Members of the T&T Police football team and its other sports teams will now have the use of an upgraded football field as they look ahead to competing in the top flight football and other sporting events.
This after the St James Police Barracks Training Ground football field was upgraded to the cost of $800,000 by the Superior Landscaping and General Contracting Company Limited over the last five months and was officially reopened by Commissioner of Police (CoP) Gary Griffith, yesterday.
The reopening of the football field marked the first time the venue has been upgraded thanks to the work of CoP Griffith since it first came into use back in 1965.
Speaking at the relaunch of the ground, a beaming Griffith said, “This can very well be a game-changer. This is arguably one of, if not the best football fields in the country at this time and the only way that could continue to be is a word that we seem to be lacking because we love to build things and not maintain, is maintenance.
"Maintenance is going to be critical to ensure that this remains a ground that can match with any ground in the world. I travel a lot and I can tell you that the best football field in the Premier League is at the best football club in Manchester United Old Trafford Ground, you will see it looks like it. This is world-class and I wish to commend the contractors on their excellent job done.
"As was earlier stated, years ago we played hockey here and winning the toss used to be very important because you had 'uphill' and 'downhill'. But with a ground like this, it is not just about football as we also have the cricket pitch on the inside which is undoubtedly one of the best in the country, and in a few months when we go to the south ground, we will also have one of the best hockey fields in the country and we are looking at putting in a 4G there as well."
Expecting some to criticise the venture, Griffith said, "Now the public will ask especially persons who have never kicked a lime in their life what is the reason for all of this. In this country, we try to look at sport as extra-curricular, but in Europe and other countries, the reason why they continue to step ahead of us is that they look at sport as core-curricular.
"And if it is we continue to speak about development, development for young persons, sport is an excellent avenue to change a young boy into a man, for you to be the best that you can be. Not everyone is going to be excellent or a professional in the sport that they play but if every young person plays a sport it can bring all of the character traits that can help you from being a young underdeveloped person into a man.
"The character traits that you get from sport in terms of leadership, tactics, punctuality, uniformity, team-work, getting the job done and not giving up, all of these things that you have from sport you can put that into you as a young man or woman into becoming a better person and to help our society.
"We intend to show that policing is much than what is know as primary crime prevention as it also has to do with the community aspect and working with the young persons and helping them turn away from a life of crime using sport as an avenue as we did with the help of national coach Terry Fenwick with the Commissioner's Cup where we had over 100 Youth Clubs involved, " said Griffith, an avid hockey player as well.
National football coach and former England World Cup defender Terry Fenwick also expressing his satisfaction with the new-look field.
A stunned Fenwick said, "I am a little unfamiliar with the ground at the moment because I had gotten used to the long slope with a big barren area and dust, but now I have to hold my hands out to the contractors as the venue now looks like Wembley or even better than Wembley.
Looking ahead, he said, "It's now about maintenance and keeping this field in the fantastic nick as it is at the moment."
Among the other guests in attendance were former national players and 2006 Germany FIFA World Cup duo, striker Stern John and defender Brent Sancho, senior national indoor men's hockey team coach Raphael Govia, ASP Bailey, chairman of the Police Football Division, and ASP Foncette, vice-chairman of the Police Football Division, Joshua Pierre, general secretary Police Sports Club, Neikesha Brathwaite, Events Manager Police Service.
SOURCE: T&T Guardian