Syn­thetic run­ning track at KC soon

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS - Hu­bert Lawrence Gleaner Writer

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”.

RE­CUR­RENT IN­JURIES

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.

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