Monday, November 20, 2017
   
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Assistant City Manager of Miramar, Florida visits Champs

By: Kimesha Walters
As a former track and field athlete, Vernon Hargray had mounting concerns that children did not have a place to practice. About eight years ago, he decided to change that. 
In his position as assistant city manager of the city of Miramar in Florida he approached his commission and senior management and convinced them that they need to build a facility that will be able to house track and field athletes. 
He said he saw the move as a form of service and with a burning desire to do something positive he went for it.  

But while the idea seemed great, Hargray said everyone did not get on board immediately, as there was some skepticism. “It started out with a lot of question marks about whether it could do what was presented,” revealed the Assistant City Manager, as he observed the proceedings from the VIP section at the ISSA GraceKennedy Boys’ and Girls’ Championships at the National Stadium.

However, as luck would have it, the commission believed that something special was in the making. Hargray explained that what he envisioned as a dream, became more of a vision from God and everything began to fall perfectly into place. “With that facility now, what appears to be something for a local or state meet, it’s designed now to take on an international profile.”

Channel 7 from Florida and Boston made a contribution of US$1m and with other assistance, the facility as built at a cost of US$16m. Now the Ansin Sports Complex in the City of Miramar, Florida stands proud. The 5000 seating stadium facility has the ability to go to 9000. There is a Mondo Surface, and facilities for steeplechase, long, triple and high jump, pole vault among others. Additionally, there are two press boxes, a multi-purpose room, offices, computer labs, classrooms.

With the facility in place, Hargray said he is committed to improving the lives of children from all walks, through his “track and learn” programme which includes educational field trips, information of the different occupations associated with sports, and empowering them. A camp is hosted by the Ansin Sports Complex, and a grant is extended to further assist those without the means of moving forward by themselves. “We’re not going to neglect any kids of the opportunity,” he said. 

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