Track can welcome stars now

Cayman can officially host international athletics events now because the Truman Bodden Sports Complex has just been awarded its certification.

That means Cydonie Mothersill will finally be able to compete here and the region’s superstars like Asafa Powell, Usain Bolt and Veronica Campbell-Brown will be able to compete here, hopefully before the end of the year.

The Minister of Education, Employment, Training, Youth, Sports and Culture, Alden McLaughlin was presented with the IAAF certificate for the multi-million dollar track last week.

This marks an historic milestone in the history of Cayman Islands sports as it is the first time that there has been an internationally certified track here.

It is a Class Two certificate which now permits the Cayman Islands to host officially IAAF sanctioned international track meets and any records recorded at the track can therefore be recognised by the IAAF.

McLaughlin said that this certification now presents Cayman’s aspiring Olympians with a world class facility to train on while also offering tremendous sports tourism opportunities in track and field.

Local representative of the IAAF and president of the Cayman Islands Athletic Association, Delroy Murray echoed these sentiments.

He noted that the local association had missed a number of opportunities to host regional Grand Prix meets involving world class athletes in the last few years as part of a proposed tour of the Western Caribbean.

He stated that with the certification the Island can now bid for and host regional international meets such as Carifta, CAC Jrs. and Srs as well as NACAC U-23 Championships.

The opportunity will also present itself for the facilities to be utilized by teams from colder climates in preparation for their outdoor seasons as a part of a sports tourism marketing plan.

The track was laid by local company Island Paving in association with Mondo athletic surfaces using Mondo’s Sportflex Super X surface.

Mondo is the world leader in track and field surfaces having been the track of choice for the last eight Olympic Games as well as this year’s in Beijing.

The Islands’ first track which was laid in 1995 never achieved IAAF certification due to certain deficiencies and the running surface was nearing the end of its useful life.

McLaughlin decided that the track must be redone to international standards.

The presentation was made to the minister in the presence of a number of appreciative young athletes preparing for international meets later this month.