RAWLE Toney reports
WITH Guyana, for the first time in 23 years, getting a new government, several reports of persons ‘helping themselves’ have emanated and the sports sector was certainly not excluded.
There are reports that millions of dollars in sport equipment have since been shipped out from the storage area of the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall which was under the control of the National Sports Commission and its Director Neil Kumar.
Upon visiting the venue yesterday, huge spaces and empty cardboard boxes were noticed and when quizzed about the findings, Bashir Khan, manager of the facility confessed that the former Sport Director had come and taken some ‘stuff’ to a ‘function’ he hosted a few days ago.
“Kumar came and took some stuff for a function he held at the Palms (geriatric home),” Khan said. He added, “I can’t say what was carried and what wasn’t carried but he had a function and he came and moved some stuff.”
However, checks at the geriatric home care facility unearthed that no such ‘function’ was held by anyone of the former PPP/C regime much less the former sports director.
“They pack up a ton of stuff also from the office (on Homestretch Avenue). That’s not counting the amount of equipment the Director of Sport was giving away and not to no sports team or club, but just friends and family,” the source said.
Khan seemed uneasy when asked to verify exactly what was taken since its under his watch the items were moved, and he stated, “Call Mr Kumar and ask him.”
Calls to Kumar proved futile.
The Government of Guyana under the PPP/C had millions of dollars being allocated to the National Sports Commission (NSC) which the entity says was spent on procuring sports equipment for distribution around the country but athletes and administration never benefited from such items.
The Cliff Anderson Sports Hall and the National Gymnasium are the country’s only two indoor sports facilities.
These facilities are used for training and competition purposes of basketball, table tennis, hockey, boxing, netball, martial arts, volleyball, badminton, and weightlifting while cultural and religious activities are also conducted.
The Cliff Anderson Sports Hall which has a capacity of 2 000 patrons and the National Gymnasium with a capacity of 1 000 provide living accommodation for approximately 50 persons.
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