‘I Am Very Embarrassed’, Sports Minister Says Of Unfinished YASCO Bathrooms

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By Neto Baptiste

Minister of Sports Daryll Matthew said he is “embarrassed” by the fact there is still no bathroom facilities at the country’s lone track and field facility, the YASCO Sports Complex. 

Speaking recently on the Good Morning Jojo sports show, Matthew admitted that completion of the structure currently at the south western end of the facility is “taking too long” but added that support is on the way.

“Senator [Shenella] Govia, who is the parliamentary secretary in the ministry and who works along with me, she convened a meeting with the Environment Division [who] indicated that they do have project funds at their disposal that they can use to complete that facility at YASCO, and so that is something I was brought up to speed with. I hope it really does happen because I am very embarrassed every time I come here to talk about the bathrooms at YASCO,” he said.  

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An estimated $90,000 had been budgeted for the completion of the controversial bathroom structure located at the south-eastern end of the facility

In March last year, President of the Antigua and Barbuda Athletics Association (ABAA) Everton “Mano” Cornelius said work was set to recommence on the existing structure originally allocated to house bathrooms. Some $90,000 had been allotted for the completion of the controversial structure.

The unfinished structure, on which in excess of $400,000 had already been spent prior to 2014, has remained untouched since then.

Matthew said the government is currently looking at ways in which they could develop and properly maintain the country’s sporting infrastructure.

“Over the last few weeks I’ve had discussions with the University of the West Indies Five Islands Campus and the project team down there — our project team that is in place to oversee the build out of the campus with the funds we have gotten from the Saudi Development Fund. When we presented the master plan to the public, one of the elements of that master plan was a modern sporting complex which included a track, a cricket facility, an indoor multipurpose facility and a pool,” he said.

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Minister of Sports, Daryll Matthew

YASCO, country’s lone track and field facility received Class 2 certification from World Athletics in July 2021 following the successful laying of a new surface supplied by Mondo.

Athletes, officials and spectators are however still left at a disadvantage due to the absence of basic amenities to include bathroom and changing facilities, covered stands and adequate seating.

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