Atiba Harris (4th from left) celebrates the moment with government officials, family and friends. Photo by Energy FC.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Sports, Honourable Shawn Richards said the contributions of iconic sportsmen and women across St. Kitts will be given added recognition from the government as part of an enhanced initiative to spotlight positivity and promote unity in communities during a ceremony Friday to rename the St. Peter’s Playing Field the Atiba Erasto Harris Sporting Complex.

Atiba Harris is a football icon from St. Peter’s who played for the St. Kitts and Nevis Senior National Football Team, representing the country more than 60 times. Harris has played abroad in England and Spain with Newcastle United, Cadiz CF, and Club Deportivo Linares. In 2008, he made his debut with Chivas USA in Major League Soccer (MLS) in the United States. He played for several MLS teams until 2017.

Atiba actively supports various community efforts in St. Peter’s, including the community football and basketball teams as well as the primary school.

Deputy Prime Minister Richards noted since the government took office in 2015, three of the five major sporting facilities have been renamed in honour of national icons.

In 2015, the Kim Collins Athletics Stadium in Bird Rock was named in honour of the world champion sprinter, and in 2019, the Mansion Playing Field was renamed in honour of the legendary cricketer James Bernell Harris-Matthew.

“This government is willing to recognize persons if you have been able to excel,” the deputy prime minister said. “Very recently, we took a decision to put a committee in place to make recommendations to the government in terms of honouring our sporting icons here in St. Kitts and Nevis. Coming out of that, of course, we expect that very shortly more facilities, roads etc. will be named after persons.”

The deputy prime minister encouraged current athletes to remain committed and work hard to excel in sports so they, too, can serve as an inspiration to persons of all ages.