On Target
July 29, 2011
Make it happen!

This columnist wants to agree with Cecil “Blazer” Williams who writes a column in another newspaper here, in calling for an Athletics track to be placed at the Sion Hill Playing Field.{{more}}

This could be seen as a corrective measure, in light of the damage already done to that facility. This is the least the authorities can do, in an effort to right the wrongs committed to the Sion Hill Playing Field.

I have seen similar all weather tracks in North America, and the surroundings are usually nothing fanciful, with very little seating.

So a start is necessary, as the other amenities could be put in thereafter.

This is not to say that with the provision of a track there will be instant success and our athletes will become world rated overnight, but, at least, give them some hope and recognition.

And, such a facility could also be used as a training ground for other sporting disciplines.

As this column has advocated in a previous exposition, Athletics needs at least an all weather synthetic track on which our local athletes can hone their skills.

This is against the fact that most of the other sports played here have a facility which is suitable for hosting a regional or international event.

Athletics in its best form has been restricted to the Arnos Vale One Playing Field, and that too has outlived its usefulness, as the grass no longer fits the bill, if we are going to produce athletes of any given standard.

But power to those athletes who persevere on what is available to them.

It must be a heart wrenching feeling for our young athletes who have to go overseas to get the exposure on a synthetic track, in order to gauge their times, leading up to regional and international engagements.

Recently, teams to the Central America and Caribbean Senior Track and Field Championships and the Panam Juniors had to go to Barbados and St. Kitts to get warm up events ahead of the Games.

This has been going on for some time now. For how much longer can we endure such?

Claims for the establishment of a Track at the Sion Hill Playing Field are readily justified.

Our exposure to the much acclaimed Penn Relays, the fact that St. Vincent and the Grenadines was able to earn a gold medal at last year’s Commonwealth Games, through Natasha Mayers, at least says that we have something to work on and with.

The emergence of young athletes like Brandon Parris and others should give a confidence boost to others who are seeking that sporting niche but are seeking out a fillip.

The establishment of such a track could see a greater equity in the distribution and use of our sporting facilities.

Therefore, Sion Hill, apart from Athletics, can be a first class ground for Football.

Yes, the Cricket pundits will be crying foul, but that sport is well served by the Arnos Vale One, Arnos Vale Two and the Stubbs Playing Fields, with the latter’s surface in need of redo, similar to what is presently taking place at Sion Hill.

There will also be the question of who will foot the cost of such an undertaking as a synthetic track, as the National Sports Council is in no way able to do so.

I am certain if the right international avenues are explored by some of the major players, such as Team Athletics SVG (one of the biggest beneficiaries of the project), this project can happen.

Let us start breaking down the barriers that keep hindering us from getting things to move forward, as we sometimes see hurdles rather than springboards.

And, to put the track down, the Mound has to be completely removed, as every inch of space will be needed.