Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
March 20, 2008 (SKNIS)
The new track and field facility at Bird Rock has been named the Silver Jubilee Athletic Stadium as it symbolizes the growth and transformation of St. Kitts and Nevis over the past 25 years and stands as a beacon of hope for future prospects.
Prime Minister Honourable Dr. Denzil Douglas made the announcement during his official address at the opening ceremony on Wednesday. “This athletic stadium is a commemoration of the 25th anniversary of our nation’s independence; our silver jubilee which we celebrate this year,” he said. “It is a demonstration of great generosity to the Government and people of St. Kitts and Nevis [from the Republic of China (Taiwan)].”
The Prime Minister noted that it was against this backdrop that Cabinet named the facility. The announcement was greeted with a rousing ovation as persons eagerly showed their national pride. The Prime Minister also revealed that the main pavilion at the facility will be named in honour of local sprint star Kim Collins who continues to excel in the international arena.
“These two names “¦ are most significant as they recognize the importance of the generosity of “¦ [Taiwan] in acknowledging our Silver Jubilee Independence Anniversary in this way; and the second recognizes the stellar and unprecedented performance of our own leading athletes here at home and on the world stage,” said Prime Minister Douglas.
Taiwan is considered to be one of St. Kitts and Nevis’ closest allies since establishing diplomatic relations in 1983. It has provided unparalleled assistance in numerous areas in sports, national security, health, education, agriculture and community development. The renovations to the Warner Park Stadium and the construction of the Silver Jubilee Athletic Stadium were chiefly financed by the Republic of China (Taiwan).
Prime Minister Douglas explained that there has been great progress in Government’s programme of expanding the numbers and quality offerings of sporting facilities in the Federation. He added that this coupled with the developmental programmes of the Department of Sports will groom world class athletes. The St. Kitts and Nevis leader stressed that the success of these initiatives is dependant on the athletes who must have a burning desire to train, practice and compete to win as well as on administrators of local sports associations who must ensure that operations are run efficiently and professionally at all times. As such, he encouraged athletes to maximize the use of the facilities and encouraged organizers of events to ensure that every meet is conducted with an unswerving commitment to excellence.
The Silver Jubilee Athletic Stadium will host the March 21 to 24 CARIFTA Games to be contested by 700 athletes from 26 nations. The Prime Minister said that “good things are happening in St. Kitts and Nevis.” He stressed that his Government is truly focused, remains fully on course and remains fully on track” in transforming the economic and social landscape of St. Kitts and Nevis.