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UWI sports facility plans still on hold
By Corey Greaves
WITH a vision of having one of the finest sports complex in the Caribbean, Pro Vice Chancellor and Principal of the Cave Hill Campus, Sir Hilary Beckles, recently voiced his disappointment at not being able to fulfill this goal because of a five-year delay in relocating CBC antennas, preventing the administration from moving forward with the development.
“When you go to the Paradise park and see the soccer field, that is just the beginning of what will be one of the finest sports complex in the Caribbean,” said Sir Hilary at the celebration ceremony for the Cave Hill Campus Blackbirds who won this year’s Inter-Campus Games.
“Five years ago the Government of Barbados endowed the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies with lands for the development for our sporting facilities. We started a process but we could not go any further because of the antennas of the CBC,” he explained. “Five years later the antennas are still there.”
Government gave the University 30 acres of land to build their sporting complex but only the ultra-modern football field has been put in place to date.
“Five years later the antennas that are committed to be moved, are still there and the campus cannot fulfill its obligations to the students, to the country and to the region because the antennas are still there,” lamented Sir Hilary.
The next phase in the plans is an athletic track that has already been named in honour of Ryan Brathwaite, Barbados gold medal winner in the 110m hurdles at the 2009 World Games.
Sir Hilary voiced his disappointment in not being able to complete this goal in a timely fashion. He remarked, “A few weeks ago, Ryan Brathwaite, who is not doing well in his discipline, made contact with the campus and asked if he can come home and train on the track that has been named in his honour. We were embarrassed to say ‘Sorry, Mr Brathwaite we cannot help you because the track is still not laid down, the track is sitting in a container after two years waiting to be put down because there are antennas on the spot.”
“It would be a very sad day if our students go off to defend their championship title and these facilities are not in place,” he added.
However, there appears to be some light at the end of the tunnel as the latest word was that the antennas would be moved in October.
“We are hoping that after five or six times that were we told that it was going to be moved, that it will be moved in October and then we can put down the Ryan Brathwaite track, tennis courts, basketball courts and probably a swimming facility,” outlined Sir Hilary.
If the antennas are indeed moved in October, Sir Hilary said they can assure everyone that in a year or so the Cave Hill Sports Complex, which will be funded by the students, will be a modern facility which they can put at the disposal of the country and the region.
“This is our vision and this is our plan,” he affirmed.