Nevis Athletics Stadium expansion on NIA’s 2021 agenda, Hon. Eric Evelyn says
NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (December 30, 2020) — Hon. Eric Evelyn, Minister of Sports in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) says the government remains committed to continuing the expansion of the Nevis Athletics Stadium to include a first-class football field.
During his presentation at the NIA’s 2021 Budget Debate in the Nevis Island Assembly on December 09, 2020, Hon. Evelyn highlighted some of the plans for the stadium at Long Point.
“We continue to do work at the Mondo Track, because we want in the very near future that over there can be a first-class football ground,” he said.
The Minister said prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the NIA had been in discussions to host a regional football tournament at the stadium in 2020. He stated that despite having to side-line those plans, the NIA continues with the improvements at the sporting facility in terms of making it a FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association)-certified football field.
“So when COVID is passed and gone we can renegotiate and have our regional and hopefully international football tournament being played right there at our first-class facility at the Mondo Track,” he submitted.
Hon. Evelyn said looking forward to 2021, the Ministry of Sports will continue to work with the sporting organizations on the island, especially with respect to capacity building and organizing sporting activities at the community level.
“Sometimes some of our sporting organizations need help capacity wise and we have been doing that over the years, we’re going to continue to do that.
“We’re going to continue to work with communities in terms of getting more sports out in the community. We’re going to continue to work with the schools in terms of getting their sporting activities- football, cricket, athletics and so on- and of course we’re going to expand on the Swim to Win initiative,” Mr. Evelyn said.
He emphasized the need to encourage the youths on Nevis to excel at sports. Against that back drop he informed of enhancements to sporting facilities around the island.
“We have several sporting facilities around Nevis and when I came to this honourable House for the first time and I made my presentation, I did indicate that we will do our best to ensure that we enhance our facilities across the island.
“We have been doing that incrementally. We cannot do all one time but we have been trying our best to do, and I can say …we’ve had enhancements and improvements to a lot of the sporting facilities across Nevis.
“This past year we’ve had enhancement and improvements at the hardcourts at Jessups, Cotton Ground, and Bath Village. We’ve had great improvement and enhancement at the St. George’s Recreation Ground, we call Ball Pasture,” the Sports Minister said.
The Ministry of Social Development, Culture, Youths and Sports has been allocated funding in the amount of $16.1 million, representing 6.7 percent of the NIA’s total budget for fiscal year 2021.
However, Hon. Evelyn noted that all plans, particularly sporting activities and capital projects, were contingent on the management of COVID-19 in the federation, among other factors.