Punta Gorda gets the Best basketball court in the country Print E-mail
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Thursday, 16 November 2017 00:00

On Friday November 17th, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Sports, Hon. Patrick Faber along with Sports Council representatives and the Mayor of Punta Gorda, Fern Gutierrez, will officially inaugurate the brand new state of the art multipurpose complex in that municipality.

While that will be the official opening, the facility has already undergone its first test when it hosted the Battle of the Drums and Food Fete to a massive success. Mayor Gutierrez notes that, “the people of Punta Gorda can now enjoy the facility.” Adding to that sentiment was former area representative for Toledo East, Eden Martinez who vividly recalled that, “the old center was hitched with thatch that was rotting and was dangerous for people and it embarrassing for leaders to hold activities here.” He added that, “when the UDP came in to office there was a focus to construct these types of sporting facilities in the various municipalities. We are proud and elated that there is the new structure in Punta Gorda.” He then thanked the Prime Minister for making the financing available for the building.

That financing amounted to 3.4 million dollars which saw the doubling in size of the building. The court itself sits on a space of 125 feet by 125 feet with an additional 100 feet extension to accommodate office spaces, lockers and bathrooms as well as reception areas. The building accommodates a Conners certified wooden court along with Gared rims and backboards, shot clock and scoreboards. It also has bleachers to seat 850 persons and an additional 150 on the floor for a total of 1000 seats. It will also have the capacity to withstand a category 3 hurricane.

And with so much invested in the facility, General Manager for Belize Infrastructure Limited, Christy Mastry, who executed the project told the Guardian that BIL is now working on setting up management structures. Mayor of PG, Fern Gutierrez, readily admits that currently the municipality does not have the finances to manage the facility but they are now working to put together a management team and plan for the structure. She noted that there is no plan to be reconstructing the facilities and added that the existing court is the 4th one that has been built on that location. She said that this is the first time in the history of Punta Gorda that they have such a state of the art facility and they will now be working to have the capacity to manage it properly.

That falls in line with BIL’s mandate and Mastry said that it is working on having workshops with municipalities and local sports council representatives as well as the National Sports Council to form management committee in each municipality. They are looking to put in place reporting mechanisms, bank accounts and maintenance plans which will be looked at on a quarterly basis to check to see that the plan is being followed. Mastry notes that the facilities should be able to generate in the minimum an amount of revenue to remain revenue neutral and to at least afford its own maintenance. She cited the football fields in Belmopan and San Pedro and Dangriga which have held tournaments and have shown that they can turn a profit.

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 November 2017 15:27