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  • Residents living in close proximity to the G.C. Foster College in St. Catherine could benefit from training and other development opportunities provided by the sports training institution.
  • Minister with responsibility for Sports, Hon. Natalie Neita Headley, said she has been in discussion with Board Chairman, Dr. Wesley Hughes, to see how best the institution could assist members of the surrounding community.
  • Minister Neita Headley was speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony for the installation of a $168 million running track at the institution on March 18.

Residents living in close proximity to the G.C. Foster College in St. Catherine could benefit from training and other development opportunities provided by the sports training institution.

Minister with responsibility for Sports, Hon. Natalie Neita Headley, said she has been in discussion with Board Chairman, Dr. Wesley Hughes, to see how best the institution could assist members of the surrounding community.

“We will embark on seeing how best we can incorporate some training and development for community members, giving them certification here from the school in much shorter courses,” she said.

Minister Neita Headley was speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony for the installation of a $168 million running track at the institution on March 18.

She said she is “pleased and proud” about the project, which will foster the development of athletes, coaches, and teachers, and accommodate the staging of regional and international meets.

“We are not just stopping at ensuring that this is going to be an International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) certified track, but that we will create a product here  at G.C. Foster College, which we want to make everyone want to come and see what we are doing here,” she said.

The Minister, who is also Member of Parliament for North Central St. Catherine, urged the institution’s administration to see how residents can be involved in the project, “because you need them to assist …in helping you to maintain (the facility).”

In welcoming the project, Dr. Hughes concurred that it has to be community effort. “The institution cannot exist by itself and in isolation,” noting that it requires the input of the community for its continued development.

“So the track that they are putting in must be for the school foremost, but also for the community, because if we don’t, we’d be isolated and we would not be adding the value that we need to add,” he stressed.

The eight-lane running track, which is being constructed by German company, Berleburger Schaum-stoff-werk, with funding from the Sports Development Foundation (SDF), is expected to be completed within four months.

The contractor is now undertaking site preparation with work already underway on the removal of the existing surface.

Other activities involve excavation and installation of the base and sub-base material, rehabilitation of the infield and surface water control works.

The G.C. Foster College trains student athletes, coaches, and physical education teachers.