Georgetown, Guyana – (October 28, 2017) Minister of Social Cohesion with the responsibility for Culture, Youth, and Sport, Dr. George Norton, today, commended athletics coaches for taking up the responsibility of ensuring that Guyanese athletes are pushed to develop their potential at both local and international competitions.

“Guyana has the potential to become a great athletic nation and the coaches are keys to ensuring that we reach this level,” the Minister told the coaches at the opening of the Coach’s Conference, which was organised by the Athletics Association of Guyana at the Guyana Olympic House at Liliendaal East Coast Demerara.

He further emphasised how coaches are uniquely positioned to create an environment in which athletes are able to develop to their fullest potential, which can only bring forth triumph during game time. The Minister further asserted that they must never underestimate their roles in ensuring that Guyana produces athletes who do their best at championships. “You are not just coaches, but you serve as teacher, organiser, planner, facilitator, instructor, assessor, friend, mentor, advisor, and supporter, motivator and counsellor. These are just some of the many hats coaches are said to wear,” the Minster told the participants.

The Minister said that Government is committed to supporting coaches who will ultimately ensure the greatest accomplishments in their athletes. He once again reiterated the need for an open door policy at his Ministry, as he strives to create and interpersonal relationship between himself athletes and their coaches.

Dr. Norton acknowledged that in order for coaches to be committed to their roles, they must be equipped with adequate knowledge and resources to do so. The Minister also said that coaches should not only push for great results in athletics from their athletes but also push for academic achievement in schools. He urged them to help their athletes to maintain a healthy balance between both athletics and academics so they can have a brighter future ahead of them.

Meanwhile, President of the Athletics Association of Guyana, Mr. Aubrey Hutson said that one of the reasons why the Conference was held is to listen to the coaches as to how they should move forward and to develop together as a body. “We hope to achieve from this conference is the unity that is needed for the development of our sport [track and field] and we know that the coaches may have answers in sports… We are hoping to achieve a united programme going forward,” the President of the association said.

Mr. Huston also informed that the coaches have also gathered to plan the Association’s 2018 calendar of events, which must coincide with international engagements that are slated for next year as well. During the Conference coaches were able to raise concerns with the President of the Association. Mr. Raul Griffith suggested that coaches should be employed by schools so they can work with potential athletes in the system. Other coaches raised issue on the conditions on some fields on which they work, with Minister Norton.

Some of the Clubs represented were the Christianburg/Wismar Secondary School club, Hopetown Flames, the Guyana Defence and Police Force Athletics Association and the Westside Panthers.

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