Shameful President’s Grounds

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THE EDITOR: Shame, shame, shame is all I can think about when I go to President’s Grounds in St Ann’s to watch my sons train on the field. Prior to and especially during covid19 when there were no organised sporting activities, my sons have been using the grounds to train together.

As proud as I am of them for following their passion for football, it pains me to see the conditions they and all other users of the grounds have to accept and endure.

Shame on the Government for taking away part of the grounds years ago to expand the Prime Minister’s residence and Diplomatic Centre and not having fulfilled its promise to upgrade the grounds. Promises of a pavilion and bathroom facilities have never materialised. Lights were installed and that seems to have been the trade-off for losing the basketball/netball/tennis court.

Shame on the San Juan/Laventille Regional Corporation for its sporadic maintenance of the field. Many a time the bush, not grass, is nearly knee-high, with ti marie in-between. Often times private groups resort to cutting certain areas for their use.

Many might have forgotten, but a couple years ago money was spent digging up the field, preparing it and replanting it with proper grass. Due to a lack of maintenance, as with many things in our country, it has all been a waste.

Shame on certain users of the field who disappointingly leave their litter and water bottles behind. I also say shame on the green garbage truck, whose occupants I have seen, on multiple occasions, stop, look and drive away, refusing to take up any of the loose rubbish.

Is it their job to only collect bagged garbage? Those bins always seem to be overflowing. If this company was given a contract to clear only the bagged rubbish, then shame on whoever granted that contract, because all the rubbish, bagged or otherwise, needs to be cleared in a timely manner.

Shame on the CEPEP contractor/supervisor/management, whoever is responsible for the St Ann’s area, for not observing the condition of the field in the Prime Minister’s backyard. The same way they are responsible for cutting the grass at the Boy Scouts Association’s property, could they not be given the task of maintaining the field next door?

I have observed on many occasions different rugby team players, like all other users of the field, finding a corner – the Prime Minister’s wall or, particularly, the big tree on the western side of the ground – to relieve themselves. This is not acceptable.

My sons are forced to use a goalpost that has now fallen apart, with sharp edges that cut the balls, that never had a net, because that would be asking too much. They resort to using small home-made goals and hockey goals for their shooting practice.

I accept that finances are limited at the moment in our country, but I am sure that people are being paid by the Government to cut grass, pick up garbage and even weld and build goalposts. This is not too much to ask for. President’s Grounds does not live up to its name.

Shame on all of us for not speaking up and complaining about what we are settling for. So I have spoken.


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"Shameful President’s Grounds"

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