Charity School preparing for Digicel football tourney beset by problems
By Iva Wharton
A Region Two school football team is encountering difficulties as it prepares for the second Digicel Schools football tournament.
Charity Secondary is among 154 schools down to compete in the second Digicel Schools football tournament but is finding it difficult to prepare properly for the tournament says Cliston Paul, Teacher/Coach/Manager.
Paul told Stabroek Sport via telephone on Tuesday that the Charity Community Centre ground was in an unplayable state and as such, the team is unable to practice there.
“Not having a proper ground is a great setback for us,” said Paul adding…. “The ground is not weeded and it is like not having a ground at all.”
Paul said that the last time the ground was cleared of the overgrowth was a few weeks ago for a 10/10 cricket competition.
He said that he has been using the schoolyard as an alternative venue but added that the space available was very small and was posing a problem for the players.
“We are working on ball possession and we can’t get the coordinates right in such a small place,” he declared. Paul said that once the fixtures are available he would make every effort to try and get the ground selected in Region Two for the boys to practice on before the tournament starts.
At the moment he said, they are unable to take the students on the coastland to practice because of financial difficulties.
Asked what steps were taken to have the community ground cleared, Paul said that the school had undertaken the responsibility in the past, but said this time around they are unable to so because of financial constraints.
He also said that the weather was another major factor although he acknowledged that football was a sport that can be played through rain or sun.
“It is just that the ground has to be cleared,” he lamented.
The ground, he said comes under responsibility of the Region and it approximately $20,000 was needed to have it cleared.
The teacher said that he was none-the-less optimistic that his team could hold its own in the competition.
Most of the players he said are part of clubs in the community and would use every opportunity to play football.
Football, he added, was one of the sports that residents in the community are interested in.
“So I would say that the boys might be ready for the competition. They are accustomed to playing against the senior team and also against any team that is available.”
Speaking of the composition of the team, Paul said that it includes players from forms 1-5.
Asked whether practice would be clashing with their school work, Paul said no, as the CSEC exams were completed on Thursday.
He said that many of the players in the team are new, as the new age limit by Digicel has prevented a number of fifth formers who were on the previous team from competing as they have surpassed the 18-year age limit.
On the subject of training, Paul said that he is receiving assistance from one of students who was a member of the national Under-19 team. There is also a physical education teacher who is also assisting the team.