GOA boss pleased with achievements in 2002
..but disappointed with government
By Michael DaSilva
Stabroek News
December 17, 2002

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Guyana Olympic Association (GOA) president, Juman-Yassin, is pleased with his association's achievements for 2002, but is disappointed that nothing much has been done by Government for the development of sports locally.

In an exclusive interview with Stabroek Sport recently, Yassin said the GOA had a successful year (2002), having been able to send sportsmen and sportswomen to the South American, Commonwealth and Central American and Caribbean Games, as well as stage several courses for coaches.

Among their (GOA) plans for next year, is the laying of a modern long jump track at the Thomas Lands YMCA, and the staging of volleyball and swimming courses at Mabaruma or Moruka. The YMCA project will be funded by the GOA.

Yassin said the track is already in Guyana, and should have been set up already, but unfortunately it was not done, and the GOA hopes to do it very early next year.

The course at Mabaruma or Moruka will be similar to the one the GOA conducted at Lethem, which Yassin hailed a success, stating that the GOA is very proud about that particular one.

According to Yassin, the Lethem course attracted about 18 participants from 15 of the villages in the Region and it is the GOA's intentions in the new year, to be able to do a follow-up on that programme.

Yassin pointed out that no foreign coaches will be used for the planned course next year.

"What we have found is that a lot of persons do not have the basics, so what we are doing now, is to give them the basics, so that when we have other courses where we would have international coaches coming down, they would be able to participate more meaningfully. The coaches at these courses are not people that we pick out of the blue, they are experienced persons who have been coaching for a number of years, and have attended a lot of coaching sessions and are qualified," Yassin stated. He noted also that "the course that we did in Lethem was basically track and field, but it also included several other fields in administration and finance, among other subjects."

Yassin said the GOA plans to conduct the second course before the end of January (2003).

He said, too, he would like to commend the Regional Chairman, Region One, (Vincent Henry) and the other regional authorities for their helpfulness and cooperation during the period the GOA was conducting the course at Lethem. "The chairman was most helpful and we are happy to have worked with him, and we hope to have the same sort of association with other regions," Yassin said.

When reminded of President Bharrat Jagdeo's commitment to have his government work with the GOA in the development of sports in Guyana, and asked what has happened since that undertaking was given on January 22, 2000, Yassin said: "I think the associations have a good relationship with the minister and the president, but factually, I have not seen any constructive development for sports since then, and I am somehow disappointed with that."

President Jagdeo made the commitment while addressing sportsmen and women, sports administrators, and members of the Diplomatic Corps, at a GOA Appreciation Dinner at the Georgetown Club.

The President had promised to work in innovative ways to develop sports in Guyana. "Sports for all should be our goal," Jagdeo had stated, adding "I actually mean it, but it has to be done in a phased way".

Yassin had admonished the government for not paying the type of interest needed to enable local athletes to perform better at the Regional and International levels.

Next year also, the GOA will ensure the squad of boxers identified for the Pan American Games, slated for July and the Caribbean Cham-pionships slated for April, continue their training as a squad.

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