translated by Brett Larner
Having become outdated and too old for use, the Yashima Field track and field grounds in Takamatsu, Kagawa are scheduled to close at the end of October for a complete renovation and modernization. A memorial event to commemorate the track's 59-year history is scheduled to take place at Yashima Field on Nov. 3. The event will feature a talk on running form from 2010 Asian Games 400 mH bronze medalist Naohiro Kawakita and activities including the attending crowds forming human letters. It is sure to be a memorable experience. Demolition and construction work will begin in mid-November, and the new and improved facility is scheduled to open in 2016.
The Kagawa prefectural government build Yashima Field for the 1953 National Sports Festival. In 1983 the track was upgraded to an all-weather surface, and in 2008 the prefecture transferred ownership to the city. As the only track in eastern Takamatsu, Yashima Field has played an important role not only as the site of national and international-level competition but also for elementary and junior high school time trials, high school meets and kindergarten exercise days, a regular part of the running lives of many prefectural citizens.
The closing event on Nov. 3 will have three main parts. At 10:00 a.m. Takamatsu Track and Field Association director Masafumi Arima will conduct a running clinic for people older than elementary school-aged, showing runners how to run with beautiful form. At 1:00 p.m. Kawakita will lead a session titled "Learn the secret of how to run fast!" where elementary school students can learn the best way to swing their arms and move their legs as they run.
Between 11:45 and 12:30, all participants will gather on the field to spell the word "Arigato" [thank you] together for a commemorative aerial photo. Each participant will receive a small section cut from the track as a memento. Participation in both Arima's clinic and Kawakita's session is limited to 100 people each. There is no entry fee. Interested people may apply between Sept. 24 and Oct. 5. To enter or to find out more, call the city sports bureau at 087-839-2626.