The Guyana Amateur Swimming Association (GASA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture Youth and Sports on Saturday launched the National Swimming Academy and the Electronic timing system for aquatics. The Swimming Academy forms part of the National Sports Academy that seeks to develop 12 core sports including swimming. The others include cricket, football, athletics, basketball, table tennis, swimming, hockey, squash, rugby, volleyball, tennis, and badminton.
Potential athletes will be trained and coached at the National Swimming Academy so their talent and skills could be nurtured at a very young age and become world class athletes.
President of the Guyana Amateur Swimming Association (GASA) Dwayne Scott in his remarks said, "We are culminating a nursery programme that will be capturing involvement of athletes or potential athletes across the length and breath of Guyana."
Meanwhile, Minister of Culture Youth and Sports Charles Ramson Jr said the swimming academy is the most advanced programme in the country and around the Caribbean region which demonstrates progress. He explained that the automatic timing system had to be procured before the swimming academy could be launched. "Every single sport needed the investment for us to have the launching of the National Sports Academy." The automatic aquatic timing system was single sourced from a United States company called 'Colorado timing system' at a value of GYD$7M (US$35,000). It is the first of its kind in Guyana. The Sports Minister noted that this high tech equipment is very important as Guyana looks to secure international tournaments.
"You will see that the equipment that we chose wasn't inferior equipment, it is high quality equipment that we make the investment on because we knew that it was very important to have the accuracy of the timings." "The second reason why I made the investment was because I know how important it is for us to secure in Guyana an international meet or international sport tournaments [...] now that we know that we can host by the acquisition of this piece of equipment, now that we know we can host the championships from around the region and other parts of the world and in South America, this piece of equipment will pay for itself many times over and it will transfer value to the country in a major way."
The Sports Minister revealed that the National Squash Tournament slated for July already has 180 persons committed to attending the tournament which will have economic benefits for the country. One million dollars each has been set aside by the Ministry of Sport for the 12 sport associations to host tournaments every year.