Tourism minister Ahmed Adeeb has said the government is considering building a racing track in Hulhumalé, saying that motor racing deters youth from crime.
Adeeb’s comments came at the conclusion of the ‘Motor Racing President’s Challenge 2015’ last night (January 24), with the minister acknowledging that the island’s master plan for artificial island made no provision for such a facility.
“Creating a master plan takes years and it is not essential for Hulhumalé to always have a racing track,” Haveeru reported Adeeb as saying. “We are, however, trying to build a track that would last at least six years and one that can host international events.”
The two day event, organised by the Maldives Motor Racing Association (MMRA), concluded last night with awards handed out by President Abdulla Yameen for the winners.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the competition this weekend, Adeeb said it was necessary to develop racing as a sport in the Maldives as it deters the youth population from crimes and drug abuse.
“These kind of sports prevent the youth from straying into criminal activities and drugs. Racing especially can only be done with good discipline, this is not a sport you can participate in unless you are sober,” said Adeeb.
The competition – which saw women participating in a racing event for the first time – was split into various categories as superbike racing, car racing, and various tiers of motorbike racing.
While President Yameen handed out the winning awards to all first prize winners, Adeeb handed out awards for the runners-up, and recently appointed Minister of Defense Colonel (retired) Moosa Ali Jaleel gave awards for those finishing third.
First Lady Fathimath Ibrahim was also awarded a shield of recognition by MMRA for the work she does towards developing the sport.
Adeeb said that despite motor racing being a widespread sport in the Maldives, it faces a considerable amount of restriction such as the lack of racing track and difficulty acquiring racing equipment. However, he noted that local racers had fared well despite these difficulties.
The second phase of the Hulhumalé development has begun, with Belgian company Dredging International reclaiming 240 hectares, doubling the size of what the current government government has designated a youth city.
At the official reclamation of the second development phase last week, President Yameen called on young people from around the country to relocate to the Malé suburb.
He has previously pledged to establish a ‘technopolis park’, entertainment, and sports facilities, and facilities for tourism and fisheries industries, while Hulhumalé Development Corporation officials have also said phase two of the project will feature a monorail to Ibrahim Nasir International Airport.
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