What about a national sports hall of fame? To the Editor
Guyana Chronicle
February 9, 2002

Sports is one of the major activities that bring together people of all races, ages and philosophical persuasions in Guyana, and its import to the cohesiveness of our sometimes seemingly fragmented society cannot be overemphasized.

For this reason, I want to compliment both the sports organizations and sportsmen and women who have done, and are continuing to do, Guyana proud, at home and abroad.

However, I want to go one step further and ask whether we have a National Sports Hall of Fame. If not, is it not time for Guyana to have a National Sports Hall of Fame?

Back in the eighties, Mr. Terry Holder, once mooted the point, and although time may have jaded my memory on the details of his proposal, the big picture remains indelibly impressed on my mind.

I do not know if such an organization should be under the auspices of the Guyana Olympic Committee, but because of the many sports disciplines, there should be an umbrella organization.

I do believe, however, that a Sports Hall of Fame should have its own building, spacious enough to accommodate either busts or life-size replicas of those who have been inducted. Each bust or replica would have an inscription of the inductees' biographical data as a sports hero. Whether carved out of wood or made of wax or bronze, it really should bear some resemblance of the inductee.

What impact such a reality would have on current sports personalities, as well as our children, may never be fully known until we have such an organization. It should be obvious, though, that it will inspire our youths to strive for excellence, to be disciplined, responsible, and help promote social cohesiveness.

Should the question of a building come up as a reason why this idea may not be feasible at this time, then what about still having a committee established, and ask the national sports body of each discipline to nominate their candidates, whether living or dead? The dead would receive a posthumous induction.

Until a building is identified or built for this purpose, each national sports body could temporarily house portraits of those inducted from that particular body, with each portrait identifying, in bold print, the person as an inductee into the National Sports Hall of Fame, and the accompanying sports 'bio-data'.

Once done, our children should be afforded the opportunity to access the portraits or busts or replicas, and media coverage should be given, perhaps in the sports sections, to each inductee. A little later on,consideration could be given to featuring these inductees on postage stamps.

Induction should be done in a specific month of ever year until we have exhausted all living or past sports heroes. A limit should be set for the number of inductees from each discipline each year. The rules to be qualified or disqualified should be clearly stated. Voting should be void of political or racial consideration, and should appear to the sporting public to be so. Whether the sporting public or sports writers should have a vote may be considered, but the mechanisms for such participation should be worked out to the mutual satisfaction of all concerned.

I am sure that I am not the only one thinking of this issue, and would like to read or hear from the reservoir of ideas related to a National Sports Hall of Fame in Guyana.
Emile Mervin,
Brooklyn, New York