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Saturday 17 March 2018

$5M allocation found for repair works for stadium

Sports and Youth Affairs Secretary Jomo Pitt poses for a photo with Shakera Kirk, Most Disciplined Athlete, at last Sunday’s 18th Tobago Falcons Athletic Club awards ceremony at the Dept of Works conference room, Old Government Farm Road, Shaw Park.

Repairs to the Dwight Yorke stadium in Bacolet is expected to begin soon with Secretary for the Division of Sports and Youth Affairs, Jomo Pitt, announcing on Sunday that a contractor has signed a contract to begin work with a $5 million allocation.

Speaking at the 18th Tobago Falcons Athletic Club awards ceremony and dinner at the Dept of Works conference room, Old Government Farm Road, Shaw Park, Pitt said:

“Coming out of that whole commotion of my “none” comment, we have some steps being made. As it stands right now a contractor has been identified and he has signed the contract to do the repairs to get the stadium functioning.”

During the questions for oral answer session at the Tobago House of Assembly plenary at Chamber in Scarborough on November 23, Minority Leader Watson Duke had posed a question to Pitt on the state of repairs at the Dwight Yorke Stadium, given problems with infrastructure, no access to the gym for athletes and no sporting activities happening after sunset because of the unavailability of lights on the field.

In reply, Pitt had said: “My response to the question posed; none.”

Last Sunday, he said works will soon begin but could not say when the project would be completed.

“The timeline is what I’m concerned about. That piece of information is indecisive hence the reason I’m reluctant on giving it out. Once that is out there the questions is ‘would it be ready for…?’ and I am not in a position to say yay or nay. What I can say is the funds have been released and the contractor identified. We are still taking things one step and day at a time,” he said.

“Best case scenario is we would have the Dwight Yorke stadium back on track. I rather hope for the worst and plan for the best. We will look at a way forward to ensure we still have a season here in Tobago. Mr (Durly) Lucas (President of the Falcons Athletic Club) pointing out Barbados being an option for Tobago athletes is something we have to explore because it’s very tragic that our athletes have been left behind because of finances,” he added.

Pitt said that challenging times reveals those who genuinely loves athletics and encouraged athletes and coaches to find creative ways for fund-raising.

“Lots of people getting in for the wrong reasons and when the challenging times comes about, that’s when they bail out. I look forward to seeing who has been left behind since they are the people we at the Division definitely support wholeheartedly as much as we can. In this time communication and collaboration is key,” he said.


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