By Neto Baptiste
The Ministry of Sports has issued a stern warning to members of the public who continue to ignore signs posted at the YASCO Sports Complex that they should not venture onto the track for exercise and/or other personal reasons as construction at the facility is ongoing.
Director of Sports, Heather Samuel Daley, said members of the public are blatantly defying the warning signs and pleas from security personnel against venturing onto the unfinished surface.
“One afternoon, just after completing the blowing of the surface, here comes a vehicle driving in on the track. The tyre marks were there visibly so everybody could see, so what could get up in somebody’s head to realise what is happening at YASCO and coming in with a car on the surface,” she said.
“There is a sign there, two now, because we have put another one so that we can ask persons not to come in. There is a part in the fence on the western side of YASCO that persons just keep going through and just slithering through like snakes. The security guards are also complaining that when they ask persons to leave the area it’s one big ‘steups’ [sucking of the teeth] and they continue to do whatever they are doing so I told him to call the police,” the former sprinter said.
Technicians from the US-based Mondo company are currently in Antigua to oversee the laying of the surface in hopes of bringing the long-running project to conclusion.
Daley warns that the slightest miscalculation could result in track not being certified by the relevant authorities.
“What is happening is that the technicians from Mondo are here and because the work is so technical, they don’t even want a pebble on the surface because if there is a pebble on the surface when they are ready to lay the rubber it is a detriment to an athlete and so we have to be constantly blowing. As soon as they find pebble on there from persons constantly walking across and so on, they want us to blow. If it’s off by just a few centimeters then that would mean the track will not be certified,” the former Sportswoman of the Year said.
Rehabilitation work started at the YASCO Sports Complex in 2018 and faced several delays over the past two years.