THE Beyond Borders No Time For Crime Football League will close on Independence Day (August 31) with a marathon and a final match following a series of knock-out fixtures being held throughout this month.
Mango Rose, Basilon Street, Sea Lots, Beetham, St Paul Street, Rose Hill, Chafford, Belmont Valley Road and Duncan Street are the participating communities in both the Under-15 and Open divisions.
The day will start with a marathon scheduled for 7.30 am, followed by games for participating families. This football final is scheduled for 3 pm before an awards ceremony takes place.
The marathon will be followed by games for participating familes. Every community will provide a dish for communal sharing.
Co-founder of the league, Sterling Belgrove, said the league was developed in the fight against crime in the most vulnerable communities.
"Almost every turf war and conflict in Trinidad and Tobago, either took place in south-east Port of Spain or involved residents from the Nelson and Duncan Street areas. Historically, the nation’s most violent demographic," Belgrove said.
He added, during the school vacation period, many children in these communities are left unsupervised and are prone to be recruited for involvement in criminal activities. "They are exposed to alternative actions and lifestyles which become more attractive due to their economic situations and the context of the influence of the 'ranker'," he said adding, "The continuous risk of negative peer pressure increases the children and youth’s vulnerability to be recruited for gang activities."
He said the Beyond Borders Programme seeks to "evolve the institutional alignment and economic integration of these communities into the national thrust for peace and development".
The initiative was launched on August 4 at the Duncan Street Basketball Court and featured 20 teams from nine communities, as well as the Duncan Street Police Post.
It is being held in collaboration with the Nelson Street Safety and Enhancement Foundation and the Green Restoration Organisation and Workshop.
“The communities represented are characterised by borders which prevent communal engagement by residents and it is anticipated that this league and the message it represents will become a new narrative to signal engagement across borders, forging partnership into new realms of social, economic and community development,” Belgrove said.
The Beyond Borders Programme is an initiative of The Rose Foundation and is supported by BPTT. It is focused on interventions in some of TT’s most at risk communities for crime and violence. Another key partner in the initiative is the Inter-Agency Task Force Hearts and Minds Programme.