YASCO upgrade stalled, funds remain unconfirmed says Cornelius

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President of the Antigua and Barbuda Athletics Association (ABAA), Everton Cornelius, said no real work will start at the country’s lone track and field facility, the YASCO Sports Complex, until there is confirmation that funds needed to get the works done are available.
The former athlete, while speaking on the Good Morning JoJo Sports Show, said that aspect of the project is being handled by Minister of Sports, EP Chet Greene.
“I want to make sure the finance is in place for the track. It is not as simple as saying to come and grade the field because grading the field is the first step because we have to level the inner field to match what we have existing there at the track and that’s what we are working on now,” he said.
“Before I can do anything in terms of removing the long jump pit and certain things, we are going to still need to continue our training. We need to know for sure that the finances for the track is in place so we can move forward and that question needs to be answered by the minister [EP Chet Greene],” he added.
Work started at the facility two weeks ago with the levelling of the playing field but has since stopped with no word as to when work would resume.
In October, Greene said a specific cost is yet to be attached to the planned upgrading and refurbishing of the facility.
Funding for the project has reportedly been secured through international partners, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO).
Cornelius said the civil works aspect of the project must be completed before they can move forward.
“People need to understand that just to say Mondo is here doesn’t mean anything. Mondo is here to sell you a track.
Anybody can sell you a track but Mondo has the inroad to the IAAF because they are one of the IAAF partners so 90 percent of the people who are building track would go to Mondo because they can help you work along with the IAAF in getting you a grant from the IAAF and other organisations like PASO and the IOC,” he said.
“The civil works is our work, so Mondo has no concern in that. They would send their technicians to make sure it’s done right because if it’s not done right to their specifications they would never lay their surface,” the athletics boss added.
Initial figures had placed the estimated cost between U.S. $6 and 10 million.
Last week, schools were informed by the ministry that they should seek alternate venues at which to host their individual sports days owing to the unavailability of YASCO.

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