A GROUP of sporting personalities, all with football affiliations, have all called for the construction of the Eddie Hart Complex in Tacarigua to continue, despite calls from a few residents to have the project halted.
Long-standing football administrator Eddie Hart, Joe Public Football Club general manager Joseph Sam Phillip and a pair of ex-national footballers Kevin Jeffrey and Stern John, recently held a media conference at the Eddie Hart Ground to encourage the Sports Company of Trinidad and Tobago (SPORTT) to ignore the critics and upgrade the venue. Hart stated, “this place is going to stay open. We insisted that we don’t want here enclosed. The enclosure is going to be where they have the swimming pool and so on.
“Here is going to remain just as is, except that the pavilion is going to be removed,” he continued. “There would be a proper pavilion with changing (and) toilet facilities.”
Hart was a former junior Sports Minister under former Prime Minister Patrick Manning.
He noted, “I want to applaud the Government. Remember I’m a PNM (supporter) until I’m dead but we have to think about the greater good.
“We can’t think about politics,” Hart added. “Sports transcends all boundaries here. We will be very happy to have the facilities built here.”
Phillip, who was also a former Defence Force and TT player, commented, “I know the inception of this League from 1967, the 24th of September.
“It’s years too late of coming,” he said of the upgrade works. “I myself, through an organisation from which I’m the general manager, Joe Public, 10 years ago spent $325,000 (on a mini- pavilion).
“Some of those same detractors who now enjoy the fruits of our labour, some of those same people who are now protesting against making Tacarigua beautiful, I see what the Government intends to do here.”
Phillip added, “it is making Tacarigua, and the community at large, beautiful, and it has my 100 percent support. I would rather see the Government build 100 facilities, all over Trinidad and Tobago, than one single prison. Sport is the machinery to keep all of us out of trouble. I hope this thing finish so quick that we, in this lifetime, could see Tacarigua become a mecca of sports.”
Jeffrey pointed out that the Complex is “definitely a tremendous feat for the community.
“The Eddie Hart League has been going for umpteen years,” he said. “Any upgrade that can be done here will be a tremendous feat for sport, in general, in Trinidad and Tobago.”
And John admitted, “I started my career at the Eddie Hart League as a youngster, and I think nothing has changed since then. This proposal, I think, is a fantastic idea.
“It’s not just about football, it’s about sports on a whole. It’s for the future of the place as well. Hopefully it could start as soon as possible.”