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Grange calls for maintenance strategy report

Published:Friday | May 6, 2011 | 12:00 AM

Sports minister Olivia 'Babsy' Grange has given Independence Park Limited (IPL) two months to prepare a maintenance-strategy report, outlining how it plans to ensure that the facilities that it manages are kept at optimal levels.

This, she believes, will help to raise accountability and ensure that the island's sporting venues are not allowed to fall into unfavourable conditions.

Grange made disclosure to The Gleaner shortly after receiving the Class One International Association of Athletics Federations certification (IAAF) document, for the recently laid running track at the National Stadium, during a brief ceremony at the venue.

IPL is a state-run agency which has responsibilities for the day-to-day operation of several facilities across the island, including the National Stadium.

"This is very important to us because every so often facilities get run down and it's like you throw good money away, and so we have said to the IPL that they now have to prepare a strategy showing us how they plan to maintain the facilities and keep them at a certain level," Grange said.

"It's not just for this facility, it's for all of them that IPL has a responsibility for, and I expect to get that from them in a maximum two months," Grange added.

The National Stadium's running track's IAAF certification confirms that the country is home to one of the finest running surfaces on the planet and underscores the work done by manufacturers and installers, BSW Regupol, and the administrative support from stakeholders, the Ministry of Youth, Culture and Sports, Sports Development Foundation and the Independence Park Limited.

The occasion was also used show to gratitude to agencies such as the Ministry of Finance and the Department of Customs, which were both instrumental in the fast- tracking of the process to procure the material needed for the re-surfacing exercise.

Extremely proud

Grange was extremely proud of the certification and shared her belief that the country's athletes deserved to have the best possible track at their disposal.

IPL chairman, Major Desmon Brown, was also pleased with the development, especially given the uncertainty that clouded the project at one point. He was also quick to underline the value of the contributors.

"One of the reasons why we invited these people, if we didn't get the support of the Ministry of Finance and the Customs Department, this wouldn't be possible and we wanted to recognise their input.

Peter Breuer, a director at BSW Regupol, was also on hand to highlight the importance of having a Class One-certified track and expressed his delight at being able to work with Jamaica.

- A. L.