“Why isn’t mummy here?”
This is a question that often comes from the tiny lips of four-year-old Danielle Ramsoomair.
Minister of Sport Anil Roberts was a happy man yesterday when he visited the National Cycling Velodrome at Couva.
Roberts and his wife Shandel were on hand to witness the ceremonial “Steel Beam Topping Off” at the cycling venue which is earmarked for completion in May 2015.
Roberts said: “It is a great afternoon in T&T because we have shown that before procurement legislation it is possible to bring mega projects on time and on budget. On time, with local content and with a partnership with one of the greatest countries in the world, China.
“What you are seeing behind me is part of an overall billion dollar investment by T&T. We are doing things totally right up to world standards because we want to bring world events right to our shores.”
Roberts also boasted about the George Bovell III Aquatic Centre which is being constructed next to the cycling facility. He said: “George Bovell III has brought glory to this country and he is getting a facility that would be world standard. A facility that was promised by the country’s first Prime Minister Dr Eric Eustace Williams in 1966, you are seeing it coming right before your eyes now.
“Local cycling great Gene Samuel was brought to tears after a recent tour of this cycling facility. It was promised to him in 1981 after his Panama success and he is getting it.”
Roberts said he fought for the mega facilities (the third being the national tennis centre in Tacarigua) and was very proud that all three are near completion.
“People told me two years ago that I was dreaming and we are a country of Tarouba Stadiums. Remember the fiasco that is the Tarouba Stadium, something that was to cost $1.75m reached $1.1b and still needs another large amount to money to be completed. It is just a heap of PNM rubbish that you are seeing in Tarouba.”
The outspoken Roberts added that he believed in local talent which has paid off. He said: “I believed that with the ability of our UWI graduates and also with the local suppliers and consultants that we could make this happen, once we have a good partner from outside, which is what we have with SCG International.
“Forty per cent of what you are seeing here is local with suppliers like Bhagwansingh. This is the beginning of a new era in T&T, sport tourism is around the corner and soon we will the hub of sport science and sport tourism.
“We are delivering in sport, just take a look. Work is being done all round the country, including Tobago. Sports is on the rise in T&T and this country is open for business,” Roberts said.