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In an attempt to satisfy the dire need for sports facilities in the Amelia’s Ward Community in Linden, Region 10, a group of young men from the community has teamed up to rehabilitate the community’s lone basketball court.
Speaking with Village Voice News was Jafar Gibbons, one of the young men involved in the self-help project, who said that the venture will positively impact youths of the community by providing a well-equipped space for them to use their past time wisely.
The Court located on Toucan Drive Amelia’s Ward, Linden lacks lights, functional hoops and a marked layout which the group of over 30 young men are working towards setting up with the guidance of well-known coach, Abdulla Hamid and support from local business, Jermaine and Sons.
Gibbons said it is a shame that the Amelia’s Ward community is the largest housing scheme in the entire Caribbean and has no proper sports or recreational facility that can be free used by the thousands of people who occupy it.
He indicated that the lack of sports facilities may have led to the raise in gangs in the community.
“There are gangs in the community. There are gangs because there are no sports facilities for these youths. So between 3 to 7 pm when youths could be meaningfully engaged in sports activities, that ability is not there because there is no proper sustainable facility for sports in Amelia’s Ward so what you find is the youths turning to drugs and gangs,” Gibbons pointed out.
He added, “It is very heart breaking to know that Linden has all these youths that could part take in gang activities but cannot meaningfully engage in sports, it’s really concerning.”
In emphasizing the importance and power of community self-help projects, Gibbons noted that the projects may not be billion dollar ventures but may result in the creation of a billionaire athlete.
He went on to say, “If we look at this in Guyanese context, the entire country was built off of self-help. After the abolition of slavery and the apprenticeship period, all of these villages and communities were built off the backs of people coming together and saying let us do this”.
“To me it is important because it gives you that independence to know that you did not have to wait on somebody to get this done,” he added.
Gibbons stated that more hands should be lent in establishing more sports centers in Linden, a place that dominates sports in Guyana and has promising sports men and women. He went on to call on persons from other areas in Linden to carry out self-help projects to aid in the development of town and its people.