BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - AS redevelopment works continue at the Kim Collins Athletics Stadium in Bird Rock, St. Kitts-Nevis Athletics has confirmed the scheduling and venue for the TDC Interschool Championship.
Concerns were recently raised over where the event would be held in light of the ongoing works at the Bird Rock facility, as a number of scholastic meets are being held at various venues around the Federation, including the Warner Park Cricket Stadium.
But with the first two rounds of matches in the West Indies 4-day competition bowling off yesterday (Feb. 7) in St. Kitts-Nevis and Jamaica, Warner Park is out of consideration.
“SKN Athletics is gearing up to host its most historic TDC Interschool Championship as for the first time ever the meet will span four days on both St. Kitts at the Kim Collins Athletic Stadium and Nevis at the Nevis Athletic Stadium. The first two days of the meet, Thursday 14th and Friday 15th March, will include field events only. These field events are scheduled to take place at the Kim Collins Athletic Stadium in St Kitts. The last two days, Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th, will take place at the Nevis Athletic Stadium where all track events will take place,” a social media post from SKN Athletics read.
To ensure the success of the championship, the SKN Athletics has been hosting a series of consultation meetings with key stakeholders, including the Departments of Sports and Education on both St Kitts and Nevis as well as the principals of high schools in St. Kitts and Nevis.
As part of its discussion, the SKNA will engage hoteliers and owners of guest houses on Nevis, vendors, security forces, as well as boat operators in the coming weeks “to ensure a seamless transition when the championship does take place in Nevis”.
It was never in doubt that the high school event would be moved to Nevis owing to the renovation works on St. Kitts, but the logistics of organizing such a move was the obvious question if the athletes were to compete on the rubberized surface for a high quality meet.
However, that did not stop the Minister of Sports, Samal Duggins, from coming in for heavy criticism from the public over the incomplete works at the stadium in time for the scholastic season.
In an invited comment, the Minister explained that the Ministry of Sports has been engaging with the athletics association on the best possible solution to ensure that the safety and security of the junior athletes remain paramount.
“As we look at the track and field season for this year, we have recognized the condition of our athletics stadium and we have been speaking over the past few months on that condition. And we have evaluated it and we want to say that some work has begun in preparing that stadium which has not been touched for some 10 years,” the Minister told SKNVibes Sports.
Broken seats, flaking track surface and poor bathroom facilities are some of the issues the Government is seeking to have fixed as they upgrade the premier track and field facility within the Federation.
Meanwhile, the athletics association confirmed that it is because of the ongoing works at the facility that they are focusing their attention on the multi-city approach.
“SKN Athletics is confident that this multi-city championship can be a success and wishes to place on record its thanks to the major stakeholders,” the SKNA statement read.
The event gets underway on St. Kitts on March 14th before shifting to Nevis on March 16-17 at the Nevis Stadium in Long Point.