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VIRGIN GORDA BREAKS GROUND FOR NEW SPORTS FACILITY

156R/07
Contact: Vicki Samuel Lettsome Information Officer II
Telephone: 468-3701 ext. 2043
Email:  vsamuel-lettsome@gov.vg

VIRGIN GORDA BREAKS GROUND FOR NEW SPORTS FACILITY

Monday, April 30 – Members of the Virgin Gorda community gathered at the Bregado Flax Educational Centre grounds on Friday to mark the commencement of works on the Virgin Gorda Sports and Recreational Facility.

The facility is being funded by the Virgin Gorda Charitable Company Limited (VGCCL) on crown land provided by the Government. It will house the first Olympic-sized swimming pool in the Territory, a toddler pool, dive platform, basketball/volleyball court, covered bleachers, changing rooms and resource centre.  

Chief Minister Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith said that it was a privilege and pleasure for Government to approve the use of 3.2 acres of crown land to build the facility.  “The same commitment that has driven our Government to vastly expand support for our young people has also inspired the private members of our community,” he said.

The Chief Minister added, “We believe that our young people are our most precious resources and when we put money behind programmes that allow them to thrive, we are making an investment that will pay off for years and decades to come.”

Minister for Education and Culture Honourable Lloyd Black said that there have been limited opportunities for the young people of Virgin Gorda for too long.  “As a Government we have to redouble our efforts here on Virgin Gorda to ensure that our young people can definitely get the same experience as other young people in the BVI and this here today in a perfect example,” the Education Minister said.

“You are not only getting the same opportunity, but you are getting the first public swimming pool in the BVI thanks to the Virgin Gorda Charitable Company and the Government of the British Virgin Islands,” he added.

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Ninth District Representative and Leader of the Opposition Honourable Ralph T. O’Neal expressed his appreciation to the persons who contributed to this project, especially those who have made Virgin Gorda their home. “It is the Virgin Gorda community who has started this project and I am very glad that the Government has become a part of it,” he said.
The proposed development is intended to benefit young people, including the students of the Bregado Flax Educational Centre Primary and Secondary Divisions, as well as the wider community.

The VGCCL will construct the sports and recreational facility as a donation to the Virgin Gorda community. Upon completion, title to the facility will be gifted to the Government of the BVI.  The Ministry of Education and Culture will assume full responsibility for its operational management.

The Virgin Gorda Charitable Company Limited, which is the brainchild of Christina Yates, was formed in 1998 but it was officially established in 2001.  The company manages and redistributes funds contributed by owners of vacation rental properties on the island, who donate the value of one week’s rental to the company.
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Note to Editors:

Founding members of the VGCCL were Christina Yates, Hon. Ralph T. O’Neal, Mr. Reeial George, Ms. Grace Flax-Waters, Ms. Shereen Flax-Charles, Ms. Marion Levons, Verne Wheatley and Vincent Wheatley.  Membership has increased to include owners of vacation rental properties who participate in the promotion and administration of the company.

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