Sport

$35-m Leila Robinson Courts upgrade nears completion

BY SHA'KEIL GRANT

Friday, June 20, 2014    

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THE surface upgrade of the Leila Robinson Courts is almost completed.

The $35-million Sports Development Foundation (SDF) project is close to its final stages with the laying of the synthetic tiles yesterday as part of a major overhaul of the playing surfaces.

General manager of the SDF Denzil Wilks said the upgrade of the courts is in the best interest of the players going forward.

"From my understanding of manufacturers and from all the research done, is that this surface yields whenever someone falls and lands, so it makes it much easier on the muscles and joints in particular. In addition to that (we have), 15 years' warranty, which usually means we can get up to 20-25 years, so the surface has a long time," Wilks noted.

The general manager, who was on hand at the laying of the tiles, pointed to other advantages of the new installation.

"If there is any little damage anywhere, each tile is one foot square and the easiest thing is to just pick them up and replace them. These things are not pasted down, they are snapped on, to get them up for repair work is just (easy), and that is the amazing thing about this," Wilks told the Jamaica Observer.

"It is just short of what you get in the indoor stadium in terms of the boards but for the outside (in this instance), and with our climatic conditions, we are going to need outside courts," he added.

Wilks noted that work on the courts was not a first in Jamaica.

"These tiles were manufactured in the United States of America, I think mainly in Utah, that is where our suppliers are from. This is now what many people are playing on. They are not unpopular in the international community and it is not the first time they are coming to Jamaica. There were a few laid before in Arnett Gardens; I think they have two of them and one in what is commonly known as Standpipe.

"We have taken some time to reach to this level in terms of the netball fraternity, which means we are going to have numerous amount of usage at this level as it is a new development."

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