As he lauded the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) for its work in 2021, President Dr Irfaan Ali on Wednesday positioned that the country’s men and women in uniform must, in the new year, pay more attention to their fitness.
The Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces made the call during the opening of the GDF Annual Officers’ Conference 2023.
“I told the Chief of Staff, this year, that we have to pay…specific attention, to the fitness of our men and women in uniform. And it’s an important part of who we are and what we demonstrate to the society. Health and wellness and physical fitness begins here (in the GDF), you are a demonstration of what physical fitness should be, and must be, and must look like,” the Head of State noted.
“And it’s not an accidental task. You see, sports men and women, when they go into their field, they have to ensure they run a certain fitness level before they qualify even for selection. When you’re in uniform, you have a responsibility to keep yourself ready and part of being ready is being fit,” President Ali asserted.
“So, fitness is an important part of what we do and who we are. And I hope that this year, we will pay a lot more attention on the nimbleness of the Force, which includes the fitness of the Force.”
Meanwhile, President Ali noted that since the last Conference in 2021, he has since a “deliberate, coordinated and energetic effort” on the part of the GDF, in strategically positioning itself along identified areas which included national development.
“I want to compliment the leadership of the Guyana Defence Force for your commitment, not only to national defence, but national development,” President Ali expressed.
President Ali noted too that when it comes to physical fitness, soldiers can continue to play a role in national development, in the area of sport.
“This year, I propose that we develop within the Guyana Defence Force, a team of coaches in various sporting disciplines: cricket, football, volleyball, rugby…and have these coaches dispatched to communities to help develop and hone the talents of the young people.”
He also proposed the development of fitness zones. “…encouraging community members to come out and to join you, three times every week, for 30 minutes, in building a new culture of fitness, wellness and health, in our communities and society.”