Volume No. 2 Issue No. 19 - Monday October 29, 2007|
Thousands join in the opening of the Windsor Park stadium
By Sean Douglas
The dreams and aspirations of generations of Dominicans have finally been realised with the opening on Wednesday evening of the Windsor Park Sports Stadium amid much fanfare, pomp, pageantry and ceremony.
A packed stand at the opening of the Winsor Park Stadium.
In scenes of raw excitement and drama not seen in Dominica since November 3, 1978 when the island attained political independence from Great Britain, Dominica’s Capital City, Roseau erupted in a wild frenzy for a moment in time that probably won’t be repeated again in the lifetimes of the thousands gathered to witness it.
Looking extremely relaxed with a glint in his eyes and a smile to warm the hearts of the thousands who thronged the EC$45 million facility, Minister for Education, Human Resource Development, Sports and Youth Affairs, Hon, Vince Henderson lauded the magnificence of a facility given to Dominica as a gift by the Government of the People’s Republic of China.
“This 12,000 capacity Windsor Park Sports Stadium has changed the look and feel of the City of Roseau. The ambience it creates against the majestic greenery of the Roseau Valley is spellbinding.
Flanked on the north by the Roseau River and overlooking the scenic Botanic Gardens to the south-east, no other stadium in the region and the world can boast of such a stunning location.”
Hon. Henderson also reminded Dominicans that this gift from the Chinese Government would not have been possible without the “ visionary, strong and decisive leadership of Prime Minister, Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit”.
It was on March 29, 2004, in a live address to the Nation that Prime Minister, Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit announced the Commonwealth of Dominica had severed ties with Taiwan and established diplomatic relations with Mainland China on March 23, 2004.
As part of the package negotiated by the Prime Minister in a marathon nineteen (19) hours of discussions with the Chinese Government, the construction of a National Stadium at Windsor Park was agreed.
Mr Henderson used the opportunity to once again thank the Chinese Government for their assistance in providing Dominica with such a generous gift.
“This world class facility was given to the people of Dominica as a gift by our friends: the Government and people of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
We therefore wish to once again extend our sincerest gratitude to the Government and people of the People’s Republic of China; to former Chinese Ambassador, Ye Dabo and his staff; the current
Chinese Ambassador, Deng Boqing and his staff; the Chinese Construction Company- China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation and the Chinese Consulting Firm, Wuhan Architectural and Design Institute.”
The Sports Minister also commended the efforts of the many persons who made a significant contribution to the completion of the Stadium.
These include Engineer, Mr Emile Lancelot and Senior Architect, Mr. Roderick Royer, two men who spent several weeks in China in December, 2004 working on the designs for the Stadium with their Chinese counterparts.
The Windsor Park Sports Stadium boasts a total capacity of 12,000 with fixed seating capacity for 8000.
Other features include: field with 70m boundaries at the minimum and a cricket square large enough to accommodate six cricket strips; an electronic scoreboard; players’ pavilion; perimeter drain, stadium lights; standby generator; media centre; private hospitality boxes; restaurants, medical booths among other features.