SVG DIAMOND ATHLETICS UPDATE

A new EC $5 million Athletics and Football stadium, with a 400 metres synthetic running track will be officially opened tomorrow after the first phase of the project which began in February this year.

Situated at Diamond Industrial Estate on the eastern coast of main-island, St Vincent, it is five minutes from the Argyle International Airport.

In addition to the running track, the stadium will also be outfitted with long and triple jump pits, as well as facilities for the pole vault, high jump, discus and the hammer throw. A new electronic timing system is also to be acquired for the facility, which also has temporary seating for 1500 spectators including the disabled, and is intended to host local, regional and international track and field events, the first likely to be the 2021 NACAC All-Age Championships in July 2021.

A Sports Officer attached to the Division of Sports in the Ministry of Tourism, Sports and Culture, Dyke Cato said another phase of the Government-funded project is set to begin early next year with the installation of stadium lights and the construction of a perimeter fence and a parking lot, landscaping and a concession area. Shipping containers will be retrofitted to convert them into changing rooms.

Cato said: “Usually, our athletes would have to travel to Barbados or Grenada to try for Olympic qualifying standards. Now the island’s athletes can achieve their Olympic qualifying standards at home.

While St Vincent and the Grenadines is expected to host the NACAC Age-Group Championships next year, they will not be quite ready for larger events like the CARIFTA Games because of an inadequate number of hotel rooms, which is being addressed currently with construction of Sandals, Holiday Inn,

The Marriott and Black Sands Hotel Cato revealed that the Sandals, Holiday Inn, The Marriott and Black Sands hotel chains were either under construction or expected to begin construction soon.

The stadium is not far from a Home of Football facility being constructed under the FIFA Goal Project.