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PoS mayor proposes: Mondo track for QP Savannah
If you ever had cause to go to the Queen’s Park Savannah on an evening, you would see large numbers of people making use of it to walk, run, jog or just play some type of sport. Some of the people who enjoy using the savannah in the evening are senior citizens, and it is this group that Port-of-Spain Mayor Louis Lee Sing wants to help, by installing a soft Mondo track around the savannah.
Lee Sing, who proposed the idea at an interfaith service last week Sunday at City Hall, Port-of-Spain, is calling on both the public and private sectors to donate to this cause. Mondo tracks in sports stadiums reportedly cost about US$2.5 million. Considering that the Queen’s Park Savannah occupies about 260 acres and has a perimeter of about 3.5 kilometres, to install a Mondo track there would cost much more.
Geoffrey Maclean, executive member of the Citizens for Conservation, said he believed it was an idea which could be explored, but was concerned with the maintenance. He said a track of this nature was extremely costly to maintain, and he was worried that the local climate might cause the track to deteriorate quickly.
Maclean believes the idea should be explored and developed further so that the feasibility could be determined. He warned that it would be a costly project, though. The people who use the savannah for the most part seemed to like the idea.
Noel Gellineau, who said he has been using the savannah to keep fit for over 20 years, praised the idea. “I think is a very good idea...Now we can stop the bicycles from riding on the pavement,” he said.
Two female senior citizens, who asked not to be identified, said they thought it was a good idea as it would make their walking experience more enjoyable. Ronald Mendoza, who said he frequently used the savannah, was very happy about it. “It’s a good idea, I think it will help a lot. It will certainly help with the bumps, sinks and potholes that you have to get over when you are running,” he said.
He added that large local companies were building “all sorts of things” and this project should be no problem for them. One man, who did not wish to be identified, said he did not understand why there was a need for the track at this time. “If I want a Mondo track I can just go to the stadium...I’m happy with the pitch and I have been running here for 40 years now,” he said.
“What he needs to do is fix the benches around the savannah and stop people from parking in it.” Lee Sing said he was a regular user of the savannah and had experienced for himself the harsh effect the pitch walk has on one’s knees and ankles. In fact, he described the savannah as his “personal playground,” adding that he played football there regularly. He said it was not only senior citizens, but young people feeling pain as well.
He admitted that he did not know how much a project like that would cost but believed it was a very necessary addition. Lee Sing said he might even consider installing a cycling track in the sand track in the savannah if he felt it would help the people who use the park.
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