… Tackling Sports Policy key criteria under new administrationBy Clifton RossMINISTER of Culture, Youth & Sport, Charles Ramson Jr, has promised a bright future for athletes and media operatives as his new administration plans to holistically reshape sports, thus broadening Guyana’s spectrum for the future.Yesterday’s media debriefing held at Duke Lodge in Kingston was the first of its kind in recent history as the recently appointed Sport Minister sought to familiarise himself with the senior core of Guyana’s sport media faction.The highly interactive session touched on a wide range of topics, including those plaguing sports as well as endeavours, future objectives and short-term plans to reshape the totality of how sports is run in Guyana for the next few years going forward.Meeting with Sports AssociationsMinister Ramson, who grew up as an avid cricketer playing for the Georgetown Cricket Club (GCC), took off his ministerial cap, as he recently met with a number of local sport bodies to have an idea of the current state of things and potential progressive ways forward.“I have to meet with more associations, because sports is not in good shape, it’s very disorganised,” said the minister who admitted that he had been trying to make assessments from the outside looking in, but his reality was confirmed following taking up his new post as Head of Sports in Guyana.He stated that ‘talented persons’ are needed to take things into the international level and as such he plans to do a full assessment of sports and organisations while calling for those bodies to further share in the responsibility as it is now time for all stakeholders to be heavily involved in the affairs of the sports sector.Minister Ramson also assured associations that no form of mistreatment will be handed out, referring to admittance by some about being treated unfairly in the past by the previous administration.“Sports is not just a hobby or a pastime, it’s a business”Regarding the current role of sports in Guyana, the minister believed that the evolution had already begun and had eclipsed being just a way to pass the time or just a fad for some. Rather, Ramson was firm on Sports playing a huge role in the business world here locally with the possibility of going international.“Sports is not a hobby or a pastime it’s a business, it’s also an antisocial deterrent. Big money that comes from sports is sponsorships. We have to become an event-driven ministry. We need to have mass engagement and in order to change the trajectory of sports we have to give sponsorship avenues to local and overseas sponsors.”Social Media was also identified by the minister as a key platform of boosting the level of sports locally. He believed that the government along with associations should team up and have a social media outlet where they can properly and transparently market themselves for sponsorship, but on a much larger scale.SPORTS POLICY AND MORE CULTURAL INVOLVEMENT With regard to the Sports Policy which has been on the table for a number of years under all the previous administrations, Minister Ramson was adamant that the policy was crucial and revealed that the draft will be shared in the near future with the media – something he said will help to make better decisions for the future of sports in Guyana.Speaking on the other responsibilities of the ministry, Ramson said, “It’s not just sports we will be dealing with, it is culture, youth and sports. It’s a cross pollination of all sector heads, we want to tap into the cultural aspects along with sports. It’s a good fusion to create and one which will entertain Guyanese and help up appreciate each other and relish in our country’s diversity”.SHORT-TERM GOALS As for plans leading up to the weeks to come, the minister noted that he will have his hands full tackling a number of sports-related issues as he looks to fully get himself acquainted with what has been happening in Guyana’s sport world.“We are in discussions with all sports associations to see how their facilities are and how they can be used in the best optimal way. We also want to examine which sports can and cannot be played amidst the pandemic,” he stated.Minister Ramson further revealed that the identity of the new Director of Sport will be confirmed in the weeks to come as they are currently in the process of interviewing persons.Plans to meet with media personnel at least twice a year in order to strengthen ties were also part of the new administration’s short-term policies.
After ending last season on such a high note, the University of Wisconsin’s men’s soccer team is coming into this season with the utmost confidence.The team ended the 2017 season 12-5-5, the best record they have had in years. Winning the Big Ten Tournament against Indiana in a penalty kick showdown near the end of the season left the players satisfied as they move forward to train this spring.Reaching the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament was another big accomplishment for the men’s team. Beating a team like No. 12 Notre Dame in the second round was extremely exciting for the Badgers as they hadn’t even participated in the tournament since 2013.The team was so sought after last season that four of our key members were drafted into Major League Soccer (MLS). Two players, Chris Mueller and Mark Segbers, were chosen in the Top 10 of the MLS draft, a huge deal for Wisconsin athletics. While this looks positive for the school and athletic department, it leaves a ton of weight on the shoulders of the returning players.Men’s golf: Six Badgers will play in Colleton River CollegiateSix golfers from the University of Wisconsin men’s golf team will compete in Bluffton, South Carolina on the Colleton River Read…Head coach John Trask, who was inducted into the Wisconsin Soccer Hall of Fame last week, gave us the inside scoop on how the players have been preparing for the upcoming season.“The guys have been working very hard this spring, both with our strength and conditioning staff and our soccer staff. We just finished the first of five spring contests with a good hard fought result (3-3) against UWGB who won the Horizon League regular season,” he said. “We improved during the match and many younger players gained valuable experience — which is the key during the spring.”The games played during the spring are just a sneak peak of the action we will get this fall.Because the team played so well last year, the players are hoping to prove themselves again this season. They want to come back from the off-season raring to go, with some new fresh faces added to the mix.The first few games will be non-conference matches, leading up to the first Big Ten game against Indiana. This game is crucial after winning against the Hoosiers last season down to the wire, as well as for the rest of the Big Ten season.There are some players Trask said we should keep our eyes on.“While losing some exceptional talent, some returning guys, like senior captain Isaac Schlenker, Robin Olofsson Elan Koenig will be counted on to lead the team this coming fall,” he said. “The partnership of Mitch Guitar and Noah Leibold gives us dominant center midfield and … quite a bit of experience in the back half.”It seems as though the coaching staff is ready to tackle the season with both seniors and newbies on the field. With the leadership of the older players and the enthusiasm of the younger ones, the team is ready to take the NCAA by storm.Men’s hockey: Wisconsin season comes to end after disappointing loss to MichiganThe University of Wisconsin men’s hockey team (14-19-4, 8-13-3 Big Ten) dropped the first two games 5-6 and 4-7 in Read…While some might worry that this is going to be a rebuilding season for the Badgers, Coach Trask is sure the 2017 season left them wanting more. The 2018 season is a season of “reloading” rather than rebuilding for Wisconsin, and is the perfect opportunity to show the rest of the country what they’ve got.The next spring game to catch will be versus University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee April 8 at the McClimon Complex. The Milwaukee Panthers ended last season 10-5-4, so the Badgers hope to defeat them in their next home match-up.After a remarkable 2017 season, the Badgers are back and stronger than ever. They are ready to take on their next four exhibition games this spring, after having time to rest and prepare. With months of off-season training, the players are determined to make this year as memorable as last.