… offers Government of Guyana’s fullest support for developmentRECENTLY appointed Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson Jr, yesterday began his week-long interaction and meetings with a number of sport associations and federations, not only to introduce himself but also to hear their needs and what should take priority by his Government.Cricket, basketball and football, the three most-played sports locally, met with Ramson at the National Racquet Centre on Woolford Avenue, where he noted that under his tenure as the Minister of Sport, they will all flourish, He highlighted the PPP/C’s Government interest in ensuring that the facilities are available.In his meeting with the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB), it was said that discussions sought to remedy the current difficulties and constraints faced by the Board in the execution of its mandate to advance the sport of cricket in Guyana resulting in a number of collaborative efforts being advanced.Ramson, known for his passion for basketball, met with president of the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) Michael Singh and his executives, as well as president of the Georgetown Amateur Basketball Association (GABA) Jermaine Slater and his team.The basketball fraternity received Ramson’s fullest support as he reminded that he more than dabbled in the sport.Details regarding the meeting between the Minister and the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) were not known at this time.After taking his Oath of Office from Head of State, Dr Irfaan Ali, Ramson, speaking to the media, had called the approach to sports in Guyana “ad hoc”. Ramson is also hoping to use his far-reaching network to help transform the sport sector.“In order to create a sustainable sport development programme that is a sport economy as well, because sport is a business too, we need a system that is sustainable and that can only be done through organised stakeholders and people that are connected to the overall development trajectory of the country,” the Sport Minister said.Ramson was adamant that “sport is more than just hobbies and staying fit; it is far bigger than that. It is one of the largest sectors in the world and it could very well be transformational for the country as well, by being able to draw on our human capital and our talents as young people.”Having graduated with a Master’s of Science degree in Oil and Gas Engineering from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, Ramson, who is an Attorney-at-Law, was asked about being in a sector that is the totally opposite of his area of expertise.In response, the avid cricket and basketball fan explained “the President recognises that over 60% of the population of Guyana is below the age of 35. For the last five years, this country has had a lack of strong youth leadership and an absence of sport leadership.”“The President, as well as the party, also believes that all three areas require strong leadership. It requires us to get organised so that we could help to transform the country and also to unify the country, and it is a critical component of who we are as a people and part of the healing process,” Ramson reasoned.According to Ramson, “Most of you know that I have a very strong sports background even though I was doing Oil and Gas and was speaking regularly on Oil and Gas subjects, I have always been doing sports-related issues and sports-related programmes. ”The minister said as far as providing the young leadership in Guyana for which there is a strong voice, both the President and the party felt that he would better serve in the area of Culture, Youth and Sport.