VoxPop` Should the plans for a cricket stadium and race track on Pond Island continue?

POSTED: 09/19/12 1:47 PM

Angelic Richardson-Receptionist

“They need to invest in a higher school that after children finish Milton Peters or Academy they do not have to go away and study. They can study right here. Government always wanted St.Maarten children here, so they need to invest in education instead of wasting money on stadiums and cricket and all that. Those things are not absolutely necessary.  USM is not ready; we need something like a MBO or HBO where you complete everything to the highest level. It will help us to keep our minds busy here and not have to go away in someone else’s country to study.”

Emmanuel York-President of St.Maarten Youth Beat Foundation

“I believe erecting a cricket stadium and a drag racing track is a good idea that is a sure good way of diversifying the tourism product that will create something called sports tourism. It is something that should be supported 100 percent. Now, it’s time to also upgrade the baseball field, the L.B Scott Sports auditorium, the track and football field at the Raoul Illidge Sports Complex, so that we can attract major sporting events on St.Maarten.”

Ben Dover-Concerned citizen

“Why not look at something jointly with the French Side since French Quarter has a lot of land there? They are not even thinking of putting it outside, this is within your capital, then what are you going to do with the dump. Are you going to put a nice sports facility and drag strip here and right across you have the dump? We need to clean up the dump first. There are so many different things you can do with the dump. I remember in 1995 right after Luis, we were supposed to get a 9 hole golf course and government would have made money. Now it is 17 years later and we still don’t have a nice golf course. The environmentalists complain about watersports too, we have no space in St.Maarten. The Emilio Wilson zip line could have been a nice idea too but you will always have a clear case of environmentalists standing in the way of development. If you are going to put a cricket stadium just don’t make the stadium nice, beautify the whole area; Little League etc. I have not seen any plans either to know what this thing would look like, we need detailed drawings. We are all in the dark except what we read in the newspaper. We are also still thinking backwards that you have to have one central location for everything. We need to decentralize things in all the areas such as waste management facilities. Look how long government said they would have placed several public services all over the island, but we are still to see this.”

Samantha Smith-Beautician

“I don’t think the stadium near the Salt Would be a problem unless it would affect us health wise. Other countries put those things in worse areas and the projects come out well. A few years ago, they had midges and could not deal with that. Then you have times that the pond starts to smell like what is happening today; if all that is going on why decide to construct a stadium now. Why now? I don’t think it should be done. They say it will bring a lot of tourism but what about the locals. Everything is about the tourists but nothing for the locals, we need more entertainment. We need a mall and a parking lot too.”

Peggy Persaud-Casino cashier

“Due to the fact that we are living in Philipsburg and it is a more business area, I don’t think is a wise idea. They want to put the stadium near the Salt Pond, but what about if it overflows while a game is going on. Health wise we have to consider the midges that come up at Christmas time.. If they put the stadium in another area, I would support it. It will have a lot of confusion here. They have a lot of work to do before this project is accepted. I remember when the Boardwalk was being built there was lot of fight against it. People got chopped up and police were even involved, and look now everybody enjoys the Boardwalk.”

Changa Changa-Entrepeneur

“To put a sport facility in the Salt Pond is a different thing all together; I may have my reservations about putting it at that location. But sports facilities are definitely needed.”

 Khemraj Lall-Security officer

“I saw it in the paper and there is a lot of controversy concerning the environmental department and the filling of the Great Salt Pond. But if this would benefit the economy, I don’t see this should be much of a problem. At lease you have to look at the environmental side because the pond has a lot of culture which people would want to preserve. But we have to look at both ways in terms of the economy. Cricket is getting modernized in St. Maarten because a lot of Caribbean people live here and come here from all over the world. People will come if you have cricket here, of course. Recently, they had a major match and it was remarkable to see so many people supporting cricket. The hotels and everything are going to benefit. I cannot tell you much about the environment and whether they are doing it at a good location. But I still do not feel it will be a problem because you need somewhere and the stadium can be a cricket and football field.”

Venroy Cargill-Security officer

“I believe it is a very good gesture to really build the stadium because it would be beneficial for the economy and having a stadium it would attract more international games and a lot of audience will come from various parts to watch cricket.”

Joanna Simeon-Administrative assistant

“They should continue with the project, it is a nice recreation for men and boys with their toys. It will also give St.Maarten a lot of exposure in the cricket community because you have a lot of island people living here and they have knowledge of the game. They can now encourage the youngsters to get to know the sport. However I am not too keen about the drag racing due to the fact that I believe that it brings a lot of hype and a lot of people who may be interested in drag racing have no experience in drag racing. So if they are going to attach some sort of training and special gear or what is required to do a proper drag race, then it is ok, but if people get involved and just risk their lives, then I am against it.”

