Contractors invited to bid for $145M track and field facility

Construction of a synthetic Track and Field Facility long called for by local athletes is set to begin with contractors invited to bid for the estimated $145M project.

The synthetic track will be built at the Leonora Community Centre ground on the West Coast Demerara. A Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport notice on the government’s procurement website, www.eprocure.gov.gy, is inviting contractors to bid for ‘Phase 1’. The delivery/construction period is six months.

Interested eligible bidders may obtain further information from the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry. Qualification requirements include valid National Insurance Scheme and Tax Compliance Certificates (both of which should be in the name of individual or firm submitting the Bid). Bids must be addressed to: The Chairman, National Procurement and Tender Administration Board, Ministry of Finance and must be delivered to the address on or before November 30, 2010.

Last month, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Dr. Frank Anthony had said that construction work on the long-anticipated synthetic track will get underway before year-end. He had said that over 30 acres of land had been identified to erect the facility. Anthony had also said that an allocation had already been made in the national budget to start the construction.

Over the years, athletes, coaches and athletics officials alike have expressed their frustration over the lack of a synthetic track, noting the disadvantage of training on grass tracks and on roadways then competing on synthetic tracks at overseas meets.  One coach had pointed out that competing in Guyana on the grass tracks had the athletes at a further disadvantage because timings made on grass tracks were not recognized by the world governing body, the International Athletics Association Federation (IAAF). Only timings made on the synthetic track are recognized by the IAAF, as such the coach had explained that should a Guyanese break a world record on the grass track, his timing would be rendered null and void.

Anthony had also said that the eventual emergence of the synthetic track is just the beginning of the vast developmental steps that the ministry will be taking to advance athletics in Guyana. “We have to look at getting more officials trained, and we will do our part. The future is bright, and if we are going to move athletics to another level we have to work together, hand in hand, to make this happen,” he had said.

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