ST GEORGE’S, December 14, 2016 – The Grenada Invitational will be launched here on December 29, according to Sports Minister Roland Bhola.
Mr Bhola made the announcement while making his contribution to the 2017 Budget in Parliament on Monday.
He said that the interest among the public is heightening as the organisers continue to roll out the names of the international athletes who are confirmed to participate in the April 8 event at the National Stadium.
“I am not at liberty to tell this Parliament and the public all the other athletes who are coming but on Thursday December 29 will be the official launch of the Grenada Invitational and all local elite athletes are expected to attend the launch and more names will be announced,” he said. “It will also be the 100-day countdown for the Grenada Invitational.”
Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell on Friday announced that former world 100 metres record holder Asafa Powell is among the first international track stars to confirm for the Grenada Invitational.
Bhola updated Parliament on the progress of the meet by referencing the permission granted by the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletics Association (NACAC) to stage the Grenada Invitational under IAAF rules.
“Mr Speaker, I have something in my hand that I want the entire Parliament to see. It’s a certificate, not for me. This certificate is from the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletics Association. What I am holding in my hand is what’s called the Area Permit Meet certificate which gives Grenada the permission to host a major international event on April 8, 2017,” he said.
“Mr Speaker, on Saturday April 8, 2017 we (Grenada) will be the athletics capital of the Caribbean and probably the world because we are hoping to attract close to 100 elite athletes right here in Grenada and competing against each other.”
The Minister reiterated government’s support for the event even though it’s being organised by a group of private individuals.
“It’s an initiative, Mr Speaker, that some private individuals came up with and came to government and we saw value in it. We saw the potential for the tourism industry but also saw the need to utilise a facility that has a Class 1 rating which will allow the international athletes to come and compete and let the Grenadian public to witness international track and field.”
The Jamaican speedster has the fifth fastest time in the history of the 100 metres, clocking a personal best of 9.72 seconds and as of September, this year, he has broken the 10-second barrier more times than anyone else – 97 times.
The Local Organising Committee (LOC) will be announcing the names of other confirmed athletes at the official launch on December 29 which will also mark the 100-day countdown.
Grenada Invitational – LOC Members
Technical & Competitions – Kerlon Peters
Marketing & Sponsorship – Dexter Mitchell
Media/Publicity/Accreditation – Michael Bascombe & Rawle Titus
Finance – Fenton Frederick
Accommodations & Transportation – Francine Stewart
Security – ACP Jessmon Prince
Medical – Dr Francis Martin
Protocol & VIP – Kerry Frank
Logistics – Wayne “WaggyT” Redhead
Awards & Ticketing – Karlene Purcell
Government Relations – Sheldon Scott
Grenada Athletic Association – Charles George/Kwame Hypolite
LOC Chairman – Dexter Mitchell
Meet Organiser – Michael Bascombe
Athletes’ Liaison – Chris Brown