Region Six synthetic track on course for December completion

 

  • residents excited about opportunities it presents

DPI, Guyana, Sunday, June 24, 2018

Athletics in East Berbice-Corentyne will be further boosted in the near future as the construction of the state-of-the-art synthetic track in New Amsterdam, is moving to finalisation by year end.

During a recent town hall meeting in New Amsterdam, Assistant Director of Sport Melissa Dow-Richardson disclosed, “We are preparing a facility that can host competitors of Olympic calibre and these are competitors who have to meet IAAF requirement; therefore, the facility that they will be operating on must meet the IAAF requirements.”

Aside from providing athletes with a top-class facility, the Assistant Director said that it will also create jobs for the residents of the region. Outlined in the contract for the laying of the synthetic track, is a stipulation that will ensure 12 persons from the region are employed

The Burnham Park in New Amsterdam was the site selected for the construction of the eight-lane 400-meter track. The first two phases of the project carried out by German company BSW Regupol, have been completed. The final two stages will commence shortly.

The Assistant Director noted that an engineer’s estimate of $176Million tender was advertised for phase three of the project. She said that 14 bidders have expressed interest and are awaiting approval.

The third phase will entail demarcation, land clearing, laying of drainage pipes, inner and outer track works and asphalting which will take approximately four months. The fourth phase will involve the laying of the synthetic track and is estimated to take approximately 21 days.

Minister of Social Cohesion Dr. George Norton said the installation of the synthetic track is just the beginning of what the government has in store for the development of sports in the region. He called on residents to familiarise themselves with each stage of the construction. “We want you to know what is going on so that you can look and make certain that the work is being done properly,” the Minister stated.

Buster Wright, President of the Athletic Track Club in New Amsterdam welcomed the step taken by the government to enhance sports in the region. Wright said that the ground which his athletes currently train on floods whenever it rains which hinders preparations for upcoming events. “… so, I welcome the synthetic track and I hope that by next year April, everything will be in order so that we can have our championships there.”

Penita Ramcharitar, a student of Berbice High School said she is excited about the opportunity the track will provide for her colleagues. “It is a good opportunity for them to train and develop their skills on a track. I am excited for them and as a fellow student, you want to see your colleagues succeed” Ramcharitar stated.

Over the years, Region Six has produced several top athletes. These include nine-year-old Orlando Carrington of St. Therese Primary who will be competing in the Boys’ Under 10 100, 200 and 400 metres races in Bermuda later this year, South American Games 100m Silver Medalist Jermaine King and the late Beyoncé Ross.

By: Isaiah Braithwaite.

Images: Anil Seelall.

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