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Briland Park To Be Completed By June 2004
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Posted by:Feb 20th 2004, 12:18:14 pm
chapelBriland Park to be completed by June
By Dahalia Smith
NG Sports Reporter

By the end of June, a new 1,400 square foot sporting complex will be constructed on the northern side of Harbour Island, Eleuthera.

Overlooking the harbour, the Briland Park will feature a play ground, work out gymnasium, a gazebo, basketball, tennis and volleyball courts.

The 'Briland Park' was conceived two years ago by Eleutheran Andrew Johnson, who saw the need for a community park on the island.

Johnson said the primary reason for the sporting complex is to bring the children and the community together.

Johnson, who has been involved in the sport for about 20 years, says he expects the park to be the number one sporting facility in The Bahamas.

"I can guarantee that upon the completion of the park the majority of the children on the island will use it on a daily basis and the parents will know exactly where their kids are," Johnson said. "I decided to ask the Ministry of Sports to give me the okay to go ahead and build a park and it was granted," he said.

So far, the park has been funded by local government contributing $27,000 dollars to get it started.

According to Johnson, they expect to receive another $25,000 dollars from the government adding to the $17,000 that is on the Briland Park Association bank account.

Despite the governments generosity, Johnson said the project still needs an additional $100,000 for its' completion.

"The only way we will be able to finish this project is to get the community involved. So far the winter residents are doing their part but I still need the native people to take the role in getting this park up and going," Johnson said.

"More Eleutherans need to get involved with this project especially the business people. I think it is time for them to give back to their community."

Local businesses which have contributed to the parks development are the Pink Sands, Coral Sands and Valentines hotels.

Johnson encourages Eleutherans to volunteer their time in developing different sporting clubs. The complex will host various tournaments.

"I spoke to some of the basketball committees in Nassau who plan to come down and hold tournaments at the park. By July we should be ready to hold our first basketball tournament."

Several years from now, the committee hopes to transform the park's courts from indoor to outdoor. But for now, Johnson said after the park's completion, the community has to play a big role in keeping it clean.

Posted: Monday February 2004

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