Walker worried about getting hit by footballs

| 08/11/2016

I love walking. I used to walk on the roads but for safety reasons went to the Truman Bodden tracks. It seems even more riskier there in the evenings when the youngsters are playing football in the fields inside the tracks. Some of them play close to the edge and some play on the small fields in the outlining corners and I have seen the fast balls coming onto the tracks a few times. If that fast-flying ball hits a walker/jogger/runner on the head or any other part of their bodies, it would cause injuries or worse. Are there no guidelines about safe football playing there? If there is none, can the government come up with some guidelines so as it make it safe for the people using the tracks? I personally do not want to go back to the tracks. If I walk on the road on the opposite side of the road, at least I can see the oncoming traffic. On the tracks, I cannot see when the ball could suddenly fly on to the tracks.

Auntie’s answer: The track you are referring to is actually across from the Truman Bodden Sports Complex. It has become a very popular walking and running spot and is well used every evening, which is great to see. I do think the government track was much better but glad that something is there for anyone seeking exercise.

Anyway, I directed your specific concern to the Department of Sports, which is responsible for the track. For one thing, an official explained that football is not usually played there during the after-school programme, which centres around track. But after the track youth programme ends, people are allowed to use the field to practise football and rugby.

“The general public is not allowed to use the complex as it is the national stadium and it would significantly impact the national programmes that take place everyday there,” he said, adding that was why the new walking track was built.

That facility is “open to the public outside of school hours and we cannot limit it to certain sports at certain times because of limited daylight”.

I am guessing that the reader will not be that gratified by this response but since the track and the inside and surrounding fields are there for the public to enjoy, I can see it would be difficult to exclude anyone from using it for a sports-related activity.

Perhaps this will help, though: In a previous column I answered a question about lighting at the track (See Runners stuck in the dark at track). While there has clearly been a delay in getting the lights sorted at the northern end of the track, the new estimate is that things will brighten up by January.

Let’s hope that the increased illumination will at least give walkers and runners a decent chance of avoiding any wayward footballs.

Tags: ,

Category: Ask Auntie

Comments (8)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Sport mom says:

    Hello honey go buy a treadmill ?I cant believe you came on here to btch about the kids and yougsters on the field omg ??UNBELIEVABLE !! You dont have to go there what do u expect 50 people do the manequen challenge when you walk in ???????‍♀️

  2. Anonymous says:

    I would love to know the gender of this person.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Seriously? A group of people playing football to exercise, release stress, socialise and for the youth it provides a free activity that keeps them off the streets and out of mischief. And you want rules for playing safe football at the Centre. Just how would the rules read?
    It’s not the gun range. It’s a field used to play football.
    Keep your eyes on the ball. Prepare to duck or stop the ball. Or buy a treadmill!

  4. Anonymous says:

    How about putting some flexible high fence around the grass area where public plays football?

  5. Duck says:

    Learn to duck. It will add difficulty to your workout

  6. Anonymous says:

    I’m not sure how much injury one could get from a football in the head – given that a significant part of football is to hit the ball with your head but anyways.
    I love the track, but it’s multi-use does cause issues – want to run? You have to skip past the walkers who are three across. Want to walk? Watch your ankles for the kids on the scooters and bikes.
    Want to play football? Watch out for all those complaining about you.

  7. V says:

    Keep your head up so you can see them coming.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Are you kidding me? Children are getting exercise and staying out of trouble playing football and you want to curtail them? That’s an International standard football field as in money and what it was built for. The International Football games that are played there bring in mega bucks to Cayman.