<p><strong><em><strong><span style="color:#666666"><strong><em><strong>Is it true that success breeds enemies? Well, one would hope that that is not the reason why the [Guyana] Ministry of Sport, the National Sports Commission or the Government have not seen it fit to acknowledge the outstanding achievements of the national rugby teams who successfully defended their NACRA titles in Mexico recently.</strong></em></strong></span></strong></em></strong></p>
<p><br />The teams arrived home last Tuesday and up to press time no release from those establishments has surfaced, not even to congratulate the two teams. It appears a bit insensitive and uncaring and one wonders what could have caused such indifference to two outstanding national units who’ve both represented this country with distinction for years.</p>
<p><br />Obviously, members of the rugby fraternity should feel aggrieved by the lack of care exhibited by those in authority, especially the ones responsible for the development and support for sports. However, it is not too late for them to publicly apologise and make amends for the glaring omission. It is indeed hard to see in your mind’s eye such an episode occurring in Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Barbados or anywhere else in the world.</p>
<p>One example readily comes to the fore on how to treat athletes or teams who’ve achieved outstanding results is just to look at what the little island of Antigua &amp; Barbuda did for their native son Daniel Bailey, who finished fourth in the 100 metres at the World Athletics Championships in August this year. He returned to a heroes welcome and was given significant gifts from the Baldwin Spencer Government including being named ‘Sports Ambassador’.</p>
<p>Just to emphasise the point here is an excerpt from the speech made by the Honourable Prime Minister Spencer at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium to honour Bailey’s achievement of reaching the final of the Men’s Blue Riband event in Germany,</p>
<p><img src="/images/start_quote_rb.gif" alt="" align="textTop" /> “Ladies and gentlemen, the series of events which began earlier this afternoon represents our nation’s, our people’s, high regard for the outstanding performance of our own people. It is also indicative of our government’s commitment to the promotion and development of sport and recreation.<br />This commitment derives from our knowledge that sport and recreation serve to build our nation and are an essential part of our efforts to improve the quality of life of all.<br />“I will admit that there are challenges, but I am also pleased to announce that there are also changes. I wish to commend the Ministry of Sports for the significant time and effort which is being invested in the restructuring of the Department of Sports.<br />I underscore my support for the new approach of Ministry of Sports to place a greater focus on policy formulation and facilitation of key stakeholders to implement home-grown developmental programmes and less on direct implementation.<br />“I am also pleased to report that significant progress has been made to complete a standardized athlete recognition system which would not only provide for consistency in individual acknowledgement, but also serve as a motivator for all who aspire to excellence in sports.” <img src="/images/end_quote_rb.gif" alt="" align="absBottom" /></p>
<p><br />The relevant stakeholders here need to take a page out of the book of Mr. Spencer and understand the importance of recognising the achievements of our athletes and rewarding them for it. Very often the sports pages have been inundated with speeches outlining the importance of sport in the national framework, but also very often it ends up being just that, lip service accompanied by little if any action.</p>
<p>These athletes have done us proud and not to be recognised by the very institutions that speak about the promotion of sports and how it could impact and improve the lives of Guyanese is an indictment on us as a nation. Let us therefore recognise the rugby teams’ feat and reward them justly.</p>
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<p>Source: <a href="http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2009/11/22/it-is-true/">Kaieteur News (Guyana)</a></p>