Athletics club chairman hopeful Dell Stadium is on track to re-open ahead of big meeting (From Stourbridge News)
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Athletics club chairman hopeful Dell Stadium is on track to re-open ahead of big meeting
DUDLEY and Stourbridge Harriers are keeping their fingers crossed this Saturday's prestigious Heart of England Young Athletes meeting gets the go-ahead.
Fears were raised when a £17,000 facelift scheduled for their home track in Brierley Hill at the Dell Stadium ground to a halt after cleaning equipment broke down.
The track was scheduled to reopen on June 2 - but missed its deadline as the contractors struggled to get new parts for their equipment.
Both the long jump and pole vault areas were due to receive deep cleaning while re-lining work was scheduled for the track.
Dudley and Stourbridge Harriers (DASH) chairman David Eades confirmed: "Work on the track has been completed and is due to be inspected on Thursday, when I'm expecting it to pass.
"If it fails, we will have to cancel the meeting and we really didn't want to do that.
"Despite the machinery breaking down, we've still managed to train, apart from last week when the re-lining work took place.
"But we didn't bargain for the machinery breaking down and that left a huge air of uncertainty hanging over the place."
DASH have also been forced to put the lid on their Young Athletes Academy after becoming a victim of their own success.
Such is the demand to join, that DASH have cancelled their own waiting list.
Mr Eades admitted: "We've always had a waiting list of at least 30 people wanting to join. The Academy has proved particularly popular".
The Academy is primarily aimed at Under-9's, 10's and 11's but a shortage of qualified coaches coupled with lack of space has limited the amount of people DASH can recruit.
Mr Eades insisted: "It's a real shame and something we need to get sorted out for next season. The problem is that very few people ever drop out.
"Interest was extremely high after the 2012 Olympics, but its petered out a bit now, but we still need to have more qualified coaches on board.
"The problem is that we rely entirely on volunteers to run the Academy. They do it for the love of athletics and we're very much in their hands".