Use Cumberland wisely, says NLA director
Speakers at the official opening ceremony of the Cumberland Playing Field on Sunday called for residents and users of the facility to be prudent in their usage of it, and to utilize it to realize the sporting potential of the community.
Dougal James, one of the directors of the National Lotteries Authority, spoke of the importance of the facility, and of sports in community and nation building.
Using as an example West Indies fast bowler Kesrick Williams, who is a resident of Spring Village, James said Williams spoke with Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves on furthering his development and education. He said today Kesrick is working on getting his degrees in other fields, so there is a career for him after sports.
Former West Indies wicketkeeper Michael Findlay, who himself is from the North Leeward community, briefly told the gathering of his experiences
playing the game and of the difference between the Cumberland Playing Field and some of the grounds he played on.
He told the listeners of the various methods which were employed in preparing the grounds, which made life hard for players.
Former parliamentary representative Jerrol Thompson gave a history lesson on the facility, a thread which was further developed by Senator Carlos James. James, during his time at the microphone, spoke of the need to prepare and develop the facility to host warm-up matches by visiting teams, and as a training facility for international teams.
He presented plaques of appreciation to Darren Sammy, former West Indies captain and winning captain of the West Indies team which won the 2012 and 2016 ICC World Twenty/20 Championships; wicketkeeper/batsman Andre Fletcher, and Kesrick Williams.
Jules Anthony was recognized for his dedicated work in the development of sports in the North Leeward community, and an emotional Kesrick Williams spoke of the gratitude he felt for the support received, and his friends coming to support.
Senator James told the gathering that the inclusion of Darren Sammy and Andre Fletcher was suggested by Kesrick Williams, while he, James, was overseas and Williams was on England duty with the West Indies team.
After informing the organizers of the opening that such a suggestion had been made, the wheels began turning to make it a reality.
On Sunday, the two players were part of the official opening ceremony.
Minister of Sports Cecil Mckie spoke briefly about the facility, reiterating the call for persons to use the facility wisely for the benefit of all.
Final speaker of the night was Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves. He told the gathering of the doubting Thomases who said the construction of the playing facility was not possible, and the many hurdles his government had to overcome to realize the fruition of thid project.
During the ceremony, a cheque of EC$10,000 was presented by LOG Enterprises to the organizers of the opening of the Cumberland Playing Field, towards the Dominica relief effort. (Robertson S Henry)