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Back to square one!

Back to square one!

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The Sion Hill Playing Field may soon return to what it used to look like, prior to 2006.{{more}}

That is the pronouncement from Manager of the National Sports Council (NSC) Osbourne Browne when he spoke to SEARCHLIGHT last Wednesday morning.

Browne told SEARCHLIGHT: “Efforts are being made to return it to what is used to be”.

“We are trying to get it flattened and increase the space as there were some elevations,” the NSC Manager confirmed.

At present the Sion Hill Playing Field is being graded with the removal of the top layer of sand.

Browne revealed that the work is being done using equipment from BRAGSA, with Chief Engineer Brent Bailey overseeing the work.

Browne is asking for patience while the work is being done, and as he put it, “You cannot make omelette without breaking eggs.”

The closure of the playing field means that there may be no Sion Hill Inter Village Football Competition this year.

Browne, however, said that NSC will have look into easing its stance on the use of the hard courts in the area for the purpose of small goal Football, as a stop gap measure.

The NSC Manager said that the work could not be done earlier in the year, “As we did not have the resources.”

The Sion Hill Playing Field, along with Arnos Vale One and Two and the Stubbs Playing Field, underwent major upgrade in 2006 in preparation for the hosting of warm up matches for World Cup Cricket 2007, at a total cost of approximately EC$54 Million.

Among the things done to the Sion Hill Playing Field was the resurfacing and re-grassing of the entire outfield, a drainage system, the erection of a perimeter fence and the construction of a pavilion, dressing rooms, umpires room, kitchenette and a small office space.

The upgrade of the four facilities included the introduction of sand based outfields, instituted under the auspices of the then Local Organising Committee (LOC).

However, over time, the cost of the upkeep of the fields has become burdensome to the NSC.

Holding a candid view on the matter, Browne stated that the Sion Hill Playing Field was heading to a state of disrepair, and according to him, “it was heading to be fit for only agricultural purposes.”

The NSC Manager pointed out that current work also involves re-grassing, back filling and getting good top soil.

He said that the soil from the Mound of the eastern side of the playing field will be used to spread on the outfield.

The deficiencies of the work done on the Sion Hill Playing Field came to the fore last August, when heavy rains caused the fence at the eastern side to give way, dumping tons of water on to the field and giving rise to a “pool” on the western side.

The damage done to the field meant that no Cricket was played on the facility for the 2011 domestic season.

As a corrective measure, Browne said, “We are using is a soak away system and take the water away from the playing field to the airport end.”

However, Browne was unable to give a date when the work will be completed and the facility will be back up and running. (RT)

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