By Carlena Knight
Following the postponement of domestic sports in the country, and the barring of national sporting teams competing in regional and international events, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the sporting body of Antigua and Barbuda received another blow as it was announced that work at the lone track and field facility has been postponed.
In earlier reports, it was revealed that the final stage of the resurfacing of the track was underway as technicians from MONDO were on island, but that process has now been halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Minister responsible for Sports, Honourable Daryll Matthew made the revelation while on the Good Morning JoJo Sports show yesterday.
“The development is that we have to pause again. The technicians have expressed some very real concerns about the health and safety of their families back in Panama, and I believe, Cuba, and with the rapid spread of the coronavirus worldwide and airports closing, they have decided that they prefer to be with their families at this point in time which is understandable, and so they are leaving today. They are trying to get out today so the work at YASCO will definitely go on pause yet again. For how long? We don’t know because I don’t think anyone knows how long this pandemic will be with us, and that’s just where we are.”
Matthew says he is unsure if the track will be given the priority by MONDO itself, but still remains optimistic that once the coronavirus pandemic subsides, that work will be resumed in short order.
“I can’t answer that question, but I would assume so, but I am not in a position to answer that question. But like I said, I fully understand and appreciate their position because if I were abroad working, and there was a global crisis in place, I would want to be with my family and so whether if we are on the top of the list or second, I hope we are at the top of the list, and I suspect we would be because work all over is stopping, so I am assuming that they would just resume; MONDO I mean now, would just continue the worldwide projects and contracts where they left off.”
He did however mention that the work was going along well before the delay, and that once it continues, there should not be any problems.
“There were one or two minor adjustments that had to be made, so they had to grind down a few areas that were still a little high, but for the most part they were okay, you know.
“The adhesive is still in good condition. In fact, they were just saying this morning because my concern was that if it would expire before things normalize, and they said that’s not an issue to worry about; the adhesive is still good, just put it back where you got it before and when they come back they will continue.”
With regards to the issue of persons using the facility for exercise or even as a route walking home, he says the Ministry will have to look into better-securing the complex
It will remain closed to the public.