By Neto Baptiste
President of the National Olympic Committee (NOC) and a former sports minister EP Chet Greene, has welcomed news that technicians employed by international track builders, Mondo, have completed the laying and marking of the internationally certified surface at the YASCO Sports Complex.
In an interview with Observer media, Greene said the country’s track and field athletes will benefit tremendously from the initiative and pledged he body’s support for future initiatives at the facility.
“Well, it is now a job done and I would qualify it by saying, ‘well done’; I am pleased. I am pleased to have played a part, not only personal but from the NOC’s point of view in presenting the young people of this country with an international facility or track. The work is work in progress and we in the NOC will continue to make interventions and contributions towards the build out of YASCO,” he said.
Greene, last year, revealed that funds designated to the erection of an NOC office here had been redirected, with the blessings of Pan Am Sports, towards the purchasing and laying of the new certified surface.
The country’s foreign affairs minister said the decision garnered support from a vast majority of the NOC’s executive at the time and one that he will never regret.
“I was able to convince my executive that with the best looking executive in the world and without a facility for athletes that it is really naught and I believe that the country on a whole would agree with my assessment. There was only one person that I could recall who, even now, continues to challenge the decision but we got the blessings from our international parent body which is the Pan American Sports which is the source of the funding. We will continue to use funding or programmes within the Pan Am calendar to not only provide for YASCO but for other disciplines within the Olympic family,” he said.
Greene also joined those calling for a total shift from public access to the general public for exercise purposes.
“Once you would allow use of the facility to all and sundry, then you run into the problem we had in the past of control and abuse. I believe that the Ministry of Sports has done quite a bit of work in terms of preparing the facility at the stadium [Sir Viv Richards Cricket Ground] and maybe some more work can be done in terms of adding lighting around the stadium and encourage more persons to use the stadium facilities for exercising. I believe YASCO should be left for its purpose of our young athletes in track and field,” he said.
A second phase of the refurbishing efforts is expected to include seating, along with bathroom and dressing room areas.