By Neto Baptiste
The National Olympic Committee (NOC) stands ready, through its international partners in IOC and PASO, to financially support the future development of the YASCO Sports Complex.
This is according to president of the organisation, EP Chet Greene, who said that although the body funded the resurfacing of the track at the St. John’s facility, the NOC is willing and ready to assist in any further development at the complex.
“We have done that, which we needed to do in the first round, and that is to make a track available to the youngsters in Antigua and Barbuda. We are in discussions with the Ministry of Sports and the athletics association with respect to the development plans for YASCO, and the NOC will continue to work with the organisations mentioned [IOC/PASO] for the purpose of developing YASCO into a first-class athletics track facility for Antigua and Barbuda and for our athletes,” he said.
Greene, last year, announced that the NOC had sought and received permission to utilize funds allocated for the construction of its local headquarters towards the purchasing and laying of a new Mondo surface at YASCO.
Also the country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Greene said that if needed, he will once again approach both the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Pan Am Sports for additional funding.
“When we see the master plan and the next round of development work they will present, then we will go to our international partners to see what level of funding we can get to assist with the continued development of YASCO. Don’t forget that athletics is still the darling of the Olympic Games and all the other multi-sports games so we have a vested interest in ensuring that athletics, in track or field events, are adequately serviced and that our youngsters are given that kind of development, attention and assistance,” he said.
In July, the YASCO Sports Complex was internationally certified as a Class 2 athletics facility by World Athletics.
The second phase in the redevelopment of YASCO would involve the erection of stands, a perimeter fence around the track and bathroom and changing facilities.