Funding for Sports Facilities, Playgrounds on Saba

PHOTO CAPTION: The Johan Cruyff Field in The Bottom is used a lot for different sports and sports events, such as the soccer training camp for schoolchildren this month. Commissioner Rolando Wilson (left) and Head of the Planning Bureau Bobby Zagers (standing in the back) paid a visit to one of the trainings.

The Bottom, Saba – The Public Entity Saba is receiving funding from the Ministry of Public Health, Wellbeing and Sport (VWS) to upgrade a number of sports facilities, including putting in a new court for the Johan Cruyff Field, the placing of exercise equipment along Well’s Bay Road and the enhancing of playgrounds.

The funding is made available as a special allowance from the corona support packages. During the pandemic, the Dutch Government has been making funds available for the Caribbean Netherlands islands to provide additional support for the youth, social and mental wellbeing, lifestyle and sport. The Ministry of VWS and the Public Entity Saba together worked on a plan for concrete activities to support the Saba people.

The funding will be specifically available for sport and playground facilities, the installation of an exercise bench (“beweegbank” in Dutch) on Well’s Bay Road where people can do different kinds of exercises, and the replacement of the court of the Johan Cruyff Field in The Bottom. The latter is taking place in collaboration with the Johan Cruyff Foundation which finances the artificial grass carpet.  

Commissioner of Health Care, Youth Affairs, Culture and Sport Rolando Wilson, who has been advocating these improvements, is elated. “It has been quite some years since the Johan Cruyff Field was inaugurated. The field is used for all sorts of sporting events, and because of the wear and tear, the field needs a new court. I am very happy and thankful that this has been approved by the Ministry of VWS and the Johan Cruyff Foundation,” he said.

Wilson explained that the exercise bench is a very welcome addition to the Well’s Bay area which has become a popular route for Sabans who want to exercise, to take daily walks or runs. With the exercise bench in place, people can do additional exercises to further strengthen their bodies.

The various playgrounds in the villages, constructed after the 2017 hurricanes with Dutch funding, are being extensively used by the island’s children, often in the company of a parent or family member. Commissioner Wilson was happy to announce that further upgrades would be taking place at several of these playgrounds.

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