Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Sport, the Honourable Shawn Richards made reference to the mounting of outdoor sports lights at the facility during the Prime Minister’s Forum held on Sunday (October 28, 2018).
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sport, Stanley Knight, said today [October 30] that the lighting system was mounted in June this year and is the only one on island that is made up completely of LED lights. He said this is significant as it burns less electricity, which translates into savings from the power generation end.
Mr. Knight added that the system was also chosen because it is not harmful to the leatherback turtles that nest on the coastline nearby. Artificial lights distract and disorient turtle hatchlings, making them walk away from the ocean waters they need to survive. LED lights have been shown to dramatically reduce sea turtle hatchling disorientation.
The permanent secretary noted that the LED lights will allow community sport teams and residents to be able to use the facility during the evening and night time. The playing field is a popular venue for football and other recreational and organized activities such as sports day.
“In order for us to encourage the participation in sports and physical activity, we basically have to light the field, and if you are going to light the field, you don’t want the lighting of that field to be that great a burden on the taxpayer and also the country’s capacity to generate electricity,” Mr. Knight said.
Going forward, similar LED lighting systems will be used at other sporting facilities.
Additional work at the Tabernacle Playing Field will include the construction of bathrooms and bleachers, as well as the replacement of turf. The community has also raised funds to expand the project to include added features such as a team/meeting room, a concession stand and a VIP area. Work is expected to begin in the near future and predicted to end in the second quarter of 2019.