Permit me to voice a dissenting opinion on the fact that both the Minister of Sport and the Chairman of the CIAA feel that the track of the renovated Truman Bodden Sport Complex should not be open to the public.
While Mr. Murray’s comments and reasoning have some validity I am disappointed at the arrogance and tone of his pronouncements. To exclude the public from the track on the basis of its cost, in a country where obesity, diabetes and hypertension are an ever growing problem belies a certain naivety. The annual cost of treating those diseases in the Cayman Islands runs in to 10s of millions. The $1 million it costs to build the track is only a small fraction of what recently had to be given to CINICO to fund overseas care for indigents and civil servants.
Comparing the use of Wembley Stadium in the UK to the Truman Bodden Complex can only be described as absurd.
Wembley stadium is not completely funded by the UK Government, as TBC is. Wembley has founding partners the likes of Microsoft, Carlsberg and Umbro; its kitchen staff alone numbers about 3500. UK residents have possibly hundreds of state funded facilities where they may exercise.
The citizens of this country have had to make do with South Sound Road and other public thoroughfares in order to attempt to remain fit .The only facility in George Town where anyone can exercise on a flat surface in a safe environment is the track of the Truman Bodden Complex.
To reserve that facility for elite athletes would, in my opinion, be misguided. Any athlete who can be described as elite is by definition a world class contender.
How many of these runners do we have in Cayman to justify excluding the tax paying public from their only walking track?
As usual the interest of the majority has been subverted by special interest lobbying. I would prefer to spend $1 million every year to replace the track than to prohibit the very people who pay for it from making the best use of it.
Any athlete who can be described as elite would need to immigrate to the USA in order to have any chance of proving themselves.
Victor Look Loy