The Guyana Football Federation (GFF) today handed over (100) footballs to the Ministry of Indigenous People’s Affairs, to be distributed amongst the villages in the hinterland region, in an attempt to aid their preparation and participation at the upcoming Hinterland Games next month (August).
Chairman of the GFF’s Normalisation Committee Clinton Urling, Dr. Karen Pilgrim, Eric Phillips, Technical Director Claude Bolton and General Secretary Richard Groden met with Minister within the Ministry Mrs. Valerie Garrido-Lowe and representatives from Regions 1, 8 and 9 at a simple but significant presentation ceremony in the Ministry’s Boardroom.
Minister Garrido-Lowe said that sports play an integral role in the lives of the indigenous people, especially the sport of football since it is most favoured and popular in the hinterland.
“What generally happens, all though they are really talented and enthusiastic, they don’t get the necessary exposure, training and everything and it makes me said to see every time, a national team has to represent Guyana, I’m not seeing a truly national team; I’m not seeing my indigenous brothers and sisters and I would like us to change that” said the honourable minister.
The Minister pointed out that it’s her hope for the ministry and the GFF to form a strong link “where we can develop hinterland football to a high level where the opportunity can come to our hinterland brothers and sisters”.
Meanwhile, Urling said that Guyana has a unique geography in the Caribbean Region, with large expanses of land, while noting “we’ve not seen the best of Guyana’s football when we send our national team out, I sincerely believe that some of our best players will come from the hinterland region and since becoming the head of the Normalisation Committee, we’ve made a deliberate effort to expand the game and reach out to the Hinterland communities”
He added “currently we only have a member of the GFF from Region 9, but listening and speaking to other people, I’m beginning to realise that even that one Member Association is insufficient to service the entire Hinterland region, so we may have to look at establishing may be three or four members, affiliated to the GFF and to have its members supply the relevant information so we can get them on our national team and to participate internationally”.
The Normalisation Committee Chairman spoke profoundly of the GFF’s robust plan which includes technical support for all across the country; areas that traditionally overlooked, since Urling is of the view that “football is concentrated to a few areas”.
“I know the balls and the equipment we’re providing today is not enough to satisfy the eventual demands but it’s a start and the GFF is looking forward to working with the Ministry to help in our reach of the game” Urling said.