We want to compete with the Jamaicans
- Kumar says, asks AAG to maximise use of synthetic track
Director of Sport, Neil Kumar has asked the Athletics Association of
Guyana (AAG) to produce a plan for the use of the Synthetic Track and Field Facility that is currently under construction at Leonora on the West Coast of Demerara during a site visit yesterday.
The facility, which is behind schedule for completion, is expected to be completed next year and will be the first of its kind in Guyana. It is expected to include a warm-up facility with a football field in the centre. The track is expected to be internationally accredited.
“I would like (Colin) Boyce and the AAG to produce a short, medium and long term plan for the track because I want Guyana to have the feeling that the Jamaicans have,” Kumar said during his visit that included AAG President, Colin Boyce.
Kumar said that the track should be completed this year, but the entire stadium will be done next year.
He urged the AAG to make full use of the facility, stating that it would be unnecessary for Government to build such a facility and the AAG does not maximise its use. “We are treating this project delicately and my only fear right now would be if the AAG does not utilise the track properly,” Kumar said. However, Boyce was quick to indicate that the AAG will make full use of the track with intentions to bid for international competitions.
“Once we have the track completed, we will have good competition and hopefully, in the not too distant future, let’s say at the end of 2013 we can start making bids for international competitions from the IAAF to come to Guyana rather than to have our athletes travelling all the time,” Boyce mentioned.
The unpredictable weather pattern has affected the completion of Phase One of the facility that included the laying of the foundation for the track among other works. However, Boyce pointed out that he was impressed with how far the construction had progressed.
“I was here sometime in October last year, and from our cordial discussions what came out was that there were some hiccups that would have caused a set back; now that I am here again, I am convinced that the track is indeed moving apace,” Boyce believed.
The AAG President was quick to point out the need for another synthetic facility at a centralised location in Georgetown where access will be easy for athletes. He said that the goal has got to be to have one of those facilities at several locations around the country.
“What I would also like to say is that while it is nice to have our national stadium here where we will be holding events, it is absolutely necessary that we have another track maybe somewhere in Georgetown like the National park because we will need a track of the similar surface so that the athletes can train meaningfully,” he indicated.
Boyce stated that the to-and-fro for athletes on a daily basis to Leonora could become a logistics problem. However, he thanked Government for the first of such an initiative while asking that a consideration be made for such a facility at a centralised location.