In the latter part of July, a partnership to benefit the future athletes of Abaco was forged particularly for those of Central Abaco Primary School (CAPS).
A long time coming, the Dundas Town Local Government Committee along with the administration, staff, students, parents, the PTA Board of CAPS and a handful community stakeholders pooled their resources to see their dream of a track and field facility come to fruition.
Located below the school grounds on Forest Drive, passerbys can now see that in addition to the tennis court, there is now a beautifully designed 400-meter track complimented by a 100 meter straightway.
Faron Newbold, chairman of the Dundas Town Local Government Committee, said that the decision was made to invest in the track because, until then, students had no proper facilities for sporting activities. Looking to the future, he is confident that more top-notch athletes from Abaco will be in the making as a result of these new facilities.
There are also more upgrades included in the project.
“Right now we already have the tracked laid out, it’s already prepped, so in the second stage we’re going to go into the asphalt and striping then we’re going to move on to phase two where we’re going to put a long jump pit, shot put pit and later on the disc throw,” he outlined. “Later down, we’re going to incorporate all of the sporting facilities, so these kids can have a chance to display their God-given gifts and talents and hopefully, you know, we’ll have more Olympic stars in these other areas.”
He added, “So basically the whole idea is to make this an up-to-date track and field location so where the primary schools now can have a location to exercise their talents.”
Turning his attention to Sophie Bootle, President of the CAPS PTA Board, Newbold said he loves working with her because of her dynamic personality and her persistence to see the project completed on time.
“I would like to say to the PTA – you have a giant of a lady representing you this year as your PTA president,” he boasted.
In her remarks, Bootle was emotional as she praised God for the people working hand-in-hand with her to see the project come together. She gave special thanks to Newbold’s brother, Lynden Newbold, for donating all of his time and offering his surveying services free of charge as well as Thomas Kelly, the Big Cat machine operator, who prepared the base of the track.
To the parents of Central Abaco Primary, she expressed much gratitude.
“I can’t forget you parents, oh you parents, those who have jumped on board, with no problem, no questions, they gave when we asked them to give – they gave not knowing, but believing and having faith and giving the PTA Board a chance. I really want to thank you parents for that,” she exclaimed.
Newbold and Bootle also made a special appeal to those willing and able to see the project to completion, which they said the community and those affiliated with CAPS will greatly appreciate.
A teary-eyed Leroy Thompson joined the group later that day. Thompson who taught Physical Education at CAPS, recently retired after more than 40 years of service to education in The Bahamas. He called the sporting facility a “major milestone” for the community of Abaco.