Peter Breuer, Sales Director at Regupol BSW, promised to not only deliver but exceed expectations with the stadium’s construction.
Breuer was, on Friday 24th January, addressing the sod turning ceremony at Diamond Estate.
His company is said to be a market leader in sport equipment design and construction.
With world class runner Usain Bolt as a Regupol BSW brand ambassador, it would appear his confidence is warranted. Breuer said, “our engineers custom designed the 400 metre athletic running track that meets your wishes and needs.
The civil engineering is being carried out by the local construction firm Dipcon, who is working based on our specifications and drawings that have been prepared and set up by our engineer…” The Regupol BSW engineer would continue to consult with the contractors until the project finishes.
The “so-called Regupol Champion AG Track” would carry an official IAAF (now World Athletics) certification upon completion, Peter Breuer advised.
The state of the art training facility would feature eight full sized lanes of running tracks, all IAAF relevant field events – steeple chase, javelin, pole vault, long, triple and high jump, hammer and more would be available “in an official dimension and IAAF certified. And of course in the centre of that IAAF certified track shall be a FIFA sized football field,” according to Breuer.
He further noted “your track actually shall be similar to the one we built for Usain Bolt in Jamaica,” before committing to a not too far off completion date.
“Despite the fact that this is being implemented by the only government that could have done it – the Unity Labour Party, this is a national project,” said Tourism, Sport and Culture Minister Cecil McKie.
McKie was mindful that the project – promised in an early ULP manifesto – was delayed for more than several years.
He said “the government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, having had in its manifesto from the inception the construction of a national stadium, established a national stadium committee headed by Mr. Garth Saunders … in 2007/2008 … the government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines explained to the nation that we had to put the stadium project on hold despite the fact that we had done phase one which was the levelling of this area and putting in the drainage.
And from that time to current we explained to the nation, yes the project is on hold but we still have it very much in mind…”
Even though local athletes only trained on grass fields, according to MP McKie, “at Arnos Vale one, each year, we see new records being set in track and field.
This means that the athletes of the country, and the footballers are also doing well, they are paying attention to training.” McKie further disclosed that the National Stadium planning committee had designs, costing and site already selected and approved. Said designs helped to “guide us in terms of what we’re doing here now.” Phase 2, now underway, “would focus on putting in fencing, putting in a running track that would allow us to host international events up to the Olympic Games because we wouldn’t be able to host the Olympics.”
The Diamond Athletic Track promises to be such a top class facility that has already inspired the Sports Minister to condition himself for “the first run and the first kick” while he issued a challenge for former athletes to be ready to join him when the stadium is officially opened “hopefully by the middle of this year.”
Friday’s ceremony was also addressed by Dr. Ralph Gonsalves in his capacity as Prime Minister. He detailed further the facilities to be expected at Diamond saying “we had agreed to put aside four million dollars. And what are we getting here?…”
A full sized four hundred metres synthetic running track, track and field facilities, a football field, bleachers with the initial capacity between eight hundred and fifteen hundred, a spectator mound to seat an additional seven hundred spectators … washing rooms and dressing rooms, parking lots, ancillary roads and more drainage, adjacent warm up and properly irrigated football field and more. The track is to be built to IAAF competition category class two specifications, PM Gonsalves also disclosed. This category would allow for any international fixtures to be held here with the exception of the Olympic Games.