T&T national football captain and striker Kenwyne Joel Jones, 30, believes that the time has reached for finding ways and means to reach out to the youths of T&T, in an attempt to bring a grip on the escalating crime and violence.
Jones’ cousins—Deshon Sobers, 21, and her cousin Trevon, 24, were killed last month, on October 23 after her former boyfriend allegedly went on a shooting rampage at their home in Chaguanas. His uncle, Glenford Sobers, 73, was critically injured during the incident.
On November 1, Jones, who is also a striker for Cardiff City Football Club, Wales, United Kingdom paid tribute to his cousins by removing his football T-shirt after scoring Cardiff’s third goal in the 3-1 win against Leeds United. Under the football T-shirt was a white jersey bearing the markings, in red: “RIP Deshon and Chibbi (Trevon’s nickname).” That game was played on the same day they were buried.
Speaking to the T&T Guardian, Jones said people in T&T needs to make a concerted effort in trying to come up in ways and means to catch the attention of the youths and shift their focus from the way of crime to the way of positivity.
“To be really honest the situation is very unfortunate and I’d like to send my love out to my family. Crime is a major factor. It does affect the country but of course like everyone else when it hits home it seems to be a little more serious.”
“It is easy for the youths to settle and say this is what I am born in and this is what I see everyday, so I am going to be a statistic. But, no! We need to try to find the ways and means to get them away from that thinking.”
Facing such a tragedy, Jones has become more determined and motivated in focusing his attention to helping the youths of T&T.
In so doing, he has launched his latest initiative—“Kenwyne 3.0.” Jones was born in Point Fortin, spent most of his early childhood in La Brea before moving to Chaguanas. He is the third of eight children for his parents.
“It is me coming out there because I do like to help people in whichever way that I possibly can. I am not saying it has to be monetary. Sometimes, some people just need a little bit of words of advice. I want to be open to the wider public and I think me being myself and knowing where I have come from, the path that I took to get to this point to wherever I am going to end up it is necessary for me to give back.”
“I have been in the group of youngsters trying to fight for the same dream and was blessed enough to be one out of the many that made it, one of the many that actually made the dream a reality.
“I have had help along the way where my football roots come from, schooling, teachers and of course the coaches that push you to work at the highest level and I have to give a big thank you to all of them and hopefully I would be able to motivate some to going after their dream.”
Jones is currently planning a Christmas event next month for children of Point Fortin, who are in dire need of that support and in dire need for that “family feel.”
“A lot of them don’t have it and they need to feel like any other regular child, so hopefully, we can get a few people on board and try to make the event an annual juncture. We are going to use this medium as well to try and bring a bit of positivity to the youths.”
With just a few years remaining for Jones to retire from his football career, he is already panning for his next chapter in life.
“My main thing is fitness, so I will be trying to get my qualifications in strength and conditioning and of course dieting. I don’t see myself as a coach but I will be trying to do something else that I enjoy and that is doing a lot of charity work, giving back to T&T.”
“It is quite important that we try to have a positive influence in the next generation given the state of crime and the misfortunes at this present time amongst the youths.
“We have to change the culture a bit and try and inject that positivity in the youths of the nation because I don’t think it is not everyone is sports avid everyone has a skill, then some people just need that extra push that motivation to be able to go out perform to their best in whatever they do.”
Jones left for Jamaica with the rest of the Soca Warriors on Sunday to compete in the Caribbean Cup Finals this week.
Making his debut appearance for the Caribbean Cup, Jones is hopeful in himself and his team in being able to bring back the trophy.