Delivered under budget and within schedule, the new track at the G.C. Foster College of Physical Education and Sport is expected to continue the institution’s rich heritage of sporting education. But, it was not an easy fix.One of the region’s premier sports education institution was yesterday presented with a newly constructed $170 million IAAF Level Two certified synthetic running track, two years after it was closed for safety concerns.And as the who’s who of the island’s sporting administration turned out yesterday afternoon at the Angels, St Catherine-based institution to get a close-up view of the eight-lane facility – which was entirely funded by the Sports Development Foundation (SDF) and laid by German company BSW Regupol – the German company’s point man on the project wore one of the brightest smiles.Decades of useExport Director Peter Breuer shared that the project was a rather difficult one, but noted that the new surface can serve the institution for more than 30 years if properly maintained.Breuer, who first saw a badly deteriorated G.C. Foster College track in 2007 during a site visit, explained that the original track, which was laid in 1998 by the MONDO system, was built on unstable soil and was uneven at several spots.”I’m very happy with it; it came out beautifully,” he beamed. “We had to overcome a lot of problems with the ground, but everything is perfect. We were four weeks ahead of time, within the budget, and everybody is happy.”He added: “The soil was very unstable, particularly along the back straight. The track had deformed up to one metre in spots, so it was like sitting on chewing gum. That ground is still under here, so we had to ensure that the new track is stable and will not deform, and it will not deform because we have put a lot of measures in place.”Breuer noted that he expects a 30-year lifespan if properly maintained. BSW Regupol also built the current tracks at the National Stadium and the University of the West Indies.Driving sportMinister with responsibility for sport, Natalie Neita-Headley, who was speaking on behalf of Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, said: “This institution has become a national catalyst for great things in sport.”The achievement of this college goes way beyond merely handing out degrees and diplomas in physical education and coaching. It has been the main driving force behind a new culture of sport in Jamaica.”This culture has emphasised the importance of study, preparation, practice and training, and the immense value of well informed motivation and a highly educated cadre of coaches across all sporting disciplines,” added Neita-Headley.Simpson Miller is recovering from laryngitis.Meanwhile, Principal Dr Joyce Graham Royal, who spoke to the college’s expanded offerings and plans going forward, was clearly thrilled.”With the provision of this new track we can continue to move full speed ahead with the honing of the many athletes that we have in the G.C. Foster family,” she said.
“That is going to make sure you achieve your vision, whether it is your auditorium or whatever else it is that you want to do. The Regional [office] will now work with you to do the design work, so that whatever it is that we want to do, along with your strategic plan, to make sure that this institution, in honour of Enid Bennett, becomes a world class institution,” the Minister said. The undertaking was given during his address at the renaming ceremony for the school from Bog Walk High School to the Enid Bennett High School on Tuesday (June 19). Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, has committed to spend $20 million annually for the next three years to upgrade the infrastructure at the Enid Bennett High School, in St. Catherine.The undertaking was given during his address at the renaming ceremony for the school from Bog Walk High School to the Enid Bennett High School on Tuesday (June 19).“That is going to make sure you achieve your vision, whether it is your auditorium or whatever else it is that you want to do. The Regional [office] will now work with you to do the design work, so that whatever it is that we want to do, along with your strategic plan, to make sure that this institution, in honour of Enid Bennett, becomes a world class institution,” the Minister said.Senator Reid said that the Ministry would also be providing funds to help youth who are in need and are currently attending the school.“One million dollars will go toward your boys’ empowerment programme and $4 million towards your science programme,” he said.“I have come as a partner to work with you to drive the vision of excellence for Bog Walk High School, now the Enid Bennett High School, and for all the other educational institutions in Jamaica,” the Minister added.The late Enid Bennett was born in Linstead on May 18, 1931. She started her education at Linstead Primary School and later attended St. Helen Commercial School, where she qualified as a stenographer.She was elected Councillor for the Sligoville division and later Member of Parliament for Central St. Catherine, before moving to represent St. Catherine West Central.Miss Bennett served as Minister of State in the Ministry of Local Government between 1980 and 1982, and Minister of State in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security between 1982 and 1989. She was awarded the country’s fourth highest honour, the Order of Jamaica, in 2012.Miss Bennett is hailed as a trailblazing politician, serving as Member of Parliament for 30 continuous years until her retirement in 1997, and setting a record as a female legislator in the House of Representatives.Throughout her years of service in politics, she aimed to transform the lives of citizens and was instrumental in establishing community centres in Buxton Town and Point Hill, improving the West Central St. Catherine road network and bringing electricity to several communities in the constituency.Ms. Bennett died on December 22, 2017 at age 86 after a brief illness. Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, has committed to spend $20 million annually for the next three years to upgrade the infrastructure at the Enid Bennett High School, in St. Catherine. Story Highlights
APTN National News VANCOUVER–The Harper government has again rejected a proposed open-pit gold and copper mine in British Columbia that threatened to destroy a lake sacred to the Tsilhqot’in nation.Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq issued the rejection statement Wednesday. Aglukkaq said in the statement that the Harper cabinet decided the environmental impact of the $1.5 billion mine outweighed its potential economic benefit.Mining firm Taseko Mines Ltd. has been pushing the mining project for almost two decades.Former environment minister Jim Prentice rejected the proposed mine in 2010. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans also rejected the proposal in 1995 when the Chretien Liberals were in power.“We commend the federal government for not bowing to industry lobbying and instead respecting the science and the independent process which came to the conclusion that this project would have a devastating impacts on the environment,” said Tsilhqot’in Nation Tribal Chair Joe Alphonse.Xeni Gwet’in Chief Roger William said it was time for Taseko to stop pushing for the mine.“The company has wasted too many resources and time on a project that was first rejected in 1995,” said William. “It is time to look elsewhere and leave us in peace.”Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo called the decision a “symbolic of a path forward right across this country.” Atleo said it was a victory for all First Nations across the country.“Strong First Nations make for a stronger Canada,” said Atleo.Taseko, however, has gone to Federal Court seeking a judicial review to strike parts of an independent environmental review panel report which found the mine would “have a significant adverse affect on fish and fish habitat in Fish Lake” which is sacred to the Tsilhqot’in.The proposed 27 square-kilometre mine would have been constructed in the Fish Creek watershed which includes Fish Lake and Little Fish Lake. The watershed drains into the Taseko River.The company’s updated proposal for the mine would have destroyed Little Fish Lake and gradually suffocate Fish Lake, which would have seen reduction in water flow from its tributaries.The proposed mine site sits about 125 kilometres southwest of Williams Lake, B.C.firstname.lastname@example.org