By Neto Baptiste
Minister of Sports Daryll Matthew does not support talks of imposing a fee for public use of the YASCO Sports Complex, but accepts usage of the facility must be better managed going forward.
His statement comes on the heels of further suggestions by head of the athletics association, Everton Cornelius, that members of the public make a monetary contribution to exercise at the refurbished track.
“That position will not ever receive my support and I do understand that there may be restrictions regarding the facility and it can’t just be a free for all and you walk in and ride your bike or drive your quad or just use the facility like that. It must be a managed space but that managed space cannot involve the public having to pay a fee to use it. My question would be, what is the fee to be used for? You can’t charge a fee that is prohibitive, and the two dollars, three dollars or five dollars really is a drop in the bucket to maintain a facility like YASCO,” he said.
Matthew, who predicts that work on the laying of the surface could be completed within days, hinted that a board could be formed to manage the facility as they seek to limit the hold of any one entity over track.
“For example, the Director of Sports [Heather Samuel Daley] may be the Ministry of Sports’ representative on that committee that manages YASCO. The athletics association may nominate someone, the National Olympic Committee may [nominate] their general secretary [Cliff Williams] and they will determine how the facility is used so the public may have certain hours that they can use the facility in a particular way. We may take a decision where we say there will be no fetes at the venue but the point I am making is that there is not going to be the purview of one entity to determine that YASCO is now done so we will determine what happens here,” the minister said.
Cornelius, in a recent interview, said that although the matter has not been discussed with all the relevant stakeholders, he would push for instituting a fee or contribution by members of the public wishing the use the facility for exercise purposes. He added however that strict guidelines would be implemented.