Taken from Kaieteur News, January 29th, 2017
By Jacquey Bourne
During his second visit to Linden within one year Guyanese Hall of Famer, Alex Bunbury,
announced last Wednesday in the Linden Enterprise Network (LEN) Boardroom that he will be building a Sports and Academic Academy in Region Ten.
The US$100M multipurpose facility will be built on the Ituni road, about 15 minutes drive from Linden. It will be the flagship for the other Regions with satellites mirroring them.
“It will be a multipurpose facility for all sporting disciplines, not just football. It is for cricket, basketball, cycling, swimming, hockey, track and field and the list goes on. We want to touch the lives of every young boy and girl to realize their dream,” Bunbury said.
According to Bunbury the reason for him and his team visiting Linden and Guyana as a whole, is because he wants to give back to the country of his birth. He said he left Guyana at age nine but got his athletic foundation from Guyana.
“I am not loyal to GFF, I am not loyal to football; I am not loyal to Canada, and I am loyal to the truth.” He said he was offered state of the art facilities and opportunities and he took advantage of them.
“So my vision is to bring something here that is not rocket science. I am trying to make a marriage between academics and sports. Put them together, do not leave them apart and that’s what’s been happening in Guyana.”
Bunbury claimed that in his opinion sports has been put on the back burner and because of that the most important thing on the face of the earth has been neglected. He noted that his Company Alex Bunbury Sports and Academic Academy (ABSAA), has a public/private partnership with the government.
It will enable them to utilize the resources to mix with what they have to build a state of the art training facility in the region. He said the objective is to give something that will not only give boys and girls the opportunity to maximize their God-given ability but to create sustainable jobs.
“We need your support; we need you guys to keep pushing the politicians. I am not a politician; I don’t want to be a politician. I am a lover of Guyana and the people of Guyana especially young people; that’s what I am here for.”
Bunbury pointed out that all he can remember of Guyana is playing around the village of Plaisance at seven, eight and nine years old, but he got to see the vast beauty of Guyana. “We are blessed.
“This country has all the natural resources that you need to make you a powerhouse economically; so that only tells me one thing; we had a lot of greedy people, we had a lot of selfish people and a lot of people who are more interested in power than wealth.
“The Government needs to be pushed; the government needs to understand that you folks are not feeling it and you need to feel it. Guyana needs something more, our project is bold and progressive and it will create thousands of sustainable jobs and we need to have your support. When we leave here I don’t just want you guys to clap and say ‘wow’. Just go do it and let the Government know you want it right here right now.”
President of the Guyana Football Federation, Wayne Forde, told the gathering that Alex Bunbury is the International Ambassador for football, Hall of Famer. He said in context of what Mr. Bunbury has brought in this bold, progressive plan to build a facility, it will create job opportunities for many builders and engineers and it will also produce of some of the best quality athletes the nation will ever yield in the next couple of years; that is the forward thinking of the Executive Committee of the Guyana Football Federation.
“The Federation wants to unite itself quick. We have been dogged for many years by narrow- minded, small thinking people that occupy the office of power within this country in almost every position of power that wants to keep relegating to the amateur society.
We have to make bold and courageous decisions if we are to get away from this. Who would have thought that a young man would have travelled all the way to Portugal to be looked upon by some of the best coaches in Europe, Who would have thought that we would have someone returning to Guyana after forty years to create those opportunities.”
Mr. Forde noted that when the executive committee took the decision to bestow the title on Mr. Bunbury people called and literally ‘cussed’ them out because they felt that there were other players who were more deserving, but he claimed the notch behind it was too complex for their simple reasoning.
“Mr. Bunbury has the international credentials to overlook these opportunities. Yes there are players who play well and exceptionally well and I will always honour them. So the GFF pledged their support to Mr. Bunbury for the tremendous work he and his team are doing.”
Financial Investor and CEO of ABSAA Les Logsdon said he is behind the project because he had the opportunity his parents didn’t have.
“I was the only one to go to college and the only reason I could go to college is because of sports.” Logsdon said it is not his intention to remain the CEO of ABSAA. He noted his intent is to train people under him to take over the Academy.
“It has never been our goal for me to be the all-time CEO. We will train people to take over right here and that will be my pride. It is my distinct pleasure to be associated with the project.”
Investment Officer Linden Enterprise Network, Walt Glasgow, said that although Alex Bunbury is from Plaisance he decided to open his state of the art Sport Centre in this Region. That is referred to as a very strategic and significant decision.
“It is a good thing because we don’t have sport stores and sport therapists here but he will put the sporting facility here then let the economics of the sport follow it. That is throwing faith in the future.”
Glasgow said that with such a facility located in the region there will be need for stores that supply sports equipment, of high quality and in sufficient quantities. He also remarked “I would not like to see the facility in Linden and somebody from Georgetown coming and setting up a sports store in Linden.”
Also present was the Mayor of Linden Mr. Carwyn Holland who thanked Mr. Bunbury and his team and the President of the GFF for making it possible and said sports is one of the biggest revenue earners in the world.
At the end of the briefing Mr. Bunbury held clinics with school children and coaches at the Mckenzie Sports Club Ground.