The St.Kitts-Nevis Athletic Stadium will be now called the Kim Collins National Athletic Stadium.
In a ceremony held at the start of the 3rd day of the 44th CARIFTA Games in St.Kitts the National Athletic Stadium was renamed the Kim Collins National Athletic Stadium
The Current World Number 1 ranked 60m Sprinter was bestowed with the honor on his 39th birthday.
The decision to rename the stadium was taken by the new Team UNITY Government during it’s most recent cabinet meeting. The decision was met with much appreciation by the nationals and residents who hailed the decision as long overdue.
Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Sports Shawn Richards hailed Collins as an inspiration, and a man to emulate on and off the track.
Prime Minister Harris declared “Kim Collins exemplifies the talented and driven nature of our people. He exudes the tremendous will to succeed that characterized our ancestors. 20 Years at the top of any activity much less a grueling sport like World Athletic where the career span is often less than ten years Kim as persevered and broken all physical and social barriers that may have been placed for athletes and more significantly Caribbean athletes. No more can the world of athletics declare that a 38 year old Sprinter cannot be the world’s number 1. No more can they say a small Island man cannot be world Champion. No more can they say that a world class sprinter cannot remain so for a 20 year span. Kim Collins has broken the mold and created his own.”
The 5 Time World Championship Medalist used the opportunity to encourage the young athletes waiting to compete in Sunday afternoon’s CARIFTA games, to come behind him and do better than he did and break his records.
The first person from the OECS to win a World Championship Gold Medal the decision St. Kitts and Nevis to win international athletics gold, the decision by the former Administration to name a pavilion rather than the stadium in Collins’ honour, led to heated public debate and accusations of political victimization.
WINN FM reported that At Sunday’s ceremony there were repeated references to the new Team UNITY government’s doing what ‘should have been done in the first place,’ but Collins, never one to shy away from speaking his mind, minced no words about the political shadow that had been cast over his career as a result of his well known support for the St.Kitts- Nevis first Prime Minister Sir Kennedy Simmonds led PAM/NRP Administration. Sir Simmonds was also among specially invited guests at the ceremony.
Also present was IAAF Representative Sebastian Coe , a former Olympian and World Record Holder as well as Sergai Bubka former World Record Holder in the Pole Vault and Premier of Nevis Hon. Vance Amory who was himself a former well known national athlete.