The National Synthetic track was today certified by the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) as part of the Government’s quest to renew sport and athletics and boost Guyana’s capacity to host international sport activities.
Minister of Culture Youth and Sport, Dr Frank Anthony while at the Leonora, Region Three site, said, “We are very pleased that we have been able to certify the track. This will be the first certified facility that we have in Guyana for athletics, so while its looks like a simple thing, it is really a big deal.”
The Minister added that the track is classified as class two which pleases the Government because it allows local athletics to race on a surface that would allow their record breaks to be recorded internationally. “A lot of our athletes would have travelled to places like Trinidad and Barbados, now we can do that right here. I see it as a good thing for competition. The venue itself would also allow for training,” Minister Anthony said while adding that the Ministry envisions that at some point in the future athletes from outside of Guyana will also utilise the track for training.
He added that there are still works that need to be done at the facility, and explained that the northern stand is just one component of the set that will be built. In addition, stands will be built at the southern, western and eastern sides of the track, in phases.
Once the northern stands and the VIP area are completed (which are expected to accommodate approximately 10,000 people), the facility will be launched. “The other stands will be built as we get money in our budget,” Minister Anthony said.
Works such as landscaping, the football field and creation of the parking area are also completed.
A soft launch which was scheduled for later this year had to be delayed because of the need to replace a contractor. The Minister also expressed satisfaction that a lot of persons and athletic groups have shown interest in the facility.