Sporting associations have become politicized
-Claude Blackmoore VP GOA By Clyde Pestano
Stabroek News
November 16, 2003

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Claude Blackmoore Vice President of the Guyana Olympic Association (GOA) is of the opinion that many sporting associations in Guyana have become deeply politicized. Blackmoore made this remark while delivering the feature address last Friday evening at the Guyana Amateur Weight-lifting Association's (GAWA) prizes and awards ceremony at Olympic House.

According to the VP many of the `smaller' associations such as the GAWA, fail to attract funding from corporate Guyana as well as governmental sponsors. Blackmoore added that there also seems to be no clear policy with regards to requests for waivers of airport taxes since some sporting associations do not benefit in any way from this facility while others get regular exemptions.

The AAAG head also took a broadside at persons he claims have `personalized' sports in Guyana and gave the example of persons in authority granting favours because of the fact that they may be familiar with someone else and not as a result of merit. He bemoaned the fact that it has been his experience that if persons in `authority' do not `like' someone in a sporting association then on that shallow basis they refuse to render assistance.

The VP also took a swipe at `well-to-do' persons in society when he said that they do not get involved in the work of sporting associations because they are busy elsewhere making more money. He contended that persons who are in charge of most of the local associations are people who have competing values for their time and resources and are most times full-time employees.

Blackmoore congratulated the GAWA for their good work done throughout the year and commended them for their high level of accountability.

General secretary of the GAWA Deion Nurse highlighted some of the work/success of the association during the year with five medals at the World Masters championships being the high point. In addition, for the first time in its history, GAWA is being headed by a female in the person of Magistrate Melissa Robertson-Ogle who was elected to the post earlier in the year.

Among those awarded were Bhojnarine Persaud, Tyrone Neblett, Jennifer Hall, Subrina Pestano, Shondell King, Aletha Joseph-Letlow, Shawn Bristol, Coel Bentick, Quason Bodie, Deion Nurse, Ovid Austin, William Langford and Delroy Ogle.

The best overall male (snr) was William Langford while Shondell King was adjudged best overall female lifter.

Bhojnarine Persaud apart from setting a number of new records won the best overall male (jr) lifter title and was also adjudged the most improved lifter overall.

Persaud who took up weight-lifting just over two years ago told Stabroek Sport that he got interested when he followed a friend of his to the Hardcore Gym, (based in Rosignol, West Coast Berbice) one day and has never looked back. The 17-year old Shieldstown, West Coast Berbice resident and former student of the Fort Wellington Secondary School added that he loves the sport and hopes to break more records and improve his performances year after year. Hardcore Gym is owned by Farouk Abdool who also resides in West Berbice. Abdool is the coach of Persaud and his brother Fazim who broke a record in the snatch. The coach told Stabroek Sport that he intends to promote the sport in the Corentyne area during the remainder of this year as well as continuing its propagation next year.