Need for more indoor sports venues Sports Scope......Our Opinion
Stabroek News
August 11, 2003

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The Cliff Anderson Sports Hall run by the National Sports Commission (NSC) is considered the mecca of indoor sports in Guyana. It is used for a variety of indoor sports activities namely badminton, boxing, hockey, table tennis, volleyball, indoor football and last but by no means least basketball.

It is also used as a venue for cultural activities and one can find events such as Gospel Shows, Fashion Shows, and the annual Mashramani Calypso Events being staged there.

Then there are activities such as meetings, coaching courses, symposiums, seminars, etc. which are also held there from time to time.

It is therefore safe to say that the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall is very much in demand and very much in use.

One of the reasons for this is the Sports Hall floor. Made of wood, it is durable and is an excellent playing surface for all types of indoor sports. The floor, which has the basketball zones painted brightly on it, is easy to clean and requires little maintenance.

And this is where the problem lies. Because it is by far and away the most suitable indoor venue, sports associations, clubs, individuals and national teams vie for the opportunity to use the venue regularly.

At the moment the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall is being used by badminton players, basketball players and the national table tennis team preparing for the upcoming Caribbean championships in Jamaica.

To compound the situation there is an Olympic Solidarity Volleyball course underway at the venue.

The Olympic Solidarity course runs from 9am to 5pm daily.

This makes it difficult for all others wishing to use the venue for their activities.

The Guyana Public Service Union Hall on Thomas Road has been a supplementary venue for some indoor activities but there is a great need for more indoor venues to facilitate citizensí sports and cultural activities.

At the moment the NSC is hard-pressed to facilitate all who wish to use the venue and adherence to a strict timetable is virtually impossible.

The NSC does get some revenue from some organisations for the use of the venue and this might influence the decision to allow some organisations the use of the facility to the detriment of others.

There are other considerations such as national team training, trials to select national teams or other events of national importance.

But the time seems ripe to either extend the Sports Hall so that more activities can take place there without too many people being affected or maybe to look at erecting another venue possibly nearby to help alleviate the problem.

While the NSC recently renovated the lights at the venue they also need to do something about the seats. Perhaps the NSC can look at the possibility of installing bucket seats in the venue.

They can also look at erecting a permanent canteen or bar at the venue. While this might put the sellers found outside the gate out of business it will mean that athletes who go there for competitions etc. might be able to purchase more nutritious snacks than is the case at the moment.

An indoor gymnasium, proper bathroom facilities and a conference room just might make the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall become a modern multi-sports complex comparable with the best in the region.

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