Chili gets new Hard Court
From Left: Finance Minister Camillo Gonsalves speaking at the Chili Hard court opening (photo by Robertson S Henry) and NLA general manager Mcgregor Sealy speaking at the Chili Hard court opening (photo by Robertson S Henry)
Front Page
April 28, 2023

Chili gets new Hard Court

Residents of Chili, Georgetown and surrounding communities now have a sports facility they can call their own.

The Chili Hard Court, constructed by the National Lotteries Authority (NLA) at a cost of EC$1,164,538.00 was officially opened on April 25. Minister of Finance, Camillo Gonsalves speaking at the ceremony added his voice to the ongoing debate about the ban on the use of hard courts for fetes, which was recently announced by Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves.

The Finance Minister said there are some people who, once the government or the NLA has spent a million dollars, they want to hand the Government $250.00 and then destroy the facility.

Gonsalves said “this ( the hard court) is a million dollar investment, not to subsidize people who want to have fete; this is a million dollar investment in uplifting the young people of Chili and Georgetown. That’s the point of the investment.”


Evril Bacchus unveiling the sign at the entrance to the Chili Hardcourt (photo by Robertson S Henry)

He told the gathering that the Government wants the Chili Hard Court to become a centre of activities, adding, “We don’t want to lock it up and people cannot get in and use it. We want the community to use it. We want the young people from the two schools to use it. We want netball players and basketball players to use it, and if there’s a little community event -you want to apply and get to use it- but we don’t want anybody to abuse it.”

The facility was in a dilapidated state until a few months ago when the NLA undertook its refurbishment.

General Manager, McGregor Sealey told those gathered for the ceremony that “this money funded work on the Chili pavilion, on the playing field; it also funded refurbishing of the entire hard court which included fencing, a bleacher, a change room, and toilet facilities.”

He said however, that the undertaking was not without its challenges.

“In one of these projects, there was an individual who had taken up permanent residence in the toilet facility, and we had to physically remove him, his stove, and his bed. In another facility, an individual removed all the lighting fixtures, the toilet, all the toilets, and the wash basins.”

Sealey pointed out that the NLA is faced with many more challenges as it seeks to provide facilities geared towards the development of communities in and around the country.

“Today, I use this opportunity to encourage the general public to take care of these facilities. There are many upcoming sports men and women who depend upon these for their training and exercises. The more damage caused to these facilities, results in more money being spent on maintenance. I further urge the young people to get involved in sports and make use of these facilities as they were built with your holistic improvement in mind.”

Minister of Sports, Frederick Stephenson called on persons using the Chili hard court to take care of it, adding “I don’t want to hear or see the youngsters in Georgetown and Chili and the surrounding areas come in here to tell me, ‘they come in to bust a sweat’.”

“If you want to bust a sweat, you have a big playing field up there, where you can bust several sweats. This facility is not for that kind of purpose. I want us to use it well and to ensure that our sporting persons develop to the best of their abilities, using these facilities that we have.”