Thursday, September 28, 2023
By JADE RUSSELL
Tribune Staff Reporter
YOUTH, Sports and Culture Minister Mario Bowleg said discussions with the Chinese government are continuing to help fund the $10m repairs to the Thomas A Robinson Stadium.
He expected to meet with Chinese officials yesterday.
He said the Chinese, who donated the $30m stadium to The Bahamas in 2011, “are willing and able to assist in funding and the preparation and repair of the facility. So, therefore, the government itself may not have to spend the monies that were allocated for the repairs of the stadium.”
The $10m will reportedly be used to repair the stadium and the Betty Kelly Kenning Aquatics Centre as the country seeks to host the World Athletics World Relays and the CARIFTA Swim Championships.
“The cost budgeted for the CARIFTA as it relates to the infrastructure development is some little bit below $2m, about $1.9m,” Mr Bowleg said. “And so, there are other repairs to be done, so we don’t foresee the government itself spending too much money on the repairs for these facilities.”
Mr Bowleg said 1,500 seats will be added to the Betty Kelly Kenning Aquatics Centre, adding renovations will be completed on time.
Mr Bowleg’s comments come after former Minister of State for Finance Kwasi Thompson said the sports minister must clarify the $10m budget for repairs to the stadium.
“Those people who have the technical expertise go out and do the scope of work and determine the cost of anything that needs to be done,” Mr Bowleg responded yesterday. “When it comes to repairing these facilities, it is not a cost which matters. It’s an investment in the facilities for us to have the most eloquent and upgraded facilities for our young people and our athletes to be able to prepare themselves to represent this country at the international level.”