Despite the absence of budgetary allocation in the 2015/2016 National Budget, the Intra-Governmental League will still be staged as planned, the Ministry of Youth and Sports has confirmed.
Usually, at least US$15,000 is allotted for the Intra-Government, formerly Inter-Ministerial League, a tournament that that brings together all line ministries, agencies, public corporations and other branches of government together through various sporting disciplines.
The Ministry clarified that it would still host the Intra-Governmental League amidst rumor of cancellation because of the lack of budgetary allocation.
Making the confirmation over the weekend Assistant Youth and Sports Minister for Sports, Murvee Gray said the participants have agreed to underwrite the cost of the tournament.
He said due to the budgetary shortfall national government did not allocate any amount for the competition, but confirmed that ministries, agencies and public corporations that want to compete in the tournament have agreed to register with US$500 in other to help the Ministry organize the tournament.
He revealed that about 32-teams have expressed interest in participating.
Minister Gray said the tournament is expected to kick off on March 22 and the Ministry has earmarked the Barrack Young Controller Sports Pitch and the Willis Knuckles Sports Pitch in Zubah Town Duport Road for the competition.
He said despite criticism from some quarters that the competition has no significance; the Sports Ministry believes the tournament plays a major role in recreation, arguing that it helps to keep public servants healthy and allow junior staff to interact with senior staff.
“Exercise plays a vital role in the existence of human beings. Some of these government employees, mainly ministers and directors don’t have the time to exercise so the tournament provides that. When you are sick doctors tell you to exercise, when you are suffering from paralysis doctors tell you to exercise, so that is the intent of this tournament,” Minister Gray added.
He said even though the amount that will be generated from the registration process may not be enough to run the tournament the Ministry will look forward for sponsorship.
Meanwhile, it may be recalled that Deputy Sports Minister Henry Yonton said the tournament would be limited to football and kickball.
In the 2015 Intra-Governmental League, eight public institutions separately participated, in special tournament to celebrate the victory over the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).