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Apr 9, 2014

The state of the People’s Stadium in Orange Walk

So that’s the Band Fest story in a nutshell. But since we were at the People’s Stadium, we couldn’t help but take a closer look at the facilities there. It was all pretty terrible. Apart from the broken down and burglarized B.N.E. building and the ashy football field…it all looked abandoned and decrepit – definitely not premier sporting facility material. In fact, we couldn’t imagine any youths or athletes finding inspiration there. So we asked Minister of Sports Herman Longsworth about it. He agreed with our assessment of the condition, but says that’s all going to change soon.

FOR VIDEO CLICK HERE.

Herman Longsworth, Minister of Sports

Herman Longsworth

“The sports budget is not near where we would want it to be, we don’t have money for infrastructure at all. What we have done, and the reason the People’s Stadium looks the way it looks…and the reason PG looks the way it looks…is because what has been happening over the years is that the little budget that the Sports Council has, has been spent and split at all these facilities and you don’t achieve anything. What I have decided to do now is to take the annual budget and to put it into a facility, and we’re starting with the MCC. When we get that facility up to the kind of standards that we want it to be, then we move to another facility and we spend the money there. It’s going to take a few years to get up to scratch, but at least when we leave a facility it can be properly used, so that is the main reason you see what you see there. There is another aspect, though. We expect that out of the infrastructure money that Belize Infrastructure Limited will be spending, the money that they have to spend…that some serious upgrades will happen to the People’s Stadium out of the Orange Walk money, so we’re not going to duplicate efforts, we’re not looking to put the little bit that we have into a facility that millions will be spent on in the near future, so we’re putting the money into facilities that we know won’t be touched by BIL, so that is why we are where we are right now.”

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