President Abdulla Yameen yesterday inaugurated the Sports Arena Project which under which the government plans to construct 34 arenas for both outdoor and indoor sports throughout the atolls.
Launching the project – one of the government’s 100 day pledges – Yameen said that a sports infrastructure suitable for the nation’s youth would be in place by the end of the year, with a further MVR300 million allocated for recreation projects in next year’s budget.
Half of the Maldives’ 330,652-strong population of the Maldives are below the age of 25, according to the 2013 yearbook published by the Department of National Planning.
During his presidential campaign, president Yameen pledged that all islands would receive a sports arena and that Hulhumalé would be developed as a youth entertainment city, including a National Aquatic Centre of olympic scale. Taxes on sports materials would be reduced from 25 to 5 percent promised the Progressive Party of Maldives candidate.
Local media reported Yameen as saying that arenas would not be built in islands with under 2,000 people, but that these islands would still receive facilities for popular sports within his term.
Minister of Sports and Youth Mohamed Maleeh Jamal announced that the project would now be sent to the tender board for bidding.