ST. JOHN’S, ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA – The highly talked about Grays Green covered court and Community centre complex has finally been completed and it is ready to be handed over to the government.
This news was revealed by Cabinet last week after a report by Minister of Sports Daryll Matthew declared that the Chinese government has completed the Knuckle block project. Negotiations on the project began back in 2014.
An exact date has not yet been set for the official handing over ceremony but the sports minister said that a date around the Independence celebrations is being looked at.
According to a government release: “A number of staff will have to be employed to fulfil maintenance, security and cleaning requirements …. However, the positions must first be created before funding can be provided from the Treasury.”
Meanwhile a number of concerns had been raised over the project, expressing disappointment over the size and type of basketball facility being erected in the Gray’s Green community.
Among them was Kebra Nanton, a presidential candidate in the upcoming Antigua and Barbuda Basketball Association elections, who in speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports show, she too was under the impression that the facility, which also houses a community centre, would have been an indoor court with a much larger seating capacity.
Visiting the facility, she said “I am very disappointed because I was really looking forward to the fact that we would have an indoor facility, and when I saw the structure, from the outside, it looks pretty big but when you go inside it’s pretty small. I know I heard Jules [Bowen] saying there is room for seating and whatever but I don’t see it, that it’s going to have that much room for additional seating.”
Minister of Sports and former head of the basketball association, Daryll Matthew, also expressed shock upon realising that the facility was not an indoor one but rather a covered court.
According to Nanton however, if elected, there are plans for the construction of an indoor facility.
“From the association’s point of view you know we cannot do it alone so we would have to partner with the ministry [of sports] for such a thing to get done. We can only continue to speak with the minister [Daryll Matthew] and stress the urgency of us getting an indoor facility . . . I just want to appeal to all the teams to support us,” she said.
The Antigua and Barbuda Basketball Association’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) is slated for October 23 at a venue to be announced. (antiguaobserver)