Statement from the National Sports Council in response to Nation Newspaper articles of September 8th and 25th, 2016.
The National Sports Council has under its management a range of sporting facilities across the island comprising seventy-five (75) hard courts, one hundred and six (106) playing fields and seventy-one (71) pavilions.
Among the challenges associated with management of these facilities in the past has been an aging equipment fleet; wear and tear at a faster rate than available resources for project specific maintenance; and, in some instances, public abuse of the facilities.
Notwithstanding these challenges, the Council remains mindful of its responsibility to explore all avenues towards the upkeep of these facilities and especially so in view of their vital importance to social and sporting activities and events.
In this regard the Council took several steps over the past year to reinforce its efforts, including the following:
- The purchase of an additional tractor and retrofitting of its existing fleet to correct a situation where only one tractor was available to service the wide range of fields.
- The purchase of two commercial drive mowers which are scheduled to be commissioned within the next month, resulting in a fleet of six field maintenance vehicles comprising tractors and drive mowers.
- Zoning its facilities into five distinctive areas with Zone Supervisors for time specific review, as well as the structured deployment of staff and its equipment fleet.
- A comprehensive review of and approval of guidelines and benchmarks for scheduling and maintaining all aspects of its facilities.
The Council recognises that maintenance of its fields during the rainy season can be particularly difficult. Its “Facilities Maintenance Policy” in addressing this requires these be cut at an increased rate during this period.
While some deficiencies remain with respect to the level of responsiveness identified for maintenance and the upkeep of its facilities, insistence on adherence to established guidelines and ongoing strengthening of its program of maintenance across all its facilities continues to be paramount.
CEO, Interim, National Sports Council, Jerry Blenman