By Joseph Chapman
The community of Retrieve will now benefit from a newly rehabilitated and enhanced sporting facility which was sponsored by oil and gas company EXXONMOBIL. The enhancement project features two new pavilions. The contract was awarded to Cerulean Incorporated. The simple handing over ceremony was held on Saturday and saw in attendance company officials, community and regional officials. Mayor-Elect Sharma Solomon, in his welcome remarks, pointed out the importance and significance it holds for the community of Retrieve.
Regional Chairman Deron Adams said the ExxonMobil’s demonstration to the development of youth and sports in Linden must be commended and is very much appreciated. “The Retrieve Hard Court will almost certainly have to serve as the primary venue for basketball and volleyball in the near future, as the Mackenzie Sports Club Hard Court is currently unavailable to our players at the moment, and the provision of this input to address proper accommodation for fans and patrons to host these games in Linden.”
An enthusiastic Adams, commended the Retrieve Raiders Basketball Club for their diligence in pursuing the development of these facilities resulting in securing this assistance from ExxonMobil.”
Adams, who grew up in Retrieve said he is cognizant of the importance of the facility to youth development and is pleased to be able to give back through civic services to the community.
“The Retrieve Hard court, or as we call it locally, ‘the back court’, is a location that needed developmental input over the years, but in some instances lost out on this input, I daresay, because of emphasis placed on other facilities that at the time were more in use. However, recent events would have seen this court gaining notice, since it unfortunately moved up from being second place on the Mackenzie shore, to basically being the only one available.” Chairman Adams said.
It provides not only a venue for playing basketball and volleyball, but is also integral to the physical development of the students who attend the schools in the catchment area. These institutions must be able not only to use the facility, it must participate in its upkeep and protection as its own.
Mr. Matthew Scharf, Public and Government Affairs Managerof ExxonMobil said, “It’s truly my pleasure to represent ExxonMobil here today and one of our community investment focus area here is youth development and community empowerment. We are striving not just to make a positive impact not only in Region Four, but in communities around Guyana. And we are passionate and particular about our involvement in youth and sport.”
He said ExxonMobil over the years supported development in various sports disciplines in Linden including its partnership with New Era in futsal and football.
“We wanted to see if we can take that a little further and that is something that has brought us here to the Retrieve Hard Court. For ExxonMobil I am sure you can appreciate we have operations around the world, we have operations 120 miles off shore in Guyana and safety is really at the forefront of everything that we do. It could be easily overlooked when enjoying sporting events. The safety of the people watching is vital also with the participants, and so we are happy to be part of offering teams and supporters a safe and comfortable environment that would be to further the development of sports in Linden.
President of the Retrieve Raiders Basketball Club, Pastor Richard McDonald, in remarks, said for the Retrieve Raiders, it has been a long wait to get the facility back into a respectable state for over three decades. According to McDonald, “Today it has come to fruition, and I really want to express our gratitude on behalf of the Retrieve Raiders executives and everyone else involved, I want to say thank you.”
Also present were Deputy Mayor elect Dominique Blair, regional and municipal councillors along with players from the Retrieve Raiders and Kings Basketball Clubs and other regional officials.