Ministry's sports budget is $497M By Michael DaSilva
Stabroek News
April 13, 2002

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The visit of a school football team from Germany and coaches from Australia, as well as a visit of a local Under-15 cricket squad to England, form part of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports' programme of activities for the remainder of the year.

Minister Gail Teixeira made the disclosure yesterday and outlined her ministry's plans for the remainder of the year, including the budgeted expenditure.

According to Teixeira, her ministry will host the German football team from May 23 to 28 and while here the visitors will hold workshops for local footballers. "This is a first for Guyana," Teixeira declared.

From May 2 to 4, the Australian coaches will visit to conduct coaching programmes as part of the Australian/Caribbean Sports Development Programme and while here they will also work with persons with disabilities.

Teixeira also disclosed that the Guyana Under-15 cricket team will visit England in August for a series of matches on invitation from the English and Wales Cricket Board.

"I want to appeal to the private sector to assist these young men (cricketers) to prepare for the tour," Teixeira pleaded adding "they will be Guyana's ambassadors while there....This is another first for Guyana...Our relations with other countries are beginning to pay off".

According to Teixeira, her ministry has a budget of $497.6 million while $55M is for capital expenditure, $10M of which (capital) is earmarked for the National Sports Commission, to be used on rehabilitation works to the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall and the National Gymnasium.

The ministry's budget in 1998 was $200M, while last year it was increased to $471.3M, but only $467.6M was spent.

"I hope we get an early notice from the Guyana Olympic Association and its affiliates as to who will make up our team for the Commonwealth Games, because we know there's always a short fall" Minister Teixeira disclosed.

Speaking on sports programmes that have been completed for the year, Teixeira referred to the Women's Cavalcade of Sports, and the annual visit of the English Under-15 cricket team.

"These are all part of sports and cultural exchanges and increases the number of persons coming into Guyana," the minister stated.

Teixeira however noted that the media coverage for the Cavalcade of Sports was very poor, bar the presence of photographers.

According to the minister, 50 youth camps were held last year and another 50 is scheduled to be held this year, including sports camps.

Asked about the resuscitation of the Guyana Games, Teixeira said she and officials in her ministry would love to bring it back, but there are a number of issues that need to be overcome. She listed finance as one such issue.