By Neto Baptiste
The Minister of Sports, Daryll Matthew, has clarified that government, the NOC and the athletics association, who are the main stakeholders in the YASCO Sports Complex, will remain responsible for all funding and further upgrading of the facility.
His statement comes on the heels of the naming of a five-member committee that will oversee management of the facility regarding scheduling and use.
“The upkeep of a facility like YASCO is expected to be significant and so between the direct entities themselves in terms of the government, NOC and track and field, the responsibility or the burden of ensuring that there are adequate resources in place to maintain the facilities, that burden would go on them. For example, I can say that the NOC has already identified additional funds for the continued work and from time to time the Government of Antigua and Barbuda, through the Ministry of Sports, may allocate funds to do specific activities,” he said.
President of the Antigua and Barbuda Athletics Association (ABAA) Everton Cornelius, Director of Sports Heather Samuel-Daley, Secretary General of the NOC Cliff Williams alongside individual members Michael Freeland and Cleofoster Harris, make up the five-member committee.
Matthew said the make-up of the committee is crucial to any possible success.
“When you comprise committees you try to not get into what is called group-think, and so you try to find persons who do not have a direct interest in the facility to also be on that committee, so that you could have a difference of perspective and a change of ideas and a broader view of the functions of the committee. The role of this committee is really to put policies and procedures in place for the use of the facility to the benefit of all the stakeholders,” he said.
A brief opening ceremony was held at the facility on Tuesday during which a number of officials addressed a small gathering on the further development of the country’s lone track and field facility.