A new renovated stadium opened at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras has opened its renovated campus on May 3, 2017. Prem Watsa, Chairman of Fairfax Financial Holdings, inaugurated the Manohar C Watsa Stadium, named after his father, at the IIT Madras campus.According to the institute, Watsa’s contribution enabled IIT Madras to renovate the institute’s stadium and construct a 400-meter, 8-lane synthetic track in the stadium. The track area is about 5,300 sq.m. with provisions for long jump, triple jump and a pole vault platform. Two warm-up practice steps of size 20 x 2.4 x 1.8 m have also been constructed adjacent to the track. Facilities for other sports such as shot-put, football, and cricket have also been provided inside the inner bowl of the track.
In addition, the stadium spectators’ gallery has been renovated with new flooring and an entrance gate with access for the differently abled. A walker pathway, with a width of 3m, has also been constructed along the periphery of the synthetic track. The track has been awarded with “Class II Athletic Facility Certification” by the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF).
Speaking on the occasion, Watsa recalled, “The five years I spent at IIT-Madras were the best years of his life.” He added that during his time at IIT-Madras, the sports team unexpectedly won the Inter-IIT Sports Meet. And when he returned to IIT-Madras campus about nine years later, he had learned that IIT-Madras had not lost even once in that nine-year period. He motivated the students to win the Inter-IIT again this year. "
The 52nd Annual Inter-IIT Sports Meet is scheduled to be held in Madras campus in December, 2017.
On behalf of IIT Madras, Prof. Bhaskar Ramamurthi, Director said “Our students have benefitted greatly from Mr. Prem Watsa’s generosity, and this stadium with its world-class facilities is one more example of his munificence. We are grateful to him. We are proud of his accomplishments and our students consider him a role model.”
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