Guyana Football Federation (GFF) President Wayne Forde has pledged to establish an Academy Training Centre (ATC) in Waramadong to boost hinterland football development, during a visit to the Region 7 community this week.
The President also donated football equipment to the village sports council and offered to organise GFF training for coaches, referees and club administrators for the Region where, because of its difficult terrain and logistical challenges, some areas are not adequately served.
The Federation regularly undertakes outreach, equipment donations, and capacity building activities in hinterland communities that are not covered within the boundaries of the GFF’s nine Regional Associations, and Forde underscored the reason for this, “It is vital for the GFF – and for me, personally – to ensure that all corners of Guyana have access to football development resources and support, as our nine Regional Associations do not cover the entire geography of the country,” Forde said.
“My meetings this week with Waramadong village leaders and the sports council were extremely positive, and we look forward to working together to develop football and to give young people in the community the opportunities they deserve to reach their full potential,” he said.
Forde said the GFF Technical Department will begin work immediately on planning for the creation of a special Academy Training Centre in the village, which boasts one of the most successful school football teams in Guyana.
The GFF’s ATC programme is an elite youth development initiative for boys and girls, which provides professional-standard sessions delivered by trained GFF-affiliated coaches. The programme, which currently only covers the GFF’s Regional Associations, has been hailed by FIFA and Concacaf as a pioneering template for football development in the Caribbean region.
“We are determined to give all talent in Guyana a chance to reach our national teams, no matter where it is based,” said Forde, who also undertook an outreach to Mabaruma in Region 1 earlier this year. “We want to reward proactive and committed football communities. No Guyanese should have to miss out on the GFF’s national football pathway just because of the limitations of the regional association structure we inherited.”
“We know the past year has been challenging for all footballers across Guyana,” he said, “but, thanks to the national vaccination programme, there is now a light at the end of the tunnel. We continue to urge the football community to fully support the vaccination drive, so that we can move out of this pandemic, protect our loved ones, and return to play very soon.”