Nation e-Edition

On track!

On track! Track and field is off and running at Kensington Oval.

By JUSTIN MARVILLE | Fri, January 18, 2013 - 12:10 AM

THE MAN IN CHARGE of Kensington Oval doesn’t believe the facility will be run ragged by athletics.

The acting chief executive officer of Kensington Oval Management Inc. (KOMI), Ben Toppin, says the heavy traffic of the current track and field calendar should not cause too much wear and tear on the outfield ahead of the regional and international cricket season.

Toppin gave the assurance during Eden Lodge Primary School’s sports day yesterday in light of concerns expressed about the already deteriorating outfield following the Oval’s recent staging of two football tournaments.

“I don’t see a problem, but we’re watching it very closely over the next couple days to see the effect of two or three days of running and then the growth rate of the grass,” said Toppin from the grounds of the Oval.

Please read the full story in today’s WEEKEND NATION, or in the eNATION edition.

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Posted by Carl Harper 1 year, 9 months ago
Kensington Oval, the cricket mecca, seems to be used for every purpose other than cricket - calypso finals, installatation ceremony for members of parliament, funerals, concerts, athletics, and football tournaments. It is difficult to recall the last time first-class cricket was played at Kensington.

This reminds me of the Gymnasium that is supposed to be a sporting facility being given precedence to all kinds of activities over sports. How often have we heard sports organizations complaining they were unable to use the Gymnasium due to unavailability because of the scheduling of a non-sporting events.

Since Cricket World Cup 2007, the once lush green outfield of Kensington has deteriorated as a result of so many competing and conflicting activities. I am not sure if this is deliberate on the part of those who vehemently opposed the redevelopment of the Oval, or is guided by the need to generate revenue to pay its bills and be self-financing. 

Now the schools' 2013 athletic season is scheduled for Kensington while the National Stadium undergoes refurbishment. The repeated pounding of thousands of feet will damage the grounds, and some restoration will be needed.

Even if the Ryan Brathwaite track was ready, it is inadequate to hold competiton because it only has six lanes, instead of the standard eight. Hence, I am unclear if that track is for training or competition, and even more puzzled why the powers that be did not install eight lanes from the start.

It is ironic, that a facility named after Barbados' first and only world champion athlete, has to settle for less than an international track.

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