GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – At last we are all here to witness the reopening or inauguration of Phase 1 the Raoul Illidge Sports Complex, the beautiful sports field before us. It is a pleasure for me to be here this afternoon because we, in our ministry are convinced that Sport is a very important area for development of any country. Sport also plays an integral role in the life of those who participate in the different areas of sporting activities. Sports provide structure and discipline for those who participate in it and goes a long way in deflecting anti- social behaviour. We also strongly believe that our young generation must have the sports resources available to them in order to excel in whatever sports area of interest they have.
Our young athletes over the years have done very well in various sports disciplines. Our young athletes will now have a beautiful sports field to shine even brighter.
This upgraded sports complex has all the opportunities and possibilities to provide for different sports. As said earlier, this is the completion of phase 1. Phase 2 includes upgrading of the bleachers and other existing buildings. Government has financial challenges at this point in time, but the upgrading will continue as financial resources become available.
All that you see here today did not happen on its own and so I want to acknowledge and applaud the input of our two former Ministers of Sports and our former Ministers of infrastructure as well as our present Minister of infrastructure. I want to also acknowledge and applaud the work and diligence of the officials of VROMI who have been with this project from the very beginning and also the work of MNO Vervat and the members of the sports department.
I must say that the new renovated RISC brings a level of enhancement to the district of Cay Hill and Belair and fits in with the “newness and beauty” of the surrounding buildings. I will also like to encourage the residents to make the right arrangements with the management group of the Upkeep foundation when they will like to make use of the facilities.
I therefore congratulate all that have contributed to us being able to open the complex today and I call on all users to be mindful of the fact that even as you enjoy using the facilities that this complex offers, that you also take care of this sports field and to use it in a responsible manner.
Minister Hon. Patricia Lourens Philip
Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports