New Health and Wellness
by Barbados Advocate
THE completion of the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic's spanking new, BD$2 million Health and Wellness Centre will not only enhance the educational institution's ability to add other sports to its curriculum, but provide additional benefits to the tertiary facilities 3 000 plus students and wider community.
These and other advantages were outlined at the official opening of the centre on Wednesday, which was attended by the Minister of Education, Youth Affairs and Sports, the Honourable Anthony Wood, other ministry officials and some of the students and staff of the SJPP.
Minister Wood, prior to cutting the ribbon and declaring the building open, praised the development of the centre and all those with a hand in bringing the project to fruition, stating that the new centre would greatly enhance the SJPP campus and its offerings ahead the polytechnic's integration into the University College of Barbados at September 2008. "With the establishment of the University College of Barbados, this facility would allow the institution to expand the courses in Physical Education and Sports Management presently offered by the [Barbados] Community College," the Minister stated.
He joined with other speakers at the opening, Chairman of the SJPP Board Joseph Tudor, Director of the National Sports Council Erskine King, and Acting Principal of the institution Wendel Cozier, in encouraging the current students to properly maintain the centre and its equipment and not to engage in vandalism, which would negatively impact future users.
Chairman of the SJPP Board, Joseph 'Johnny' Tudor, during his comments expressed the hope that the world-class facilities represented by the Heath and Wellness Centre would attract regional and international sporting events. Tudor also publicly stated that he would personally make a request to the SJPP board to allow the use of the centre at no cost to members of the disabled community interested in maintaining their physical well-being, an initiative that was welcomed with warm applause.
Director of the National Sports Council, Erskine King, called the establishment of the SJPP's centre an excellent start to the upgrades to similar facilities across the island, one of the legacy benefits coming out of the CWC 2007. King added that upgraded facilities like the one in the Pine would have several economic benefits, particularly in the area of attracting greater sports-related tourism to Barbados. The NSC director also emphasised the urgent need for the public to acknowledge sports as a serious economic activity and not simply an activity engaged in for fun.
The project commenced in July of last year and was completed within the budget in October this year, with fixtures and equipment costing approximately $200 000 and construction totalling $1.9 million. The tri-level facility boasts a well out-fitted gym with exercise bikes, treadmills, free-weights and weight machines and martial arts equipment along with a players' pavilion and changing rooms and a number of office spaces. 6