifying grassroots sports and pointed to the squash courts at the National Racquet Center, which is said to be the only public squash court in the English-speaking Caribbean.
The facility was commissioned in 2013, but Minister Ramson noted that it was “underused”.
However, under his leadership at the Ministry, the National Racquet Center squash courts are now available, free of charge, to the GSA and its members specifically for the implementation of the Sports Academy.
Meanwhile, at Cliff Anderson Sports Hall, Guyana Volleyball Federation (GVF) President Levi Nedd said that in more than 40 years of involvement in the sport, he had never been a part of such a program.
The National Sports Commission (NSC) will oversee the National Sports Academy, as director of sports, after highlighting the historic occasion, said the top 12 sports will benefit from the government’s long-term investment in the sport.
Ninvalle encouraged the athletes to give full attention and remain dedicated to the training program for the duration of the Academy.
During a public presentation by the National Sports Academy at Guyana’s first sports conference in October at the National Cultural Center, Minister Ramson stressed that the kindergarten level will target players between the ages of 12 and 17.
At the tournament level, the government of Guyana, through the NSC, will allocate at least $ 12 million per year to grassroots sports governing bodies to support the organization of tournaments.
Above-average performers, who excel in tournaments or those who show disproportionate improvement will be selected for elite roster.
Elite training will last an average of four to eight weeks and will see selected individuals dedicate themselves full time to the training. To do this, the minister announced that an allowance would be paid.
Minister Ramson said the Sports Academy was a specific promise in the manifesto and reflected President Irfaan Ali’s “bottom-up” approach to national development.
The remaining grassroots sports will continue to roll out over the next several weeks as they complete their preparations and training.