Today will also like to inform the public of Sint Maarten that the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, through the Department of Sports and its executive arm, the National Sports Institute (NSI), has started with the much-needed repairs to the district basketball courts.
The repairs to be executed include new rims, backboards, posts, and fencing. The materials for the baskets have been carefully sourced and made on-island to ensure longevity through the easy removal of the baskets before any disaster.
The National Sports Institute started the repairs over the weekend with the replacement of the posts, backboard, and rims at the court outside of the Leonard Conner School in Cay Bay/Cole Bay and the court outside the Sister Regina school in Simpson bay. The children in the neighborhood were more than happy to see their community court being repaired and were found playing basketball once the baskets were installed.
The repairs will continue over the coming weeks at the various courts, including St. Peters, Dutch Quarter, Belvedere, and at the Melford Hazel Sports complex and the Jose Lake John Cooper ballpark.
The Department of Sport is excited about these much-needed repairs. It will continue to collaborate with the NSI to secure the much-needed funds to make more repairs at the various facilities. The Minister recognizes the hard work of all of the staff of the department of sports and the staff at the NSI, and we look forward to seeing the repaired courts serve as a vehicle for establishing social cohesion within the community and stimulation of participation in sport and physical activities.
In regards to the transfer of DPE, I have been advised to rectify the financial situation of DPE and regulate all employee’s rights and privileges, even those of the teachers, before continuing with the transformation of DPE.
In July 2020, I asked the Acting SG to put a hold on the transfer of DPE and put attention on the financial and employees’ situation. That process has already started with the rectifying of all employee files.