Minister Teixeira chides sports bodies By Michael DaSilva
Stabroek News
March 3, 2002

Related Links: Articles on Sport
Letters Menu Archival Menu

Guyana could miss out on hosting World Cup cricket matches in 2007 if certain issues pertaining to the development and merging of the GCC and GFC grounds are not resolved.

Speaking at the National Sports Awards ceremony at the National Culture Centre on Friday night, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Gail Teixeira, stated that if the issue of GCC and GFC merging is not resolved quickly, Guyanese will not be able to witness any World Cup cricket matches in Guyana.

The Minister also chided some associations for their poor administration and for not attending programmes organised for their benefit, which results in weak club structures.

The awards ceremony was held to honour local sportspersons and associations who excelled during 2001.

World Boxing Association welterweight champion Andrew `Sixhead' Lewis' mother, Yvonne Eversely, received Lewis' Sportsman of the Year award from acting president Samuel Hinds, while local squash `Queen' Nicolette Fernandes was on hand to take her Sportswoman and Junior Sportswoman awards from Minister Teixeira.

Karateka Justin Jairam received his Junior Sportsman award from Minister of Trade and Tourism Manzoor Nadir.

Also receiving awards on Friday night were Carla Benjamin (runner-up sportswoman), Cassandra Lall (runner-up junior sportswoman) and Tai Payne (runner-up junior sportsman).

Guyana and West Indies cricket captain Carl Hooper was not on hand to receive his runner-up sportsman award. However, Guyana's Busta Cup team manager Pat Legall did the honours.

The Guyana Cricket Board received the sports association award, while the 2001 Busta Cup team were the recipients of the team award.

Chronicle reporter Isaiah Chappelle won the sports journalist award, Carmen Pertab the voluntary sports personality award, Diane Ferreira-James the female sports personality, Charles Woon-A-Tai the male sports personality and Clyde Butts, the sports coach award.

Disabled athlete Royston Smith received a special award as did United States-based middle distance athlete Marian Burnette and Central American and Caribbean Games bodybuilding gold medalist Horace Steel.

Minister Teixeira in her address, said she had discussions with an official of the International Cricket Council (ICC) who informed her that certain infrastructure must be put in place at the Bourda sward before any World Cup match can be played at the venue.

The Minister however informed that a local Under-15 cricket team will tour England sometime in August, but did not elaborate.

She said she is hopeful that this year will be better than last year which she said was a difficult one with post election problems.

She congratulated the Guyana Cricket Board for starting a women's cricket programme and called on associations to focus on disabled athletes, stating that there is a reluctance by some organisations to work with the disabled.

According to the minister, Orealla, on the Berbice River, has a gymnastics programme and her ministry will soon be handing over some (gym) mats which were made locally to the group.

She called for the re-introduction of physical education in schools and said that she has already had a talk with education minister Henry Jeffrey on the matter.

Director of Sports Neil Kumar reported on the National Sports Commission's (NSC) achievements and disappointments for last year. He said the year was a historic one, referring to Lewis capturing Guyana's first ever world boxing title.

Kumar lauded the work of his staff members, including the coaches who worked diligently throughout the year.

He had a special word of praise for table tennis and netball coaches Sydney Christophe and Lavern Fraser-Thomas respectively.

Guyana's Continental of the America's junior welterweight champion, Vivian Harris, who is home on a short holiday, was also present at the function.

He used the opportunity to show-off his belt and said he will be fighting for the IBO title in late May.

Chappell used the opportunity afforded him for the vote of thanks to launch a stinging attack on local sports associations for their handling of awards for journalists and for determining the national awardees.