By Neto Baptiste
Senior national sprinter, Daniel Bailey, is lobbying for the speedy completion of the country’s lone track & field facility, the YASCO Sports Complex, adding that the lengthy delay continues to have a negative impact on the development of young and impressionable athletes.
“It is important and especially for the young and upcoming athletes. I am alright because I know how to improvise and we know how to get around and how to get things done but for the young and upcoming athletes, they are the future of Antigua and Barbuda. We have a lot of young and talented athletes and I don’t want to see them go to waste so we need that track. I can preach this and preach that but I don’t know what is going to happen after this,” he said.
Bailey, who holds the national record of 9.91 seconds in the 100 meters, said the facility has gone unattended for far too long and although he welcomes the ongoing efforts to improve conditions at the track, the process has simply dragged on for too long.
“Since 2004, I have been trying to tell these guys that we need a professional track, we need a certified track. We need a track so we could have meets or competitions where we could invite people down and build bigger things. I don’t know what to say or what else to do, so I just kind of sit back, do my thing and watch what’s going on and if anybody is there to be helped and I can, then I just help them,” the athlete said.
Work on laying the certified surface stalled in March after technicians hired by international track-builders, Mondo, were forced to leave for their various home countries as they sought to evade a global lockdown of ports owing to the coronavirus pandemic.
Recent reports have indicated that efforts are being made to have technicians currently working in a nearby Caribbean country, fly into Antigua on completion of their current task with the view of completing the laying of the surface.