Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs Darryl Smith expressed his gratitude to the maintenance staff at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port-of-Spain, who managed to reopen the facility's A1 track for use shortly after a busy Carnival season.
Visiting the site on Friday, Minister Smith said, "This track is known for helping athletes run fast times, and the speed with which it was brought back into service is a record in itself! It is an amazing feat that required due diligence on the part of everyone at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
"Our role at the Ministry and Sports Company is to ensure that all facilities under our management are safe and comfortable work environments for our athletes and their support staff, who are preparing for upcoming regional and international events. The three-day record must now be the standard turnaround time with any future Carnival activities held at this facility."
Although the Elite Athlete Training Facility remained accessible to athletes during the Carnival period, the athletic track was off-limits, owing to several large-scale events being held on the main field. In light of this accommodation of cultural activities at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, the Ministry provided transportation to alternate venues such as the Mannie Ramjohn and Ato Boldon Stadiums for those athletes that required it.
With Olympic gold medallist Keshorn Walcott and his training partner Shakeil Waithe already back at the venue, it is expected that the flurry of activity on the Stadium track will resume this week as junior and elite national athletes continue their preparation for the CARIFTA Games (25-28 March 2016) and Olympic Games (5-21 August 2016).
One of those athletes, shotput athlete and Sportswoman of the Year 2015 Cleopatra Borel who is entering her fourth Olympic Games in Rio, continues her preparation for the titular event.
"SporTT staff really went above and beyond to accommodate my training sessions during the Carnival season, (even) on Carnival Monday and Tuesday."