The last thing we need now in sport is everyone looking for themselves

Dear Editor,

We are in a new normal, a circumstance that requires a different kind of leadership and cooperation. Although there has always been some indifference in our sport, this is not the time to continue along that path. What is needed now is leadership at all levels, which could bring people together not only with a national plan, but a way to galvanize all our people and inspire the best possible outcome.

With the suspension of sport in Guyana and globally since March 2020, and now almost 10 months later, it is still unclear how we are going to restore and maintain sport in Guyana.

We have seen how large international sports bodies and associations have been collaborating and innovating under these new restrictive conditions to restart their respective businesses, while meeting the needs of their communities.

Right here at home, we’ve seen cricket, cycling, 10k athletics, lawn tennis, bodybuilding, badminton, golf, and K&S / GFF / MCYS football receive approval from the Ministry of Health / COVID-19 task force, and from what has been reported in the press, they have all had successful events.

But what about grassroots school and team sports accounts for mass participation among our youth, across the regions of Guyana. The question of the safe and timely return of school and youth sport must be addressed in a thoughtful, caring and serious way.

The COVID-19 pandemic has put all sports in a “proverbial straitjacket of the century,” giving us a new challenge to move; and while we do not know what will happen in the future, at the end of the day, we are all in the same boat where everyone is affected. So we can no longer play this game of looking out for ourselves or undermining the other or judging or being more separate than we are; it is high time for us to get together. It’s an opportunity for us to try to harness the best ideas and share resources so that all sports can benefit.

This is where I believe that cohesive, cohesive leadership could make a difference.

Ideally, the National Sports Commission could be leading this effort, working as a media facilitator between sports partners and the Ministry of Health Task Force / COVID-19, and other national and regional stakeholders in providing guidance and support to safely assist and timely. returning sports. This would allow for a more uniform, data-driven, and principle-based approach for sport to operate safely during and after COVID-19.

The last thing we need now is everyone looking for themselves, too much is at stake.

Editor, we know that there were some major flaws and inequalities in our sports governance well before this pandemic; differences between city sports and regional disciplines, male and female, youth and senior, mainstream and smaller, access to facilities, sponsorship and media. The challenge is now much greater and further exacerbated by the social, mental and economic impacts of the last 10 months, and unless we can have a cohesive whole-of-sport approach to this new challenge, we will not be able to tackle it. ‘ r adequately grasping the real and restoring needs as a brotherhood.

In my humble opinion, the priority at this time should be to find out how to give all sports the opportunity and support they need, regardless of status or affiliation, to overcome this unprecedented challenge.

It’s going to take some creativity, which will be a challenge when planning against this unpredictable pandemic.

But the right thing to do — even if it means for the year 2021, that the government has to play a bigger role in subsidizing sport in general, in the long run, I think it would this is a good investment for the health. and the welfare of the grassroots.

Leadership is needed now more than ever!


Chris Bowman