NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (JANUARY 12, 2023) — The Ministry of Education continues to enhance its athletic programme at the Nevis Athletics Stadium at Long Point with the recent addition of a top-of-the-line photo finish system.
At a brief but significant ceremony at the stadium on January 12, 2023, Hon. Troy Liburd, Junior Minister responsible for Sports, described the new equipment as a critical addition which would elevate track and field on Nevis.
“This will go a long way to advancing track and field here on the island of Nevis.
“When I assumed the role of Minister of Education some years ago, one of the first persons who approached me was Mr. [Garfield] Virgo and he kept on insisting that one of the things that we really, really need here on Nevis is a system such as this – the photo finish system – that will determine who crosses the line first. It is up to the time system… We are no longer going to use the pistol and the mic. We are now using an electronic pistol system, so as soon as that electronic pistol goes off its recorded immediately, which is much more accurate than the other system,” he said.
Mr. Liburd thanked St. Kitts and Nevis Athletics (SKN Athletics) for sharing its system with Nevis over the years, noting that their sharing would be reciprocated.
“I want to thank the athletics association here in the federation, over on St. Kitts for the many, many years of using their system…I know as we are one federation that we will continue to share. Now that we have this unit here, I’m sure, they will also have use of it and we would be happy of course to share.
“This, I think, represents what the Nevis Island Administration wants to do, what the Ministry of Sports wants to do, and what the Ministry of Education wants to do in terms of the build out of sports here on Nevis, and the build out when it comes to track and field,” he said.
Minister Liburd stated that the system is a big leap for Nevis and thanked all who had been instrumental in making it a reality.
“I want to take the opportunity to say thank you to my predecessor as the Minister of Sports the Hon. Eric Evelyn who would have played a big part in us having this system here today. I want to thank all of those in the Department of Sports, Jamir and all of those who would have championed the cause for us getting this instrument.
“Of course, Mr. Virgo who from day one has always advocated for us getting this type of equipment, and I can’t leave out our guys from IT who would have done the work to look at all of the specifications. So they would have done the technical work to make sure we have the top of the line system,” he said.
Mr. Liburd also had words of admonition for those who would have charge over the system to take care of it, citing its costliness and the hope of having it up and running for many years to come.
The Sports Minister also used the moment to reiterate that the NIA’s goal continues to be the development of the stadium, as far as possible, adding that he would be a proponent in making it a reality.
“I will certainly be advocating as much as I can for us to start with the second segment of the whole complex here that would involve some development of infrastructure and so on. We have a very good track, one of the best tracks in the Caribbean and we would certainly want to have the facilities to go along with the track,” he said.
Mr. Jamir Claxton, Director of the Department of Sports, expressed his satisfaction and gratitude to the NIA for its decision to invest in the development of the stadium.
Though it involved a long process with delays, among them the advent of COVID-19, Mr. Claxton noted that one of the components that is critical in ensuring high standards are met is equipment.
“This piece of equipment is very critical to the advancement of track and field here in Nevis, and so kudos to the NIA for seeing the vision and supporting the purchase of this equipment.
“We are now at a point where we can host additional meets, international meets because we have the requisite equipment to make sure that the times and other elements of track and field are at the international standards…I’m elated. It was a long process but we are here and we must be grateful,” he said.
Also present at the ceremony were Mr. Kevin Barrett, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education who chaired the ceremony; Mr. Garfield Virgo, Education Officer responsible for Sports; Ms. Nichola Fraser, Wellness Coordinator in the Ministry of Education; Mr. Craig David, Director of the Information Technology Department and his Deputy Mr. Jevon Claxton; and Pastor Cecil Bartlett who blessed the equipment and the proceedings.