SPORT SCOPE Our Opinion
January 9, 2004
At the dawn of every new year, individuals and organisations make resolutions and promises for the remainder of that year, yet less than one month into the year those resolutions are broken and by the end of the year one finds out that the promises were not kept.
Late 2002, the Guyana Olympic Association had announced plans to lay an international long-jump track at the Thomas Lands YMCA; work was to have started on the site in late January 2003 or early February. Talk was, the track (approach to the jumping board and pit) was already in the country and only had to be laid after some work was done on the surface.
Well, a year has passed and that facility is still to become a reality.
In 1998, there were big plans for the construction of an Olympic-size swimming pool. As a matter of fact, drawings of an internationalsize pool (the Freemantle Pool in Australia) were handed over to the Guyana Amateur Swimming Association (GASA) by Dutch national, Hans Th Machielse, who is married to a Guyanese but resides in Australia.
According to Machielse, who had spoken to Stabroek Sport, US$1 million and land were needed to make the project a reality.
He had promised Australian assistance with the financial aspect, while GASA's secretary Charles Corbin sought the assistance of former minister of education with responsibility for sports, Dr Dale Bisnauth, for the allocation of a piece of land. GASA's proposal, which identified a piece of land on Homestretch Avenue, just west of the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall, was sent to Bisnauth who promised to look into the matter.
In 1999 the Guyana Government indicated that land at Diamond, East Bank Demerara had been earmarked for the construction of a sports complex and swimming was supposed to be allocated some amount of space.
Machielse had said then too that he had discussions with Guyana Olympic Association head, K. Juman Yassin, whose response to the idea, according to Machielse, was excellent.
Well that Diamond idea has long since changed, since that area has become a housing scheme which can only accommodate swimming when it rains.
In 1998 when Gail Teixeira became the Minister of Sport, she called a meeting with news editors at her then temporary location, State House, and promised that archery would be resuscitated since Guyana has great potential. She made mention of our Amerindian brothers hunting in the interior with arrows and bows for their survival. To date, five years later, Guyanese are still to witness one organised archery tournament.