Support For YASCO: Athletics Association Secures Assistance For Erection Of Bathrooms At YASCO

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An artist’s rendering of the master plan for the YASCO Sports Complex (Photo courtesy Everton Cornelius)
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By Neto Baptiste 

The YASCO Sports Complex will be getting not one, but two bathrooms as efforts to complete the overall development of the track and field facility continues.

This is according to President of the Antigua and Barbuda Athletics Association (ABAA), Everton “Mano” Cornelius, who said the body successfully applied to the Department of Environment (DoE) for assistance and that their proposal has been accepted.

“There was an application made to the [Department of Environment] and they have decided they will put the bathrooms in. I think the necessary documents have been prepared and I am just waiting now for them to tell me what is going to be the next move where that is concerned. They will be putting bathrooms on the western side and on the eastern side. We will complete what we have on the eastern side and put a new one on the east,” he said.

The country’s lone track and field facility received Class 2 certification from World Athletics in July 2021 following the successful laying of a new surface supplied by Mondo.

According to Cornelius, wood and metal from the dismantled WIOC double-decker stand will be used to construct seating at the facility during the summer.

“Once we end the track season, we can start that in August, hopefully right after Carnival because we need to have seating in YASCO at least for next season. We really don’t have the luxury and if we had space where people could really come in and park their cars under trees, and it is banked so you can sit on the banking and watch the meets … but we don’t have that luxury and we are confined to a certain amount of space. So, the only how YASCO is going to function properly is by giving us stands inside,” he said. 

The former athlete also stopped short of labelling the committee put in place to manage the facility on which he sits as powerless, stating that the committee’s hands are tied without the proper funding.

“It makes no use I give it to you and say manage it and I am not giving you any money and that’s the bottom line, so we have to be realistic about what we are doing. If the government is going to make an input into YASCO and it’s going to be done through the management team, then they need to say, you need a fence? Give us a cost on that because they did ask for it. I went out, did the costing and I gave it to the chairperson and said, ‘hand that to the minister [Daryll Matthew]’ so the minister knows exactly what it will cost to put the fence up,” Cornelius said.

The facility, two weeks ago, held its first full scale nationals since 2018 in which a number of the country’s top athletes competed.

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