WEST Indies’ most capped Test player, Guyanese Shivnarine Chanderpaul, met with Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson Jr at his office on Wednesday.
According to the Sport Minister, the two had a long discussion and Chanderpaul committed to working with the Elite Academy the Ministry is set to implement.
The prolific batsman retired from the sport in 2016, after 164 Test where he mounted 11 867 – second only to Brian Lara (11 912) for a West Indian – and his 30 Test centuries are also only second to Lara (34). The man from Unity, East Coast Demerara, also played 268 One-Day Internationals and 22 Twenty20 Internationals.
His world of experience ultimately could prove extremely viable to mentor elite sportsmen and women, particularly young cricketers.
The ministry will be implementing an Elite training programme focussed on honing the skills of the above-average athletes to help them become professionals.
Last September, Ramson Jr said the elite training programmes are necessary to push athletes to the next level.
The minister pointed out that coaching is just one aspect of developing talent. He went on to explain the administration’s approach to drive the process of development in this area.
“When you’re competing in sport you’re not just competing in your village or your town or your community, you’re competing against the world. Sport is a business; it’s not just a pastime,” Ramson Jr said. The government has plans to build multi-purpose facilities at Anna Regina Community Centre (Region Two), Albion Sports Complex (Region Six) and Mackenzie Sports Club (Region 10), to complement the existing infrastructure across the country.
When the 2021 budget was presented, it was announced that Sport has been given a major boost with $1.5B budgeted to facilitate development programmes throughout the country.
Out of the overall sum, $618M will be utilised to host tournaments, maintain sport facilities and support select sport associations and $320M is budgeted towards professional training of athletes and coaches, as part of the ‘Sports Academy’ programme.
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