THE Guyana Olympic Association (GOA) and Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) on Thursday handed over a combined $1.4M towards the hosting of the South American Junior Championships, which will be held this weekend in Guyana at the National Track and Field Centre in Leonora, on the West Coast of Demerara.
GOA vice-president Godfrey Munroe handed over a cheque for $1M, while the GTA lived up to its promise to back the Championships by plugging $400 000 in the event. The GTA’s sponsorship package was handed over by the director himself, Indranauth Haralsingh.
“We see this as a major sports tourism event and we’re happy to continue our support for events such as this which bring visitors to Guyana. We see this as potentially becoming bigger and positioning Guyana to host other such meets,” Haralsingh said as he reflected on what the event means for Guyana.
“This means a lot for Guyana, this will create a lot of visibility for Guyana as a possible host destination for track and field meets, among other opportunities and potential for Guyana to host even swim meets, and other exciting events.”
This event comes just a few months after the GTA hosted a sports tourism seminar to shed light on Guyana’s immense potential to become a sports destination, pledging its support behind any event that contributes to this initiative.
In speaking on behalf of the GOA, Munroe highlighted that the nature of the event being one that targets the development of young athletes made the GOA all the more enthused to throw support behind the project.
“Being a junior event it is of particular interest to the Association in ensuring that the focus is on the development of junior athletes and this is one such development. It’s going to be a mega event and we want to congratulate the AAG for undertaking the hosting,” Munroe said.
This South American Junior Championships, which will be held from June 3 to 4, will be the biggest athletics meet that Guyana would have ever hosted.
Over 300 athletes from across the 13 nations in the South American Athletics Confederation (CONSUDATLE) are scheduled to participate in the meet.
Athletes began arriving from Wednesday afternoon and will continue coming in until today. Guyana will have a team of 50 athletes, the biggest contingent of Guyanese athletes to ever represent at any international meet.
Guyanese are encouraged to come out in their numbers and support their team. Tickets are available across the country for $500. The event will begin at 10:00hrs daily at the venue.
by Tamica Garnett