Sun | Nov 17, 2019

Calabar opens $10 million gymnasium

Published:Saturday | November 2, 2019 | 12:15 AMNickoy Wilson/Gleaner Writer
Dr Vincent Lawrence (centre) and François Chalifour (director of marketing and IT, Wisynco) look on as Julian Robinson (old boy and renowned coach) checks out the equipment in the newly opened Vincent Lawrence Gymnasium at the Calabar Sports Complex yesterday on the school compound.
Dr Vincent Lawrence (centre) and François Chalifour (director of marketing and IT, Wisynco) look on as Julian Robinson (old boy and renowned coach) checks out the equipment in the newly opened Vincent Lawrence Gymnasium at the Calabar Sports Complex yesterday on the school compound.

The athletics programme at Calabar High School yesterday received a boost with the opening of the Vincent Lawrence Gymnasium on the institution’s compound in St Andrew.

Named in honour of Calabar old boy and celebrated public servant Dr Vincent Lawrence, the facility, which took one year to complete, was constructed and outfitted with equipment at a cost of $10 million under a Memorandum of Understanding signed with the Wisynco Group last September.

Julian Robinson, throwing coach at the St Andrew-based institution, said that the new facility will help in better preparing the student athletes.

“We were using a facility that was quite frankly substandard. What you see here is heaven compared to what we were using. Our equipment was in a dilapidated state. We trained outside and we didn’t have enough equipment to train, we had to improvise a lot and quite frankly we didn’t have enough equipment. So in certain instance we could not train properly but now with this facility we can train properly,” Robinson said.

Robinson was yesterday speaking to The Gleaner on a tour of the gymnasium after the official opening ceremony.

While the school is heavily focused on the training of its student athletes, the throwing coach said the gym will be open to all members of the school community.

“This facility is not just for student athletes, based on what I’m seeing here, it is clean, there are cardio equipment here that staff can use. In Jamaica, most ladies are not interested in lifting, they are interested in aerobic work and we have cardio machines around the back that will allow teachers to use the facility if they need and also as was the case before, young student athletes are able to use the gym and they can come here and also use the gym,” Robinson said.

Principal Albert Corcho told The Gleaner yesterday that there are no immediate plans to open the facility to the public. However, the rental of the sporting complex, opened in 2016, is helping the school bring in some extra revenue.

“The only reason we have been able to maintain the complex is because we have on a number of occasions rented the facilities, not just for football not just for track, but there is a fitness company that comes very early in the morning so we are actually generating some amount of income from the facilities. What we are hoping is that now that we have the gym, additional funding will come from the use of the gym,” Corcho said.

nickoy.wilson@gleanerjm.com