BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, January 31, 2017(Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister)– Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris and Deputy Prime Minister the Honourable Shawn Richards were given a first-hand look at the “significant progress” made on the enhancement of the Boyd’s Playing Facility.

On Tuesday, January 31st, 2017, Prime Minister Harris and Minister Richards led a delegation that consisted of Senator the Honourable Akilah Byron-Nisbett, Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister Osbert Desuza, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sports, Stanley Knight and several residents of West Basseterre on a tour of the work being done at the sporting facility.

The Honourable Shawn Richards, who is also the Minister of Sports, said there was an urgent need to address the state of the sporting facilities in the area.

“In 2015, when the government changed, this particular facility actually looked like a pasture for animals to graze on, rather than looking like a sporting facility for the residents of the community, in particular the young people to be able to use. As a matter of fact, most persons would recall that year after year, the residents of the community had been complaining to the former administration about the fact that this particular facility, which had been promised to them was here in such a state that nothing could take place here,” the minister stated.

“If you come here at this particular point in time, especially in the afternoons, you would actually see persons here, whether it is playing football, running around on the field, whatever they want to do. Now why are they able to do this? Because over the last two years in particular, the new Team Unity Administration has spent in excess of $1 million dollars to ensure that persons can use this field.”

In giving an update of the work completed to date, Minister Richards said, “The football field is prepared, you have the goal posts which are here, the lighting is just about completed – as a matter of fact SKELEC (St. Kitts Electricity Company) came on the weekend to put the lighting in place so that regardless of whether or not one wants to come here during the course of the day or in the evening, the field can be used.

“You would realize that a brand new basketball court is down there because the residents of the community complained that the former basketball court had cracks and grass growing on it, and so they had to abandon it. The only thing left for us to now do at the basketball court is actually to put up the backboards and Public Works has given the indication that they will be here sometime during the course of the day (Tuesday, January 31st, 2017) to put the backboards on the basketball poles,” he added.

In his remarks, the honourable prime minister commended Minister Richards for fulfilling the commitment made to the people of West Basseterre in delivering an upgraded sporting facility within the first two years of the Team Unity Government.

“He told us about the history of the past inaction in relation to this field and we are happy as a Team Unity Government to be a government for all of the people,” Dr. Harris stated. “Those who have elected representatives that are members of the government team and those who do not have representatives on the government team that are in our slate of ministers, we want to assure them all that Team Unity is for all of the people of St. Kitts and Nevis wherever they are and so we have come this morning as a demonstration of that. We have spent over $1 million dollars so far in sporting facilities in West Basseterre, upgrading and readying this field, providing a brand new hard court facility, and so the work of the government is here to see.”

The prime minister continued, “I feel a sense of fulfillment, a sense that we are holding faith with the people of St. Kitts and Nevis all over and in particular, that the people of West Basseterre can rest assured that this Team Unity Government will look after them as well as we have been looking after the rest of St. Kitts and Nevis.”

The enhancement project at the Boyd’s Playing Facility will also include a playing area for children and a jogging path.

According to Minister Richards, the final phase will see the fencing of the entire playing field.

Minister Richards inspects basketball court
Minister Richards inspects basketball court

PM Harris

Prime Minister Harris looking at designs for the Kids' Area at Boyd's Playing Field
Prime Minister Harris looking at designs for the Kids’ Area at Boyd’s Playing Field
Touring delegation at Boyd's Playing Field
Touring delegation at Boyd’s Playing Field