An All-inclusive Approach: UPP’s St Mary’s South Hopeful Promises Dialogue Ahead Of Meaningful Changes For Sports

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United Progressive Party (UPP) candidate for St. Mary’s South, Kelvin “Shugy” Simon.
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By Neto Baptiste

United Progressive Party (UPP) candidate for St Mary’s South, Kelvin “Shugy” Simon, said the party will take an all-inclusive approach as they seek to implement an aggressive sports development programme looking at the redevelopment and maintenance of sporting facilities across Antigua and Barbuda.

Speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show, Simon said there has been multiple discussions at the party level concerning the way forward for what they consider an important part of everyday life in Antigua and Barbuda.

“We don’t want to go about re-inventing the wheel as it relates to sports and sports policies, so we want to meet with the stakeholders in every sporting discipline — like the cycling association, the swimming association, football association, the basketball association and others — to put together a plan. What we have seen throughout the years is that governments come into play and ministers take it upon themselves to make decisions and not consult with people on the ground and in the everyday running of these sports, so we don’t want to take that road. We want to sit with people and craft a plan so that when the plan is crafted, everybody feels as if they are being catered to,” he said. 

An avid lover of sports and a guidance counsellor within the Ministry of Education, Simon revealed plans to allocate a portion of the funds generated via the CIP initiative towards the maintenance of sports facilities.

“You put your money where your mouth is because we can’t talk it and not put money and as an administration it is something we are discussing, it’s something that is heavily on the agenda right now where we are going to allocate funding for not only the development of sports but for the infrastructure and the maintenance of the infrastructure throughout the country. We plan to use some of the CIP funding to upgrade our facilities,” the candidate said. 

The aspiring MP also publicised plans for the renovation of a number of facilities with the St Mary’s South constituency.

“We’ll be renovating the fields, definitely, in terms of football as our number one sports in terms of following. So what I’d like to see once we win, and if I am given the portfolio as minister of sports, is that we have home and away games at the premier level. We need to take sports into the communities or decentralise it because right now it is very centralised and everybody has to come to town to see a premier game and we want to upgrade the facilities as such that we have seating, bathrooms, changing rooms, seating and all of that,” Simon said.

Simon, in August this year, was named as a replacement for Corthwright Marshall who was removed from the UPP’s slate due to concerns for his health.

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