By Monique Washington
“If the goal is produce world class athletes then we need world class facilities,” said Timothy Caines, Project Manager of the upcoming FIFA,IAAC certified facility.
Mr. Caines told this newspaper Thursday the facility will be the new home of the Interprimary School Championship and athletics as well as footballs matches.
The Ecquemedo Willet Park will become the home for cricket. Caines said it is their hope to have the track completed for the 2017 Interprimary Championship once there is no inclement weather during the process.
According to Caines, the first phases will ha an estimated cost of $10.1 million dollars and will be located at Long Point on approximately 10 acres of land. It will consist of the construction and marking of the track and getting it IAAC certified and the installation of the lights so it could be used at night and also temporary seating.
The facility will be funded by the Nevis Island Administration and phase one should be completed by April 2017. A start date has not been given as yet.
“The facility is for athletics and football. It has a 42 meter record track with a FIFA certified football pitch in the middle,” Caines said. He said the track is made of a rubber material, the same material athletics run on for the Olympic Games.
“The second phase will entail the construction of the permanent stadium, grand stand, which will have all the locker rooms, bathroom facilities, press box, technical rooms. It will also have a hall of fame room for both football and athletics to be displayed. Our most prominent athletes in both sports. It will also have a gym and parking lot,” he said.
Caines noted that both phases are estimated at a total value of $18 million.
He added that building a FIFA and IAAC certified facility is ‘not as easy as building a road’.
“It’s a very delicate process,” he said. He noted the leveling of the lands, testing soil plus other delicate process have to be accomplished to obtain certification.
He said that the besides local athletes benefiting from the use of the track it will open a huge market for sports tourism which will add to the islands economy.
“It is a huge market for attracting athletes from cold climate countries. For when they want to train in the winter. They would come for two and three months. They sometimes have about 50 athletes. They would have to rent and buy food, so it is a good form of sports tourism,” he concluded.