By Neto Baptiste
United Progressive Party (UPP) candidate for the St. Peters constituency and national footballer, Tevaughn Harriet, said that although he welcomes the laying of a new and certified surface at the YASCO Sports Complex but said the lengthy delay may have resulted in the loss of an entire generation of athletes.
Speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show, Harriet noted that the track has been out of operation for some three years, meaning that there would have been three inter-schools meets and three national championships that would not have been held during that period.
“There’s a lot of talent in this country that have gone to waste because of the lengthy delay, and Cejhae Greene just gave a good example of that. There’s talent here and of the track was done in adequate time I think that we would see more of our athletes making a breakthrough,” he said.
The laying of the new surface by Mondo technicians at the country’s lone track & field facility was completed some weeks ago with government promising to launch into the next phase of the project in short order. Phase two would include stands and bathrooms.
Harriet, who opted out of travelling with the senior national football team as they play in Group A of the CONCACAF leg of FIFA World Cup Qualifiers because of injury, also called on the football association to create more professional opportunities for players.
“I don’t think the FA is doing enough in terms of getting the local players out professionally. I have a good rapport with the guys [players] in St Kitts and what they explained to me is that the FA seeks teams around Europe and offers to send the players, pay their full ticket and accommodation and if the player does make it onto the professional set up, or if he doesn’t, then he simply returns,” he said.
“There is no professional team that would want to send a ticket for a player to come, pay for his accommodations and his meals without knowing what they are getting but if the FA is offering to pay for the ticket so the player could go to the club and you never know, they may pull the rabbit out of the hat,” he added.
The Antigua and Barbuda Benna Boys are currently contesting Group A of the World Cup Qualifiers and are scheduled to face USVI on Saturday in the USVI.