Virtual badminton sports academy launched
A Badminton Sports Academy was launched yesterday at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall and Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Charles Ramson Jr. labeled the occasion as ‘historic’.
The virtual Sports Academy which is the brainchild of the Sports Minister, will initially focus on the 12 core sports - cricket, football, athletics, basketball, table tennis, swimming, hockey, squash, rugby, volleyball, tennis and badminton.
Badminton followed in the footsteps of squash and volleyball which launched their academies on December 18.
Ramson said yesterday that “This is the start of something historic that will be monitored rigidly to see how it expands.” He added that the academy is the vehicle which will enable players to become the best in their sport.
He then went on to state that he believes the Academy which has three pillars: nursery, tournament and elite will bear fruit but will require “a lot of team work” from the disciplines and the National Sports Commission (NSC) which will oversee the National Sports Academy.
During a public presentation of the National Sports Academy at the inaugural Guyana Sports Conference in October at the National Cultural Centre, Ramson pointed out that the nursery level will target players between the ages of 12-17.
At the tournament level, the Government of Guyana, through the NSC will earmark at least $12M annually for the governing bodies of the core sports, to support the organisation of tournaments.
Above-average performers, who excel at tournaments or those who show great improvement will be selected for the elite training.
The elite training will last on average four to eight weeks and will see selected individuals dedicating themselves full-time to training. In order to achieve this, the Minister announced that a stipend would be given.
Director of Sport, Steve Ninvalle stated yesterday that the nursery is one of the most important components of any sports discipline since it is where coaches can mould, guide and nurture athletes. He then added that the academy will not be a ‘talk shop’ and will be seen through to the end by the NSC.
The academy which entails structured training programmes at the Gymnasium, Queen’s College and the Sports Hall, will target in excess of 100 players from 46pm daily. Coaches, Akili Haynes and Jonathan Mangra along with executive members, Emelia Ramdhani and Ayanna Watson will oversee proceedings.
In October, Ramson had stated that the Sports Academy was a specific manifesto promise and reflects President Irfaan Ali’s “bottom-up” approach to national development.
The remaining core sports will be rolled out in the next few weeks as they complete their preparatory arrangements and training.