Synthetic running track at KC soon
KC Old Boys’ Association vicepresident, Maurice Weir
GROUND IS to be broken for the laying of a $58 million synthetic running track at Kingston College (KC) by the end of October.
While the project is being undertaken to maintain the school’s competitiveness at Boys and Girls’ Championships, Maurice Weir, vice-president of the Kingston College Old Boys’ Association, hopes that the KC track won’t be the last to be laid at a local high school.
The track will be laid at the school’s Melbourne campus and is expected to be completed next February.
“We have not raised all the funds, but I indicate to you because we are Fortis, because we have a determination to succeed,” said Weir.
“We have actually set the date for groundbreaking for the 28th of this month, and we’re scheduled for completion in February of the next year.”
In a request for financial support for the project, he asked potential backers to “see it as an investment not only in KC, but in track and field and the youth of Jamaica”.
According to Weir, who carries the association’s portfolio for sport and extra-curricular activities, recurrent injuries to members of the athletics team and the laying of a track at Calabar High School have led to an acceleration of the KC track project.
“We have had some serious problems with injuries over the years, and we had the intention of putting in this track because all the experts had indicated two things: one, our corners are two sharp, and secondly, the running surface that we have was too tough,” he explained.
The existing KC grass track is approximately 320 metres in circumference.
Continuing, he said: “We realise that we can’t allow our main rival in track and field to get too far ahead of us, and what this has done for us is to bring forward our plans by a year because how we had anticipated it, we would have our track in place for the 2018 season.”
With track and field activities at the school’s Melbourne campus, work will begin in January to prepare the playing field at the KC North Street grounds for cricket.
Weir foresees the new track ushering in the return of weekly athletic meets, involving other schools, which were regularly held at KC in the 1960s and ’70s.
He also envisaged a future where more synthetic tracks are installed in Jamaica.
“Despite all we have achieved, we only have five running tracks in Jamaica, and you have to understand that this is a real problem,” he emphasised as he issued a call for support for the project.
“I’m hoping that the Kingston College track will not be the ending of the development of school tracks. Jamaica College, I’m certain, at some point will probably be thinking along those lines, and then out in the west, I’m hoping that places like St Elizabeth Technical and Munro College may think of doing something like that as well,” added Weir.