Coach to Kirani James, Harvey Glance, has described Grenada’s new Chinese built athletic and football stadium as ‘mind blowing’.
The US$40 million stadium, with a seating capacity of nearly 8,000, was declared open amid much pomp and pageantry in an official ceremony carried live on national television on Saturday.
The new facility replaces the original athletics stadium which was destroyed when Hurricane Ivan ravaged the country in 2004.
“This is my first time seeing the stadium in its full capacity, not only crowd-wise but also building-wise, because I came down to recruit Kirani when he was 16 and a half years old and the stadium had been hit by the hurricane,” said Glance. “So I am truly, truly impressed with what the Chinese people have done”.
Glance attended the opening alongside James who was invited to perform the ceremonial lighting of the torch.
The construction of the new stadium was completed in 22 months by Chinese and Grenadian labourers. About 120 persons were employed at the peak of construction.
“They have laid out a great foundation,” said Glance. “It’s is mind blowing, really, when you have seen it for as long as you have seen it in its state, and now you see it at its full capacity, it is just nothing short of outstanding”.
The new stadium is the venue for a number of upcoming local, regional and international sporting events including the popular intercol sports meet the 45th edition of CARIFTA Games and the CONCACAF Women’s Under–17 football tournament.
“Looking forward to see a lot of meet here,” said James.
“We have CARIFTA trials and CARIFTA Games here, so the athletes and this track kind of level the playing field a little bit with the larger Caribbean countries”.