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Grenada depending heavily on Chris Brown to entice top athletes for historic invitational

FRED STURRUP

Published: Jan 06, 2017

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Grenada has embraced Chris “The Fireman” Brown and is leaning on him for administrative and marketing support as that country aims for regional sports history. The Grenada Track and Field Invitational is scheduled for Saturday, April 8 and our “Eternal One” is the catalyst.

The approach by another country to lead a national initiative is a tremendous compliment and speaks volumes about the level of respect Brown has earned throughout a career of legendary proportions. The highly decorated former Olympic champion, in networking with our sister island, Grenada, on an event of national magnitude, is making a powerful statement. Brown is indeed a global entity. When he staged the first Chris Brown Bahamas Invitational (CBBI) back in 2013, the occasion was most revealing. It became clear that he had evolved to one of the most revered athletes on the world track and field scene.

It was automatic for the best of track and field to answer his calls and converge on The Bahamas. A second CBBI took place in 2015, but apparently the event has not been prioritized to the point in this country for it to be annual, with full support from our government.

It will be interesting to see what happens with the Grenada Invitational, whether it gets the blessing of that country’s administration, to be included in the national budget every year. Judging by the comments of Prime Minister Keith Mitchell, there are high hopes for the Grenada Track and Field Invitational.

“There are signs that the event will be highly successful. I say to all Grenadians that the invitational is about the future of the country and we should maximize the potential of the event,” said Prime Minister Mitchell at the launch last year. His remark regarding “the future” of Grenada was compelling.

Obviously, the prime minister is counting on the invitational to be a signature item each year for Grenada, and the expectation is that Brown will lead the way. Brown is no doubt the architect of the event, with the Government of Grenada throwing its full support, financially and otherwise, behind it.

As for the Brown connection to Grenada, it has gotten strong, very quickly.

“I thank the lovely people of Grenada for inviting me to be a part of this happening. Grenada has a world-class stadium, world-class athletes, but what was missing, was the world-class competition of an invitational. I have done it at home and I learned a lot of things from behind the scenes. We created something new there. I want to do the same thing in Grenada. On April 8, we will have the first invitational here and the first opportunity to witness world-class performances,” said Brown at the December 29 launch.

He spoke further of his determination to do all he can to bring world-class track and field events to the Caribbean region, just as others have been doing in Europe, Asia and Africa.

“We will have a show. I am happy to be a part of history. The world will be focused on Grenada. The world will know where Grenada is, the kind of pleasant experience one can get, and know about the people of Grenada,” said Brown.

It would be good if all of Brown’s energies could be focused on enhancing the track and field product of his native land. However, if others express a profound interest in his expertise and appreciate him, it just makes good sense for Brown to respond in kind.

 

(To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at sturup1504@gmail.com)

 


 

Caribe 2016 Cleveland


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