by Eulana Weekes
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): The St. Kitts – Nevis Federal Cabinet on Monday, July 03, 2023, agreed to purchase a new track and renovate the Kim Collins Athletic Stadium in time for the commencement of the 2024 athletics season.
During a recent Post Cabinet Press Briefing, Cabinet Secretary, Dr Marcus Natta, informed the public of the intended project.
“The Cabinet approved the purchase of a new track and renovation for the Kim Collins Athletic Stadium, the premier track facility on St.Kitts. This major track facility hosts local and regional events, including the CARIFTA Games as well as football and cricket matches and provides a fitness space for our people. The Ministry of Sports and Creative Economy hopes to have the new track completed and ready for the track and field season in early 2024 and the anticipation of regional and international as well.”
President of the St. Kitts- Nevis Athletics Association, Mr. Delwayne Delaney, welcomed the Cabinet’s decision.
“I’m pleased that plans are in place for a better overall track and field facility for the 2024 season. It is welcomed, as the running surface is now over ten years old. We have an excellent group of athletes coming through the ranks, and we are seeing an increased interest in track and field. This is coupled with the increased events that both the Ministry of Sports and SKN Athletics have been hosting and intend to continue hosting. This also lends to the opportunity for more regional competitions, as we are eying to host an Under 23 Championship in 2024,” said Delaney to WINN FM.
Delaney also expressed hope that improved lighting at the facility is included in the plan. He said the lighting has become dull over time, which also needs to be addressed.
The facility was opened in 2008 as the Silver Jubilee Athletics Stadium but was renamed in April 2015 after the Federation’s sprint icon, Kim Collins.
Various portions of the facility, including the track surface, deteriorated over time. There is evidence of missing and broken seats, inoperable bathroom stalls and leakages.
Following the 2022 hosting of the St. Kitts Music Festival at the Kim Collins Athletics Stadium, some sports officials became disgruntled and expressed how damaged the running surface was after the event. The reported damages included holes, indents and scrapes, allegedly because of the dragging of heavy materials on the track.
On March 29, the Ministry of Sports and Creative Economy facilitated a walkthrough of the Kim Collins Athletics Stadium to assess the situation.
Michael Tovar, Director of Mondo Track Division, joined Minister of Sports Samal Duggins and other ministry and sports officials at the walkthrough. He said, “The findings from this initial assessment will be forwarded to our engineers, and a full report will be made available to the Ministry of Sports.” The Mondo Track official also said the report would outline the most suitable options for forward movement.
Mondo was founded in Alba, Italy, in 1948. It is a global leader in manufacturing various surfaces for multiple sports applications.