CHAIRMAN of the Sport Company of Trinidad and Tobago (SporTT) Douglas Camacho said all local sporting venues will be ready for the 2023 Commonwealth Youth Games, including the Dwight Yorke Stadium, Bacolet which will stage the track and field events.
In the national budget on September 26, it was revealed that $15 million through the Infrastructure Development Fund will be used to complete renovations at the Dwight Yorke Stadium.
The sport programme for the 2023 Commonwealth Youth Games, which will be held from August 4-11, was confirmed last month.
The seven sports that will feature at the Commonwealth Youth Games are swimming (boys/girls), athletics (boys/girls), cycling (boys/girls), netball (girls), rugby sevens (boys/girls), triathlon (boys/girls) and beach volleyball (boys/girls).
The Commonwealth Youth Games were initially scheduled to be held in TT in 2021, but was postponed because of the covid19 pandemic.
“We have additional work to be done to prepare for the Commonwealth Youth Games…but most of the work in the Dwight Yorke (Stadium) is done,” Camacho said.
Giving details of what needs to be done at Dwight Yorke, Camacho said, “Just some repairs to the track, plus other things that were left outstanding.”
The electronic scoreboard at Dwight Yorke Stadium needs minimal work before the games begin.
The other three venues which will stage events during the games are Ato Boldon Stadium, National Cycling Velodrome and the National Aquatic Centre. The three venues are all located in Couva.
Discussing the other facilities which will be used for the Commonwealth Youth Games, Camacho said, “We are focusing because of the Commonwealth Youth Games (at) Ato Boldon (Stadium) and making sure that the Home of Football (is ready) because that is the village that is going to house people. We will work with the TT Football Association and the normalisation committee to make sure that we bring that right up to speed in time for the Commonwealth Youth Games.
“The focus is making sure that the facilities for that (Games) are right up to speed. The (National) Aquatic Centre and the (National) Cycling Velodrome are fine.”
Other than Dwight Yorke Stadium, Pigeon Point in Tobago will be used to host beach volleyball and triathlon will be held in Buccoo.
The Junior Pan American Swimming Championships were held successfully at the National Aquatic Centre in June.
Camacho said that event was an adequate test event for the Commonwealth Youth Games.
“We just hosted a big Pan Am Championships there…(at the Aquatic Centre and Velodrome). We have work going on in the Velodrome still. We continue to do refurbishment work and air conditioning and those things, but that will be fine.”
The Commonwealth Youth Games are ten months away, but Camacho wants all facilities ready months before.
“(We are) ten months from the starting date, (but) we don’t have ten months. I want that finished in six months.”
Camacho said it would be ideal if test events can be held prior to the games to ensure the venues are ready.
In a Facebook post in September, Minister of Sport and Community Development Shamfa Cudjoe said the Games will highlight TT to the world. “The sporting activities will take place in two clusters, one in Couva, Trinidad and the other in Tobago, to bring a diverse perspective of the twin island country to the nations of the Commonwealth, as well as to showcase a festival of the country’s activities.”