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BOA may consider repairing Stadium

Sherrylyn A. Toppin

BOA may consider repairing Stadium

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Although the Barbados Olympic Association (BOA) is considering getting involved in the construction of sporting venues to serve their member federations, refurbishment of the 38-year-old National Stadium and its much younger track is not on the agenda.
However, in light of recent comments made by World 110 metres hurdles champion Ryan Brathwaite that the track needed to be repaired as a matter of urgency, BOA president Steve Stoute said the board might change its stance.
In a telephone interview with WEEKENDSPORT from Puerto Rico, Stoute said no decision had been made regarding the National Stadium because they were waiting on the Government.
He attended the planning meeting with Minister of Sports Stephen Lashley and the various national federations at Kensington Oval last week Monday, but it wasn’t discussed.
“From my perspective, I was hoping to learn at that meeting whether there had been any progress or any major decisions on capital works for sport, but nothing specific materialised from that meeting. The BOA has a meeting on January 24 when I believe that we will discuss this further,” Stoute said.
“The BOA has done no specific analysis or investigation into the track at the National Stadium because even if we were getting involved with capital works this year or next year, we had not viewed the National Stadium as falling within our ambit. If we did something, it would have been another project.”
The present track was laid in 1999 and while its blue and gold lustre has faded over the years, it has been the scene of some very good performances. Even in its current state, hundreds of Barbadian schoolchildren use it during the athletics term to represent their houses and in preparation to represent their country.
Stoute said their emphasis would be more towards helping the indoor sports.
“There has been a cry by a number of indoor sports like boxing, badminton, martial arts, fencing.
“All of these sports have been calling for a venue and claiming that without a specific facility they are greatly impeded, and I think we were looking more along those lines at this point in time.”
They were supposed to benefit from an expansion of the Netball Stadium, but that too has been put on hold for several years.
Meanwhile, Esther Maynard, president of the Amateur Athletic Association, refused to comment on the concerns raised by Brathwaite, while repeated attempts to contact Lashley have been futile.