President Ma Ying-jeou (C) and runners warm up
BASSETERRE, St Kitts (SKNIS) -- St Kitts and Nevis’s premiere track and field facility, named in part for the 25 years of friendship between the twin-island Federation and the Taiwan, was in the spotlight again this week when it hosted a high profile run.
On Monday, Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou, along with local ministers Glenn Phillip and Marcella Liburd, were joined by officials from the national athletic association and several teens for a five lap jog around the 400 meter track.
The event highlighted the need for persons to lead a healthy lifestyle which includes regular exercise and proper diet but it also promoted the strong cooperative spirit between the Caribbean twin-island state and the Asian nation.
“Being here at the Silver Jubilee [Stadium] shows the tangible benefits of that relationship,” Phillip said in his capacity as the minister of sports.
The construction of the facility was financed chiefly by Taiwan and was opened on March 19, 2008.
At the opening ceremony, Prime Minister Dr Denzil Douglas declared “this athletic stadium is a commemoration of the 25th anniversary of our nation’s independence; our silver jubilee which we celebrate this year... it is a demonstration of great generosity to the government and people of St Kitts and Nevis [from Taiwan].”
Fast forward five years later, and that relationship was highlighted yet again.
“And of course don’t miss the shirts because I think it says it all,” Minister of Health Liburd stressed while talking to the media after the run.
The minister showed off the customized t-shirts that she, Ma and many others wore as they raced around the track. It featured Taiwan’s flag on the right and St Kitts and Nevis’s flag on the left. Both were side by side and fashioned in the form of two separate shields.
The words printed read “Friendship Forever!”