Upgrade on track

Minister of Sports Stephen Lashley (second right) at the National Stadium today.

Not only will the track at the National Stadium be getting an upgrade, but five additional fields will be enhanced before the next athletic season starts, revealed Minister of Sports Stephen Lashley.

He gave this assurance while touring the National Stadium today with construction and other officials to gauge the progress being made at the Waterford, St. Michael facility.

Lashley said the National Sports Council would be preparing five fields, namely those at Foundation School, Lester Vaughan, Friendship, Harrison College and Coleridge and Parry. This would be done, he said, as a precaution if the National Stadium track was not ready by January next year.

“I was assured by the contractors and the engineers that everything is going according to plan and certainly I would be again revisiting at a later date to view the progress,” Lashley said, while praising the workers for the progress today.

The minister also said the NSC had recently concluded a strategic plan for sports and built into that plan was a high performance programme. He said Government essentially wanted to provide the kind of support for athletes in relation to their health and well being once they could access the funds. He

said Barbados would be reaching out to a number of agencies and countries to form strategic alliances with the view to supporting both the elite and emerging athletes.

“While in London [Olympics] I visited one of the top high performance universities and part of the interest of the Ministry of Sport would be to have possible linkages with that university in order to gain more exposure. I believe the time has come to focus on some activities which we can do well and that we can map out a plan of action to make sure that we can indeed excel at Rio [de Janiero],” he said, referring to the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.

He added: “We are very keen on seeking funding to support a strategic programme which is being pushed by the NSC to ensure they could have certain vital facilities available for both the elite and emerging athletes and some of that relates to medical and physiotherapy. They are also hoping to see the coaches being exposed as well.”

According to the minister, the intention of the Government and the NSC was to do as much as possible to support local athletes toward the next Olympic games. (ML)

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