– Director of Sport promises expansion of programme to other regions
By Avenash Ramzan
Over 100 young boys and girls on Friday morning graduated from the annual Easter swimming programme, coordinated by the Ministry of Education’s Department of Culture, Youth and Sport in collaboration with the National Sports Commission.
Some of the participants watch on eagerly as their colleagues perform a demonstration in the pool
Director of Sport Christopher Jones and GASA president Ivan Persaud (both seated) observe as some participants prepare to showcase what they would have learnt at the two-week camp
The two-week course, which was held at the Colgrain Pool on Camp Street, was geared to instill in the participants the fundamentals of the sport.
A total of 120 youngsters, 75 of whom were females, were engaged in the programme, which was conducted by the Cuban coach Isabel Maria Cousa Fals and who was ably assisted by a component bunch of local instructors.
Delivering feature remarks at the closing, Director of Sport Christopher Jones lauded the young boys and girls for engaging in the two weeks of activity.
He also called on parents and guardians to ensure the young ones continue to grow in the sport, by making a concerted effort to have them enrolled in clubs.
“If you would recall when we met here a few weeks ago, I had the children recite that song “I’m a promise, I’m a possibility.” And it wasn’t done by mistake; in fact, it was done to lead up to this day because of the fact that they would have made a statement, a declaration if you will that they are a promise and they are a possibility. And you would have been given the opportunity to see that promise and that possibility in your children throughout these two weeks,” Jones told the gathering.
He continued, “Now essentially we need a commitment from you the parents and guardians that after seeing that promise and that possibility you will now give your children every opportunity to ensure that they live out that possibility of being a national swimmer.”
Jones added that while the programme catered for youths in Regions Three and Four, the National Sports Commission will work to ensure it is spread across the 10 regions, as early as next year.
“It is the plan of the National Sports Commission to expand the swimming programme to every region where there is a swimming pool available, and of course those children in those regions will have the opportunity like yours had during this past two weeks to demonstrate their ability and capacity to swim. So rest assured, if any of you have relatives and friends in the outlying regions, that the swimming programme will be extended to those regions, as early as next year,” Jones promised.
Meanwhile, president of the Guyana Amateur Swimming Association (GASA), Ivan Persaud, also made a call for parents to continue to support their offspring in an effort to help grow the sport.
Also the father of a national swimmer, Persaud spoke of the tremendous sacrifice that is needed to create champions, adding that parents must be committed to the process of development from an early age.
“We need you more than you even need us, because one of our objectives in the Guyana Amateur Swimming Association is to increase participation of children in swimming- to teach as much children as possible the life skill,” Persaud indicated.
Apart from being involved in the sport for recreational or fitness purposes, Persaud said parents should also aim to have their children compete for club and country, with the ultimate goal being an Olympic swimming medal.
The camp catered for youths aged 6-11. A second and much larger camp will be held in August where aspiring swimmers between ages six and 16 will be accommodated. (email@example.com)