GOA takes the bull by the horns SPORTS SCOPE OUR OPINION
Stabroek News
January 8, 2004

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The announcement by the Guyana Olympic Association (GOA) last year that the Guyana Lawn Tennis Association (GLTA) will hold its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on January 18 this year must have come as good news for the local lawn tennis fraternity.

For approximately three years, the GLTA has not held an AGM and this has been partly blamed for the stagnation of the sport locally. Plaudits must surely be given to the GOA for taking action to resuscitate the fortunes of an affiliate member. Kudos to GOA President K. Juman Yassin for taking the `bull by the horns' so to speak.

It must be remembered that the association has been unable to access assistance from the National Sports Commission (NSC) and the relevant ministry because of the unsatisfactory state of its finances and other administrative matters. This makes the action taken by the GOA even more important and it also highlights the failure of the Ministry of Culture Youth and Sport to initiate any action whatsoever to ensure accountability by the association.

For any society to progress there must be some modicum of order, but the way many of our sporting bodies are run leaves a lot to be desired. We at Sportscope are looking forward for more initiatives like the one taken by the GOA in 2004. National sporting associations and other such bodies, which have been recalcitrant with regard to their performance and the submission of statutory information, must be taken to task to complete these submissions, and more so, on time. However, it must not end there since proper accounting standards must also be observed and maintained.

Sportscope would like to recommend that the GOA target the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) next, with a view to having that body hold democratic elections for office bearers. We at Sportscope have been reliably informed that the federation has not had elections for over a decade and this situation must be corrected as it sets a bad precedent.

Meanwhile, Sportscope awaits the reconstitution of the GLTA.

In addition, the Ministry of Sport must also get its act together instead of making yearly promises to improve the image and lot of sport in Guyana. The question is not if the government can afford to but rather if it can afford not to invest in sport.

Without a doubt a lot of energy and resources will be directed towards preparing Guyana for Cricket World Cup 2007 with the proposed building of a national cricket stadium. However, that should not prevent those charged with policing sport in Guyana from carrying out their functions to the fullest. The rot that has set in, particularly in sport administration, must be thrown out before it spoils the entire fruit.