Guyana Olympic Association (GOA) held its annual awards ceremony on Friday Evening at the Georgetown Club, Camp Street to honour outstanding sportsmen and women for their contribution in their respective disciplines.
It was Sean Devers who stood out among the awardees as he copped the GOA’s Sports Journalist of the year Award. Though the awards generally go to journalists who cover Olympic sports, Master of Ceremonies Garfield Wiltshire explained that Devers branched out of this usual area of cricket and fully deserved the award.
The GOA Awardees along with President David Granger ( 3rd from left sitting ), Minister Nicolette Henry (2nd from left) and President of GOA Juman Yassin (4th from left)
Among the other awardees were Squash players Taylor Fernandes & Larissa Wiltshire for their outstanding achievement in sport as they played “doubles” to win a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa last year.
Buxton Youth Development group received the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Award for their innovation in sport and Godfrey Wray for his longstanding contribution to sport.
GOA, President K.A Juman Yassin commended all the awardees for their achievements but quickly emphasised the need for funding for sports
Yassin said, “A lot of sports organisations are struggling and they need funding: on this Mr. President [David Granger] and Minister [Nicolette Henry] I have been harping for years that they needs to be an implementation of a sports policy.
President David Granger, speaking at the ceremony underlined that important role sports play in paving a cohesive society.
The President explained that, “what I call the populace model of sport is essential if we are to provide our people with the widest range of opportunities to become champions.”
The Head of State went unto say, “I do believe the populace model could emphasis the development of sport at the grass root level by generating a larger pool of talent from which to select our best athletes; a new model could increase participation of citizens in sport and ensure everyone’s social and recreational development.”
Minister within the Minister of Education Nicolette Henry spoke of the need to have the GOA headquarters completed at Liliendaal, East Coast Demerara which is still in its early stages of building.
“This facility I believe will provide our young people where they can actually go and develop their skills in safe space where they can meet and have networking opportunity and certainly build their capacity because we believe that human capacity development is key for any country’s development.” the Minister said.
Special mention was made of Guyana’s only Olympic medallist Michael Parris and also Carl Ince who coached the Guyana Squash team to a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa last year.