YASCO renovation could resume in months, says sports minister

A Mondo technician carries out work at YASCO just days before leaving the island as countries closed their borders over coronavirus fears.
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By Neto Baptiste

Work could recommence at the country’s lone track and field facility by June this year.

This is according to Minister of Sports, Daryll Matthew, who said international track building company, Mondo, has reached out to him and are eager to complete the laying of the surface at the YASCO Sports Complex.

“I received communication from Monday on Thursday afternoon [May 7] trying to ascertain when our port will be reopened because they are anxious to have this project finished as well. I did convey the information to them that the airport should be open some time in early to mid-June at the latest, and so they are starting to position themselves and to get the resources on the ground available once the technicians — the two gentlemen who were here to lay the track, they are trying to get these assets mobilized once again so that once the airport reopens — they will have them dispatched to Antigua to continue the work at YASCO and see it through to completion,” he said. 

In March, work at the facility came to a halt as technicians attached to the Mondo company were returning home as countries closed their borders in the fight against the virus. At that point, there was no indication when work at the venue would restart.

Matthew said all continues to be in place from a local standpoint and that all material and equipment required to complete the work remains available to the Mondo certified technicians once they return to Antigua.

“Before the technicians left, immediately prior to the lockdown, they did a last inspection of the adhesive and the rubber itself for the track and they confirmed in writing to us that there is no imminent fear or worry about the adhesive going bad. The Director of Sports, Heather Daley, I know she goes on a daily basis to ensure that the containers are opened and locked so that they don’t stay inside of a locked container and get damaged,” he said.

Rehabilitation work started at the YASCO Sports Complex in 2018 and faced several delays over the past two years.

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