KAJANG Stadium is much livelier than before now that it has been turned into a public area called Kajang Square.
The stadium, built in the 1970s, recently underwent a two-year upgrade, costing RM5.3mil.
The walls surrounding the stadium have been demolished and the 2.4ha piece of land turned into a public square.
There is a basketball court, children’s playground and a fitness station and more people can be seen jogging, cycling and enjoying a day out with their families.
On weekends, the square attracts even more visitors as many major events are held there. They include the Satay Carnival, held bi-annually by the Kajang Municipal Council (MPKj) and Buku Jalanan Kajang, a gathering for book lovers organised by local bookshop Kedai Buku Mak Ali.
The stadium holds many fond memories as it was a training ground for many national footballers.
University student Aliya Melissa Johan remembers training at the stadium when she was a school athlete.
“I was a track runner and we did not have a proper running track in school, so we used to go to the stadium to train,” she said.
Aliya added that the stadium was under-utilised then because it was open only for sports competitions.
“It is good that the stadium is now open to the public so that they can enjoy the amenities,” she said.
Another frequent visitor to the stadium is Ahmad Affendi Umar, who uses the fitness station.
“I do not need to go to the gym because the exercise equipment at the stadium is adequate. It is also free,” he said.
Ahmad Affendi suggested MPKj to plant more trees in the square.
“It can get quite hot, so more shade would be good,” he said.
Graphic designer Patrick Teoh said Kajang Stadium had come alive after it was opened to the public.
“The stadium is usually packed on weekends with children at the playground and people jogging or playing basketball,” he said.
Teoh added that it was good to have a place for recreational activities in town.
“This is one of the major landmarks in Kajang,” he added.