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National Stadium handed over to St. Lucia Government

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Contact: Primus Hutchinson

Monday, July 29, 2002 - The ceremony to mark the official handing over of the National Sports Stadium by the People’s Republic of China to the Government of St. Lucia, over the weekend, signalled the realisation of a national dream and the transformation of the sporting landscape of St. Lucia. That was the view expressed by the Minister for Education, Human Resource Development, Youth and Sports, Honourable Mario Michel.

Addressing a gathering of Chinese, government and sports officials, Mr. Michel indicated that after months of negotiations, discussions and even periodic intervention by himself, it was agreed that the St. Lucia government would provide a suitable area for the construction of such a facility and take responsibility for the site preparation work.

According to Mr. Michel, the agreement also made provision for the stadium to be equipped with the highest quality facilities for football and track and field. In his words “a new day has dawn for sports in St. Lucia.”

“ No more ladies and gentlemen, will our athletes practice and participate locally in conditions which do not in any way approximate those they will be required to face when representing their country overseas. No longer will we be forced to rely almost exclusively on foreign based athletes to represent us at international meets, because our locally based athletes are not accustomed to the facilities and conditions with which they must compete internationally. Ladies and Gentlemen, any boy or girl, from Vieux Fort or Gros Islet, from Soufriere to Dennery, indeed from every town and village in St. Lucia can train and compete locally in conditions at least as good as those of their counterparts almost any where in the world,” Michel said.

In his acceptance speech, Prime Minister Honourable Dr. Kenny Anthony described the National Stadium as the realization of a dream shared by generations. Dr. Anthony stated that it is the fulfilment of the aspirations of many generations past for an adequate facility that would allow them to attain the highest level of performance. According to the Prime Minister, the Stadium must be a reminder of our aspirations for excellence.

Dr. Anthony expressed his appreciation to the Chinese Government and said that this gift of a National Stadium will play a critical role in government’s efforts at building national character and defining ourselves as a people.

The National Stadium contains two spectator stands seating a total of eight thousand persons, with two other stands to accommodate a further seven thousand persons to be constructed in due course by the St. Lucian Government.

The approximate cost of the National Sports Stadium is close to EC $55 million.


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