Georgetown, Guyana – (August 4, 2019): President David Granger, this afternoon, told athletes and residents of the Upper Mazaruni that Government will continue to invest in sports as it remains a critical part of the development of young Guyanese.
He was at the time delivering the feature address at the 22nd Annual District Games being held at Jawalla Village, Upper Mazaruni in the Cuyuni-Mazaruni Region (Region Seven).
The Head of State noted that Government, with its expected oil revenue, will continue to enhance the lives of Guyanese across the country by bridging the gap between hinterland and coastland.
In this regard, President Granger iterated that Government will restore free education from nursery to tertiary so that young people have more opportunities to advance. He reminded that it is a constitutional right to have access to free education in Guyana.
“Residents of Upper Maz., sport is very important to us in the Government. Sport is part of our culture and here in the Upper Maz., you have led the rest of the country in terms of village sport and organisation.
Sport is important for building self-confidence, sport is important for discipline, sport is important for fostering leadership, sport is important for the hinterland because our Government is trying to erase the differences between the hinterland and coastland,” he said as he congratulated the Upper Mazaruni District Sports Council.
President Granger said there are four Cs associated with sports: cooperation, competition, commitment and Cohesion. He said sports represents cooperation between the sixteen villages which are participating in the games.
“Cooperation is the first C and over the last two decades or more, you have been able to bring about the level of cooperation from the villages in the Upper-Mazaruni that would be the envy of the other regions in Guyana. This cooperation builds team spirit, builds pride in your village, pride in your Region and pride in your nation- Guyana,” the President who was accompanied by First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger, their daughter Ms. Afuwa Granger and granddaughter Miss Faraa Gaskin said.
The Second C the President referred to is competition. “Competition, yes, is about winning or losing but it is not about hating. Competition is about improving your performance through friendly rivalry. Competition is about creating captains and leaders and this is what I see coming out of these games, year after year when I come here,” he said.
The third C, President Granger said is the athletes’ commitment. He said he is always astonished to see the pride demonstrated by the athletes.
“Sport is not about hatred… Sport is about the commitment to higher ideals,” the Head of State said while stating that Cohesion is also an important element demonstrated through the annual games.
He said the Upper Mazaruni District games sees both young and old, boys and girls as well as people from near and far attending. This, he said, is indicative of social cohesion.
“Upper Maz., your games are a model for the rest of the nation. This is not a political forum but this is a national forum and Guyana is proud of you, wherever you are from. This is a model I would like other regions and districts to emulate,” President Granger said as he congratulated the athletes and organisers for a job well done.
The Head of State noted also the improvements made to the Jawalla Sports Complex highlighting the installation of flood lights and the erection of new buildings.
This year marks the seventh Upper Mazaruni District Games that the President Granger would have attended.
Minister of State, Mrs. Dawn Hastings-Williams; Regional Chairman, Region Seven, Mr. Gordon Bradford; Toshao, Jawalla Village, Mr. Harold Brown and President of the Upper Mazaruni District Sports Council, Mr. Rudolph Wellington also attended the opening ceremony.
The games will conclude on August 11 and will see participation from the villages of Jawalla, Waramadong, Phillipai, Quebanang, Imbaimadai, Kako, Chinoweing, Kaikan, Waxcrrek, Arau, Paruima, Isseneru, Kamarang, Abbau, San Juan and the District Sports Council (DSC) in the disciplines of football, track and field, volley ball, archery, cricket, blowpipe, swimming and table tennis.