5-year strategic plan for sport development in Guyana
By Alex Holder
January 28, 2007
The National Sports Commission (NSC) hosted a seminar yesterday with national sports associations and federations, in an effort to effectively establish a strategic plan for the development of sports in Guyana.
Speaking at the seminar was Minister of Culture Youth and Sports Dr. Frank Anthony, who immediately noted that there are several aspects of the sport sector which needs to be seriously considered for development. Additionally, the minister introduced a five year strategic plan, which is in its construction phase, and aimed at positively and effectively promoting sports in Guyana.
The five year strategic plan, according to Dr. Anthony, begins with several work shops with stakeholders, these workshops are expected to last from January to March this year. A document will further be drafted in April based on the proposals made by the members of the participating organizations, which will be followed by a finalization workshop in May and the final layout of the Sports Strategic Plan in June.
Dr. Anthony added that the plan should contain and designate the mission, the vision, the objectives, strategies and initiatives, guiding principles, closely followed by the roles and responsibilities of the various personalities. It should also contain the institutional framework followed by monitoring and evaluating.
The sport minister said there will be several meetings with various associations in Guyana, in the effort to construct a plan that will effectively include all sporting organizations in the country, while effectively considering and making room for other sporting activities that might not be fully recognized as sport in Guyana but will be beneficial to the nation's youths.
The strategic plan, the minister said, should revolve around the goals of the sporting industry here in Guyana, that should include where they want to be, how they intend to get there and what it would take to actually get there and in what time frame would it take to effectively accomplish the respective tasks. “The strategy will effect the direction and scope of the organization's activities” the minister said.
The plan, he noted, will further include situation analysis and response analysis while analyzing the strengths, weaknesses, and feasibility of the purposed strategies. It should further develop draft plans, internal and external revision and validation, and identify and mobilize resources, while effectively circulating and implementing the plan.
It was noted that sport plays a very integral role in human development. It is also essential to quality education; while it improves public health it is also important in the achievement of sustainable development. Dr Anthony added that, sport contributes to peace and supports cognitive development, as it raises the standards of literacy and numeracy while improving social and personal development.
Several social benefits of sports for development was also discussed, and from that it was agreed that social coherence, civic and national pride along with international recognition and prestige were all among the benefits of prioritizing the development of sports in Guyana.
In addition to developing the popular sports, minister Anthony further expressed interest in the introduction of non popular sports to the youths of Guyana that he feels will contribute positively to the physical and mental development of our young minds. Equestrian, precision and accuracy sports were among those on the list for introduction and actual practice.
Sam Bartlett ECON Analysis of the Inter American Development Bank said, “Sport is always an aspect for development”.
Bartlett added that the IADB is and continues to remain interested in sport as a vehicle for economic development. He added that, “Sport is an area that needs an increase in focus for development.”
He said also that sports associations play an absolute important role in the development of Guyana.
“Sport is not just frivolous” he says “from the international prospective; it represents the positive development of young people around the world”.
Phillip Walcott, during his speech, discussed how a sports policy should be written. Walcott said firstly that “planning without consideration for resources is nothing more than wishful thinking… the plan must be realistic… it must be attainable in the time allocated”.
Having a plan, Walcott further mentioned, will improve the chances of greater success within the local sport industry. He added that the planning process is as important as the expected product.
The strategic plan for sport is an inclusive programme where all sporting organizations will play an integral role in its creation, implementation and introduction.