Guyana will be prominently represented by Benjamin Mekdeci in the Squash tournament at the upcoming US Open.
Tourism, Industry and Commerce Minister, Irfaan Ali has fully endorsed Mekdeci as a sports and tourism ambassador for Guyana, even as he recognized the young man’s talents and ability as a Caribbean champion in Squash.
Minister Ali met with members of the Mekdeci family, including Dr. Kelly Mekdeci, the Director of the Georgetown International Academy and her son Benjamin, in his Ministry’s South Road office.
“We are happy to say that Ben, whose mother is an American and whose dad is Guyanese, chose to represent Guyana at the US Open Squash tournament, as a Guyanese. We are endorsing him as a sports ambassador,” the Tourism Minister explained.
According to Dr. Mekdeci, both of her children are American by birth and Benjamin objected to being registered for the tournament as an American, but chose instead to register as a Guyanese and to represent the country.
She said, “He objected and protested that he wanted to register as a Guyanese, he feels very strongly about that.”
As to the significance of this move by the young squash champion, Ali announced that all Guyana should be proud of Benjamin representing the Golden Arrowhead.
“We are delighted in relation to you representing our country and in this case it is special that Benjamin chose to be an ambassador of Guyana. Sports in indeed a very important avenue, not only for the field but for tourism and being at that level representing Guyana and holding up the Guyana flag, will definitely bring a lot of attention to our country,” Minister Ali continued.
The Tourism Minister announced too that a ‘Sports Ambassador Programme’ will soon be launched; this will see local sports men and women being tasked with the role of representing Guyana as tourism brand ambassadors.
Ali said too that this will add to the country’s value in terms of marketing and promotion and will serve to further enhance Guyana’s image, internationally.
Benjamin was presented with tokens of appreciation and samples of Tourism literature to use, in an effort to spread awareness, as he embraces his new role as a tourism ambassador for Guyana.
“I am very pleased to have the opportunity of representing Guyana, this is a great honour,” Benjamin Mekdeci declared.