By anguillian October 26, 2012 11:18



L-R: Mr. Michael Fleming, Hon. Edison Baird, Ms. Kim Cutler, Governor Harrison, Delano Mussington, Rollins Richardson and Owen Mussington. (Backhoe operator Mr. Greig Hughes)

The Sandy Ground Playing Field is being upgraded to better accommodate the many persons who regularly engage in sports and other social events there. It is an initiative proposed by well-known community activist, Michael Fleming, and funded substantially by the Governor’s Office which has provided US$16,000 for materials for a block of well-needed rest-room facilities.

A ceremony was held on Tuesday this week to mark the commencement of work on the three and three-quarter half-acre playing field, now a carpet of green by the recent rains. The land was purchased by Government more than twenty years ago to serve as an additional playing field in Anguilla.

“Today is very significant in the development of sports in Anguilla as we have embarked on the construction of toilet facilities here at the Sandy Ground ball field,” said Rollins Richardson, Deputy Director of Sports. “This project is somewhat long overdue as this field was handed over to Government about twenty years or more. We are very happy to move forward in providing facilities for the many users of this field. It is very significant as it is used by schools, sporting groups and the community at large. Having these facilities will be encouraging for more persons to use the ball field.”

Governor Alistair Harrison said: “I am delighted that the British Government, throughout its Overseas Territories’ Fund, was able to contribute to the project. We have provided some money for the materials for this project, but it is in partnership with the local community, many of whom are providing the labour free in order to complete it. It is a good example of the sort of partnership that we look for in spending the money from our fund. We look to have some buy-in from the local community whether in terms of sharing the cost…”


The Governor described the project as an excellent one. “It is a great enhancement of any small field to have rest-room facilities on site and it makes it much easier to use for a wide variety of sports,” he said. “I think it will be a great asset to Anguilla and the local community. Very many thanks in particular to Michael [Fleming] for being one of the drivers behind this project and to everybody who contributed to it in any way.”


Mr. Fleming said he had visited the Sports Department several years ago about the project as a result of seeing so many children and adults using the field without the needed facilities. He was able to get the design drawings for the project done by Rawle Hazell of the Department of Infrastructure and then set out on a community fund-raising drive. Unable to raise the funds, he contacted the Governor’s Office, through Kim Cutler, and received a grant of US$16,000 for the materials. “I am very grateful to the Overseas Territories Project Fund for making these funds available,” he stated. “I immediately contacted Audley Carty of South Valley; Glenville Hodge of Island Harbour; Owen Mussington of East End; Greig Hughes, Kelvin Brooks and Clyce MaCarthy. They were eager and happy to get this project up and going.”


Mr. Fleming invited community-minded persons, and business owners, willing to contribute materials or labour to the project, to contact him on telephone 548 7155 or 235 7155. This is his second contribution to the playing field. His first was several years ago when he initiated its perimeter fencing.


Minister of Sports and Social Development, Edison Baird, placed on record his thanks to the British Government and the Governor’s Office for the funds; and to Mr. Fleming and the workmen for their roles. “This is a very important facility,” he continued. “This property was purchased many years ago. I am very pleased that as the representative of this constituency, for the last eighteen and a half years, that the purchase of this land, which is roughly three and a three quarter acres, was one of the first projects I was able to bring on stream.”


Mr. Baird reported that his Ministry had plans to expand the playing field when the necessary money became available to ensure proper parking facilities. He was pleased that the “terrible drawback of bathroom facilities” had now been addressed.


Greig Hughes has already done some of the excavation work. The building to house the bathroom facilities will measure 19.2ft. by 26.6 feet. Two toilets sets each will be provided for females and males and there will be an additional one for physically-challenged persons.


By anguillian October 26, 2012 11:18


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