Regional

NEW TRACK?

Montego Bay Sports Complex could have new running track within six months, says Mayor Davis

Thursday, June 14, 2018

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NEGRIL, Westmoreland — Come the start of the 2019 track and field season, there could be a new running surface at the Montego Bay Sports Complex in St James.

For the first time since the first Mondo track was laid in 2001, a new all-weather running track to replace the badly worn one currently at the stadium has been planned for the multi-purpose facility, according to Mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Homer Davis.

In an exclusive interview with the Jamaica Observer West last week Wednesday, at the media launch of the football clinics to be put on by the Sandals Foundation and Real Madrid Foundation, held at Beaches Negril, the mayor said plans were advanced for the new surface and, while not going into details, added that he was hoping the work would be done in six months”.

Mayor Davis, who is also the chairman of the St James Municipal Corporation, said his administration is aware of the poor state of the track, which is badly worn in areas, especially at the start of the 100m and the relays starts, which he noted had gotten tough after more than 15 years of service.

A number of coaches from top high schools and clubs have complained about the state of the track for many of years, and some have even threatened not to compete at the annual Milo Western Relays, citing the state of the track, especially the run-ups and areas around the landing boards of the long/triple jump pit, as being particularly bad.

“We are in possession of an estimate to relay the track at the Montego Bay Sports Complex and it is a little over $15 million, we are now in the process of seeking the funding, whether through some benevolent agency or the Ministry of Sports,” Davis said.

The mayor did not want to say which agencies had been contacted to help fund the relaying of the running surface but said that “now that we have the estimate we intend to pursue several areas”.

As for the length of time it could take, the mayor said, “I don't like working with lengthy timelines, but I would say six months at best, to see if we can get it done.”

The running surface, which was laid at the same time as the one at the National Stadium that hosted the 2002 IAAF World Junior (Under -20) Championships, has hosted several track and field championships, including the 2011 CARIFTA games.

A number of annual events are held there as well, including the Milo Western Relays, the County of Cornwall Athletics Association's Western Championships for high schools, the Community College track and field championships and the Western Primary School Athletics championships that saw its 10th staging last weekend.

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