NIA – Mr. Victor Lopez, President of the North America Central America and Caribbean Athletics Association (NACAC) and Council Member of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), left Nevis on March 13, 2017, at the end of a three-day visit official visit, with high expectations for the future of athletics on the island.
His visit to Nevis entailed attending the recently held Inter-High School Championships and to inspect and evaluate the new athletic track facilities under construction at Long Point. He was accompanied by his wife Evelyn Ciaudio Lopez.
“I was very impressed with the type of facility that you are going to have here. If the facilities live to what has been planned, you might end up with the best track facilities in the whole Caribbean because it’s going to be a 9-lane MONDO track which is a track that we use in the Olympics and World Championships. Also it has a warm-up track,” he said.
Mr. Lopez explained that many facilities already built in the Caribbean did not have a warm-up track and it is an IAAF requirement when bidding to host the Caribbean Free Trade Association (CARIFTA) Games or other big championships.
He said construction is being is being supervised by MONDO, the same company that installs tracks for the Olympic Games and the World Championships.
“I am sure the product they are going to lay down and deliver to Nevis is going to be top of the world. I am predicting already, when this stadium is complete, it might be the best facility for track and field in the whole Caribbean and maybe even beyond… everything as far as I could see is done by the book,” he said at the end of his site inspection.
Mr. Lopez commended the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) for the initiative to construct a stadium for the development of sports and youths.
He believes that that if sports is developed, young people are developed in the process and therefore, it is the responsibility of sports leaders and government leaders to develop young people.
Hon Hazel Brandy-Williams, Junior Minister in the Ministry of Youth and Sports who welcomed Mr. Lopez to Nevis, thanked him on behalf of Senior Minister Hon. Mark Brantley and the Administration for his visit.
She said the Administration had long planned the construction of the facility which would not only develop athletics and the island’s youths but also create an avenue for the development of sports tourism.
“Sports Tourism is a big aspect these days around the world and little Nevis would want to be a part of that fusion, encouraging world class athletes to come to Nevis.
“They and they will be getting two/three things for the price of one. The tranquillity of Nevis, the warmth of our people and being able to train on a top class facility,” she said.
Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Youth and Sports Michelle Liburd and Director of Sports Jamir Claxton were also part of the welcoming party at the Vance W. Amory International Airport VIP longue.