Two-and-a-half years after its conceptualisation, the Bayleys Pavilion at Bayleys, St. Philip, is complete and ready for use.

It was officially declared open last Wednesday, during a brief ceremony attended by Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley, who said ???Bayley???s is the ideal location??? for the spanking new facility.

???Bayley’s and the surrounding areas have a growing and developing population, becoming increasingly popular with Barbadians. One just has to think of Bottom Bay, Merricks, Ruby Park and Apple Hall,??? he said.

In fact, Mr. Lashley pointed out, the area was also producing outstanding sports persons and athletes who were excelling in national sporting competitions, such as draughts, dominoes and tape ball cricket.

He added that the building of the pavilion was a strategic collaboration between the National Sports Council (NSC) and the National Housing Corporation (NHC), with the former providing material and the latter labour.

???This is tangible proof of what can be achieved when the public sector uses its resources assiduously. This combining of resources, both human and financial, is one of the pillars of the Government’s Growth Strategy, as we strive to achieve our developmental goals,??? he reasoned, adding that a similar approach would be used for the redevelopment of the National Stadium, the refurbishment of the Wildey Gymnasium and other community facilities.

Mr. Lashley added that the complex was designed with the ???sports for all??? mantra in mind, as it features a ramp and specially-designed toilet facilities for the disabled community.

Furthermore, he explained that in the future the unused space at the lower level of the pavilion would be constructed into additional rooms for community-based activities ??? whether they were educational, cultural or social.

???My vision is that facilities like these across Barbados must evolve into something more than just locations for sports or cultural activities. They must become centres from which research can be undertaken; centres at which both professionals and laypersons will come together to develop and to execute work plans.

“Here, a spirit of community, and a collaborative, community approach to the conceptualisation and execution of sporting, cultural and other events should be promoted,??? Minister Lashley said.

Author: Shamkoe Pil??

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