Sport administrators in Tobago have welcomed the news that the Bacolet Indoor Sporting Facility will be completed in a year’s time.
Secretary for Sports and Youth Affairs Jomo Pitt made the announcement on Wednesday at the post Executive Council media conference at the Victor E Bruce Financial Complex, Scarborough.
Pitt said the project, estimated to cost $30 million, will cater to most major sports, including netball and basketball.
He said Towers International was awarded the contract and will complete the designs for the project by next month.
Basketball coach Kerry Celestine said on Thursday an indoor sporting facility in Tobago was long overdue.
“I am excited to see the end result and excited to see how we could use this to develop the sports that will be used in the facility,” he told Newsday.
Celestine, who coaches at the Elite Eagles Basketball Academy, said the facility will further expose players to competitions in an indoor environment.
“It is really great for Tobago because it's always a challenge when we have to play in Trinidad and go against teams who already use indoor facilities with the glass back board. It is a whole new environment, so having players being able to play in that environment would be really good.”
Celestine said teams will also be able to better plan matches and training sessions without having to worry about the possibility of rain interruptions.
“Because when we plan games, we always have to be looking at the rain and the time of the year that we schedule events.”
President of the Tobago Netball League Ruthlyn Antoine said she is pleased progress is finally being made on the long-awaited indoor facility.
“I cannot say that I am not pleased, and I am genuinely happy that some progress has been made,” she said.
Antoine said although the facility will not solve all of the ills surrounding netball in Tobago, it will draw greater exposure to the island by possibly hosting regional and international tournaments.
Antoine said stakeholders in netball were consulted about their needs before Pitt’s announcement on Wednesday.
“So, we hope that what we suggested would have been incorporated in their plans.”