Minister Norton anxious to implement comprehensive sports plan

first_imgDR George Norton, Minister of Social Cohesion, seems to have a master plan on how he intends to change the landscape of sports in Guyana since taking charge of the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport on September 1.Norton, who also served as Minister of Public Health after a change of Government in 2005, is no stranger to sports in Guyana, with his exploits in football, athletics, swimming and other areas of sports being well documented.Upon adding sports as an area of control to his portfolio in the President David Granger-led government, Norton had spoken on many occasions about how excited he was to finally be in a position to serve in the capacity of his passion.On Wednesday, speaking exclusively with Chronicle Sport, the former Health Minister said “what we need to do is to make certain that all the budgetary allocations given for sports, be spent for and spent in time for the 2017 (budget).”Norton’s predecessor Nicolette Henry, who now heads the Ministry of Education, was criticised for her obvious lack of interest in sports and at a meeting with her staff to announce her move to the ‘Brickdam Office’ confessed to not placing emphasis on sports as she did on culture and youth.“I would hate to ever think that we will have to return moneys to the consolidated funds that were earmarked for sports, because from this time of the year, we’ve already started preparing a budget for 2018, but whatever was in that budget for 2017, my immediate goal is to spend it; make certain that we use the money for what it was earmarked for,” said Dr Norton.The Sport Minister further noted, “the second instance, I would want to see if we can try to make all the sporting facilities functional that are available. In other words, if we have a ground, it must be in a condition that our sports team can make use of.”“I would really want a national team to be a true representation of the Guyanese population because I think we have the skills, even though it’s not completely harnessed in the sense that everyone is given that opportunity. I want to ensure that everyone in Guyana is given an equal opportunity to be exposed,” Norton pointed out.Expenditure in sports, the ministry received $536,979,000 for 2017, compared to $295,460,000 it received for this year.It means that sports got $241,519,000 more than it received in 2016, representing an increase of 82 percent for the Department. In addition, the National Sports Commission (NSC) was awarded $215,000,000 compared to $178,699,000 this year Current Expenditure.The NSC, under Director Christopher Jones, also enjoyed an increase of $36,301,000 – a 20% boost from their previous budget allocation. … Looking to make full use of budgetary allocationlast_img

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