Nevis’s willingness to host sporting activities is a demonstration of the Nevis Island Administration (NIA)’s commitment to the healthy integration of Caribbean people and the development of the island’s athletes.

This sentiment was echoed by Hon Laughton Brandy Junior Minister of Youth and Sports on Nevis who was at the time deputising for Premier Vance Amory, when he delivered the feature address at the opening of the 2006 Leeward Islands Track and Field Youth Championships at Grove Park on Friday June 2, 2006.

He said the Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM) led administration placed a high premium on sporting development and pointed to the ongoing works on the eastern perimeter of the grounds and projects already completed which had already delivered rewards to athletes and spectators alike.

Mr Brandy explained that a lighted Grove Park gave rise to a “gigantic leap” in football games, garner support for the game and athletes were also utilising the night lighting for training.

“On the eastern corner of the mount we are preparing cricket nets with three pitches to be well lit and made available 24 hours a day for training and practice sessions. The venue will be equipped with a ball machine, a small training room with video and internet, tools no serious sporting development programme could do without in this age.

“It is the plan that coaches will be on site to conduct formal training sessions and to assist persons as they come by. The recent appointment of Test player Stewart Williams as National coach, whose main responsibility would be to prepare national teams for competition, would see Nevis going to a higher level of competitiveness in sports,” he said.

According to Mr Brandy, there was also an ongoing project to provide flood lights on all the island’s main playing fields in two phases. During the initial phase, six play fields would be completed within four weeks and they would be fenced and properly maintained.

He said the provision of lighted playfields would facilitate training in the community and facilitate more community sports and provide positive alternatives for the young people of Nevis since sports provided an unparalleled opportunity for personal development.

During the two day event, team St Kitts emerged champions with 351 points; team Nevis came second with 219 points. Third was team Anguilla with 164 points followed by team Antigua with 97; team St Maarten followed with 52 points and team United States Virgin Islands amassed 45 points.