Capoey hoping to produce star athletes, but needs resources

Capoey’s Sports Coordinator Jumol Allicock

By Jemima Holmes

Nestled between forest and lake on the Essequibo Coast, there is much for Capoey to offer to Guyana. While the village is big on tourism, there is a strong camaraderie when it comes to sports. As told by Sport Coordinator Jumol Allicock, there is a wealth of talent, but improvements are needed.

According Allicock, there are a number of potential talents in the village, across the sports of cricket, football, volleyball and athletics.Allicock described sporting events in Capoey Mission as a community effort, where everyone would chip in for the preparation and then share the spoils afterward.

“We as Amerindians say we come on a ‘Kayap’. A kayap is where you cook, you have drinks and so on. So that’s the first thing in preparation that we do.”

Allicock went on to explain, “When we’re doing a game or we have our sports day or something, we come together, all the youths come together. If there is a field to clean or prepare, we come together. We work together and cook. The next day we come and make sure the stumps are up, the boundary poles are in place and then we play.”

The harmony in the village does not stop there, as Allicock said people come from all walks in the surrounding environs to the Capoey Sports Ground which is located in a central part of the village, just off the Mission’s boat landing.

“During the game, it’s a whole lot of fun. Cause you’re seeing people come from all different directions, you might see them come out from a little path, you might see them come up from here [the boat landing], everywhere you see them coming out, in different colours too,” the young man highlighted.


The existing Capoey Sports Ground on which all activities are held

He added, “If they win something, they come together and they share it up, or they buy some stuff and everybody sits and laugh and gyaff and enjoy the moment”.

It is no secret that far-flung communities in Guyana are not as fortunate as those in townships, when it comes to benefitting from resources. This is precisely the case for Capoey Mission, on the Essequibo Coast, which is only accessible by boat.

The village, which has a rich Amerindian history, is quite popular for tourism, however, they one day hope to produce athletes of national and international calibre.

“Capoey have a lot of raw talent, especially in running. We have some good runners but the only thing, I think, they aren’t getting these opportunities to go here and go there. In football, we have really good talent, we have players playing for different clubs but they ain’t getting the full opportunity to get this national experience or get an opportunity to feel what it feels like to play somewhere out of Capoey or out of the region,” Allicock related.

However, in order to develop those talents, the community is in need of better facilities. In Allicock’s opinion, sport gears and an indoor facility would be perfect.

“Well, gears especially.”

“If we talk about cricket, if we talk about football, most players and so on can’t afford to buy a cricket boots, or a cricket pad or a football boots and so on, it’s expensive.”
“So gears are one of the disadvantages, when it comes to a player getting full equipped for the game,” Allicock further stated.

On the matter of the indoor facility, he posited, “An upgrade in the area, and so on, especially something indoor. Like a sports centre inside, where you could get different indoor games, because not every day you come, you feel like coming outside and you know, playing.”

For now, Capoey is quite contented with the joy and unity that sport brings to their quaint village.