Officials from the Government of the Virgin Islands, FIFA, the BVI Football Association (BVIFA) and the BVI Olympic Committee celebrated with residents of the East End and Long Look communities during the historic groundbreaking ceremony of the Greenland Multipurpose Stadium on Wednesday July 23 at the Greenland Festival Grounds.
Speaking during the ceremony, Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith OBE stated, “The Government of the Virgin Islands is truly pleased to collaborate with FIFA, the BVI Football Association and the BVI Olympic Committee as we prepare to break ground for the construction of the Greenland Multi-Purpose Stadium which is expected to ultimately improve the quality of life for our people, grow our economy and boost our sporting tourism sector.”
Premier Smith noted that the East End and Long Look communities are admittedly one of the largest in the Virgin Islands with residents at all stages of life. It is anticipated that on completion of the multipurpose stadium, the Territory can look forward to the provision of a variety of community recreational activities to target all ages.
The Premier reiterated along with improving the quality of life for residents, promoting the Territory as a host for sporting events and developing the Virgin Islands’ Sporting Tourism industry is part of the Government’s efforts to build a better Virgin Islands and secure the Territory’s economic future.
The BVIFA is the local member association of FIFA and, along with the BVI Olympic Committee, has therefore partnered with the Government in the development of the Greenland Multipurpose Stadium.
Speaking on the project, FIFA Development Officer, Ms. Angenie Kanhi stated, “I am very happy and FIFA is always very happy when the local association has a good relationship with Government agencies and Government in general, so that partnerships can be brought forward and made to be long-lasting.”
Ms. Kanhi added, “We really expect this project to do well. It is very important, especially in this day and age, to have good infrastructure and facilities for working with children and adults so that they can have the types of surfaces that they need, and the necessary support facilities.”
The FIFA Development Officer underscored the value of the Greenland Multipurpose Stadium and its importance saying, “We know that the facility will do a lot for football in the BVI, community and the entire society.”
The scope of works for the project includes a regulation sized football field and associated support facilities to be provided by FIFA.
The master plan is also envisioned to include a six lane, 400 meter grass track; netball and volleyball courts; covering of ghuts on both sides of the stadium and fencing of the stadium; a parking lot for 200 cars; and an access road between the parking lot and the Multi-purpose stadium, which will be facilitated in partnership with Government and other stakeholders such as the BVI Olympic Committee.
Additional speakers at the groundbreaking ceremony included the Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources, Dr. the Honourable Kedrick Pickering, Minister for Education and Culture, Honourable Myron V. Walwyn, Representative for the Eighth District, Honourable Marlon A. Penn, President of the BVI Football Association, Mr. Andy Bickerton and Chair of the Economic Development Sub Committee, Mr. Ron Potter.
The development of the Greenland Multipurpose Stadium reflects the commitment of the Government of the Virgin Islands to creating a Territory where everyone has the opportunity to realise their full potential, can excel in all of their endeavors and compete effectively with their counterparts around the world.