PHILIPSBURG – The Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport (MECYS) through the Department of Sport and its executive arm, the National Sports Institute (NSI) collaborated with the Sint Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) in the refurbishment of the multipurpose court at the John Cooper Jose Lake Ball Park. The Minister of ECYS signed a Memorandum of Understanding with SMMC in which renovations would be made to the court in exchange for the temporary usage of space at the Raoul Illidge Sports Complex for the ongoing construction of the hospital and the placement of the Covid-19 pavilion. On hand to commemorate this event was Minister of ECYS Drs Rodolphe Samuel, Minister of Finance Ardwell Irion, Director of SMMC Dr. Felix Holiday, Department Head of Sport Jonelle Richardson, Director of NSI Maikel Cornet and Facility Manager Siegfried Hodge.
The renovations and upgrades to the court started in the early part of 2021 with the resurfacing of the asphalt, replacement of the backboard and rims and the installment of new light poles and fixtures. The court was also repainted, providing a multipurpose court by integrating multiple sets of lines in order to play Basketball, Football and Volleyball. The children in the neighborhood were more than happy to see their community court being renovated and were found playing basketball once the baskets were installed.
The Department of Sport is excited about the renovations to the multipurpose court and will continue to collaborate with various stakeholders in the community. This collaboration has shown the importance of bringing Government and organizations together to systematically solve existing problems whilst also building collaborative communities. The Minister of ECYS recognized all the hard work of the staff at the National Sports Institute in coordinating the renovations and we are all looking forward to seeing the multipurpose court serve as a vehicle for establishing social cohesion within the community and the stimulation of participation in sport and physical activities.