ST. JOHN’S, ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA – The erection of proper seating at the country’s lone track and field facility could be a reality by the end of this year even as authorities move to repair the unusable surface currently occupying the YASCO Sports Complex.
This is according to President of the Antigua and Barbuda Athletics Association (ABAA), Everton Cornelius who, earlier this week, said that a new track and other refurbishing work at the facility could be completed by the end of October this year.
Cornelius said he is already in talks with some companies that provide seating for sporting venues.
“At this present moment I am speaking to several companies to give me quotations on the required number of seating. We are looking for a covered grandstand. So if we are looking for about 3,500 [seating capacity] we want at least 1,000 seats covered with a press box area,” he said.
The former athlete warned however, that the move to erect proper seating at the venue is separate from works being carried out on the rebuilding of the track, which he said will be done by international track builders, Mondo.
“The track is the track, so that is Mondo, and that is something totally different but the rest of it rests on us as the government, athletic association, the NOC and all of us working together to see how quickly we could, at least, and hopefully I would want to believe that we could have all of this being in one package.
“So by the time they are doing the track and towards the ending of that we can start the construction of the seating or we can start or even before that, start the construction of the seating once a decision can be made,” the athletics boss said.
Refurbishing of the track is expected to commence in August and end in October of this year.
The athletics association had been forced to cancel its National Championships this year while organisers of the annual schools athletics championships also cancelled their competition over the poor condition of the track.
Last year July while speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show, Everton Cornelius did reveal that the association had been bombarded with inquiries from neighbouring islands, as to why they are not invited to Antigua’s national championships, adding that it is time for something to be done to the YASCO Sports Complex.
“I hope we can have some movement where the track is concerned by the middle of August so at least, we could have a track for next season. If we do not have a track next season then I do not know what is going to happen because we are having some challenges when it comes to going to other people’s territory,” he said.
“Everybody is looking at Antigua now because it is since some time in 1990 when Antigua had put themselves up to host the Carifta event and it never materialised. People are saying to us now that you have just been traveling out to all these meets in different places, and it’s time enough that Antigua does something and start inviting people up to participate in Antigua.” (antiguaobserver)