By Neto Baptiste
President of the National Olympic Committee (NOC) and the country’s foreign affairs minister, EP Chet Greene, supports plans by the Ministry of Sports to replace a marine-themed painting that occupied the perimeter walls at the YASCO Sports Complex with images and renderings of former athletes and administrators.
“It was a very carefully thought-through and thought-out arrangement, because what you see here now was always something in the works, but … again, I want to be very clear, pellucid, in stating that I fully endorse the intention of the Ministry of Sports to use those walls as hallowed walls to reflect the achievements and work done by our athletes past, and as an encouragement for athletes coming up because it is on the shoulders of those past athletes that these athletes now serve this nation. I wish this concept be replicated across the country where in communities, the walls are adorned with pictures of persons from within the communities,” he said.
The former sports minister spoke on the heels of news that an image of the former prime minister and national athlete, Sir Lester Bird, would be the first to grace the wall.
Sports minister Daryll Matthew made the disclosure late August, revealing that a decision had been reached to do away with the arrangement which began in 2009.
Greene reminded that he also played a pivotal role in the refurbishing of the wall in 2017, but is adamant the time has come for change.
“I also re-commissioned the last time it was painted, and I am sure that the Ministry of Sports would have shared with you that it was done on a contractual arrangement for two years where there was permission granted, and so I want to be very clear in stating that I fully endorse the actions of the Ministry of Sports by heralding, by way of encouragement and recognition, our athletes who have done well for this country and have represented us, and so again, it serves a very useful purpose,” he said.
In February 2017, the 2009 creation – overseen by famed US conservationist and artist Robert Wyland – was refurbished with the help of local sponsors.