 

Sherry Richardson-Managing director

“I find that the money they are building a cricket stadium with, they can do something else for the youths to get them off of the streets. It should be something that youths can enjoy, perhaps when they finish school, they play so that from doing that they can branch out and go into the Olympics or so. If you look at Curacao, they have the youths playing Little League. We have a Little League here but it is not like in Curacao. They should invest the money in the youths. Instead of focusing on a cricket field, they should also fix the medical part of St.Maarten. Too many people are dying right now in the hospital. Everytime, if you don’t have money, you have to go to different places off island to get medical treatment. They have to build a health facility that will be profitable for St.Maarten. We also have a lot of young people studying in the care sector, bring them back and make them professionals in their own country. What is the sense of giving the students scholarships and when they come back they don’t have anywhere to work. Use St.Maarten children, we have very smart people here.”

Emmanuel Walters-St.Maarten Cricket Association president

“As a cricket fan I think it is imperative that we have a cricket stadium in St.Maarten given the fact that we have been playing at the Caribe Lumber Park and with the upcoming situation where a road will be passing on that ballfield. It is inevitable that we will have to find another location to play our sports. If you visit any afternoon, you will see the amount of cricketers, youths and runners that are on that field. It is one of the few locations that you will find a lot of people play sports. A cricket stadium is something that is going to boost the economy and cricket and I am sure that we are going to find ways and means of bring international teams here. When you look at our youngsters, they play the game but after the reach the Under 19 level, we cannot do anything else for them. The Leeward Islands Cricket Association is also cash strapped but if we have own facilities and with ties that we are trying to shape with Holland, it is going to be a wonderful project. I think there is no reason why this should stop; this is one of the things that the island needs to boost sports, not just for cricket but in general. Where else do we have, you need a wide flat location to place the facility. I know for the fact that building something of that magnitude will cost a lot, whether they have the money for it that is the question but given the fact of all that is being done on the island, I am sure that there must be some sources of revenue. Holland plays cricket and we can be their breeding ground. Just recently we had two young guys go there and they were very impressed with what we have to offer. Even they can chip in and when there is winter in Holland they can come down here and utilize the facility.”

Collin Morris-Aircraft engineer

“The drag race track will keep the youths from dragging on the road and killing themselves. Drag racing is something very popular in the world and brings in tourists too. Cricket will bring sports tourism to the country because if you have a cricket facility of international standards, you will have the Indians, Australians and even the Netherlands team coming here. About two months ago two of our youths went up to the Netherlands to play; it will do well for the island. St. Maarteners has to stop living in denial. Cricket is a Caribbean thing and if they are part of the Caribbean, they should support cricket, although you have baseball. Imagine Australians, Pakistanis and others coming to play here; it will be different types of tourists all together. We have to move away from the Latin American sports and embrace Caribbean things.”

Shawn Philander-Teacher

“A drag racing facility was something that was long promised even by previous administrations, so it is nothing new.  It is good for the youth and is an added activity. The cricket stadium will also boost sports tourism which in the long run will bring in revenue.”

Lindon Hodge-Contractor

“I think they should go ahead with it because it will be good for the island. The hotels will get more guests; when I first heard of it, I said it was a good idea.  When Marlin said that it will go on, I said that is what we need. If you look at sports today on St. Maarten it has dropped tremendously. I play basketball, baseball and softball so I know what I am saying. When you have the cricket going on, we may have different nations on the island but they always support the game. We need something to bring back sports up. Softball has already established itself and usually has a big crowd but when you look at the other sports they are all dead, dead, dead. We need our government to push for that, especially for the youths.  Many nations around us benefitting from sports tourism now, we can too. I am not going to lie to you, I don’t know the game that much but I got to know about it because of my friends. I always thought it was a boring game but once you understand it, you will get to like it.”

Observer

“For the short time living in St.Maarten I was made to realize that if there is a flood here, the Salt Pond is one of the places that will take the majority of the water to save the island. You cannot put anything near there.”

Ricky Horanchandani-Businessowner

“It would be really great to have a cricket stadium on the island, because all people from all over can come here to watch it. Cricket is one of the fastest growing sports on St.Maarten. We will be able to do much better than other islands, we can boost cricket more than other islands.”

Stacy LaFleur-Sales clerk

“I think it is a good idea because when that stadium is built there will be a lot of international games coming to the island. We will make a lot of money. However, they have to really build the stadium high because when it is raining, I find that it may flood.”

Keisha Deepu

“I think it is a good idea because it can facilitate the youngsters and encourage them in their sporting.”

Kim Hassell-Security officer

“I think they should go ahead and build the stadium so that we can go and exercise our bones. We need a stadium in St. Maarten, we need to join the Olympics to bring in the medals. We are the only ones not in it, we need gold and silver medals too, so that our names can be on the world map.”

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