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Technical assistance high on agenda of Agreement for Sports Cooperation

  • MOVING FORWARD: Cuban Ambassador to The Bahamas Ernesto Soberon Guzman led the negotiations between his country and the Bahamian Government toward the signing of an Agreement for Sports Cooperation.


Published: Oct 16, 2013

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About 6,000 sports technicians from Cuba have been positioned throughout 50 countries, and are assisting with the sports development programs in those respective locations. In The Bahamas, two Cubans are working with the Bahamas Swim Federation (BSF). In a short period of time, the likelihood is that Cuban sports experts might be in this country in double figures.

In fact, as of the official signing of the Agreement for Sports Cooperation with The Bahamas on Tuesday, September 24 in Cuba, the gate was opened for the process of Cuban technical assistance into this country. Cuban Ambassador Ernesto Soberon Guzman who led the negotiations between his country and the Bahamian Government during the steps toward the venture, said congratulations were in order for Cuba and The Bahamas. He expressed his sentiments during a press conference held at the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture on Monday, October 7. The signing of the cooperation arrangement was announced at the conference.

Dr. Daniel Johnson, Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, who signed on behalf of The Bahamas Government, called the occasion “extremely historic.”

“For many decades we in The Bahamas have wanted to establish (this sort) of relationship with Cuba. The time has come. Fidel Castro with his vision has built a society of people, many who are champions in their very own rights. We have received an opportunity to utilize (this relationship) as a tool to develop in sports medicine, in the field of competition and in humanity. We (in The Bahamas) must cooperate to maximize this relationship. God gave us a sign. It is time,” emphasized Minister Johnson while on tour in Cuba September 22-25.

The minister was accompanied by Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture Calvin Balfour, National Director of Sports Tim Munnings, Director of Sports in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Evon Wisdom, and National Sports Academy committee members D’Arcy Rahming and Fred Sturrup.

The portfolio of the technicians made available by the Cuban Government is extensive. Cubadeportes, the organization that is responsible for monitoring the technical assistance program, calls it the “Experience of Champions” with good reasons. The work of the Cubans in other countries has resulted in many champions. As for The Bahamas, Cuban coaches and trainers have been largely responsible for the success of amateur boxers Taureano Johnson, Valentino Knowles and Carl Heild.

Cubadeportes touts the program heavily:

“The Technical Assistance consists of sending professionals to offer their knowledge related to sport to any country where it is wanted. More than 6,000 sport technicians, in more than 50 countries, offer their services in different disciplines such as chess, track and field, basketball, handball, baseball, boxing, canoeing, cycling, diving, equestrian, fencing, soccer, artistic gymnastics, musical aerobics, general gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, hockey, roller derby, judo, karate do, weightlifting, wrestling, swimming, synchronized swimming, skating, water polo, rowing, sculling, softball, taekwondo, court tennis, table tennis, archery, shooting, sailing and volleyball.

“All these sport technicians are trainers, methodology workers, specialists in sport medicine, computer experts, people graduated at the Superior Institute of Physical Culture, masters and doctors, professors of the same institute, general advisers, specialists in integral organization of multidisciplinary events and in diagnostic studies for sport development, professors of physical education, specialists in rules and refereeing, psychologists, nutritionists and physiotherapists.”

Such will be provided through the agreement between Cuba and The Bahamas. The Cuban Government, through Ambassador Guzman, made a large group of program directors and department heads, steeped in knowledge of the Cuban Sports System, available to the Bahamian delegation.

They included First Vice President of the Institute of Sports and Recreation (INDER) Roberto Leon Richards Aguiar, Vice President of INDER Jorge A. Polo Vazquez, National Health Promotion and Physical Education Director Gladys Becquer Diaz, Director Nilde Molina Secada from the National Gymnastic School, Director Jorge Pavel Pino of the Sports Medicine Institute, Ariel Sainz, president of the Cuban Volleyball Federation, Rector Barbara Tandron Negrin of the International School of Physical Education, Director Julio Falcon Ruffin from the Higher School of High Performance Athletes, Cubadeportes General Manager Carlos Rodriguez Acosta, Director of Events and Travel Agency Pedro Urquia Montano, Director of Technical Assistance Tania Olaniel Gonzales, Rector Antonio Becali Garrido of the University of Physical Culture and Sports Sciences, Fernando Rojas of the Ministry of Culture, and INDER Senior International Relations Specialist Ileana Alfonso Valdes.

(To respond to this sports feature, please contact Fred Sturrup at sturrup1504@gmail.com)


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