Football is King in Mabouya Valley so it was really no surprise when the community turned out in large numbers on Sunday, to witness the launch of the second edition of the Honourable Shawn Edward Football Tournament on the La Ressource Playing Field.
Naturally the guest of honour was Edward who is not only the District Representative but also the Minister for Youth Development and Sports. Other prominent guests included President of the St Lucia Football Association (SLFA), Lyndon Cooper; and members of the Mabouya Valley Youth and Sports including President, Kendall Emmanuel, and First Vice President, Brenton Edward.
Prior to formal proceedings, there was a friendly between the Mabouya Valley Under-18 and the senior female team who are preparing for this year’s SLFA Women’s Competition.
As entertaining as they were however, a women’s football game was not high on the day’s agenda. What the crowd came to see was the District Representative XI side taking on a select team. Before the game got underway Voice Sports Reporter, Anthony DeBeauville inspected both teams. During the inspection he appointed himself the referee an issued red cards to several players based primarily on their appearance.
Playing for the District Representative XI side, Edwards displayed some nifty footwork on the soggy field, but like the rest of his teammates could not find the back of the net. After regulation time it was scoreless. The XI side eventfully prevailed 4-2 on penalties.
Following the game, officials beginning with Emmanuel, made brief remarks: He said: “The Youth and Sports Council is quite honoured to partner with our District Rep to host this tournament, all in an effort to restore some pride to our community. As we all know with all the social elements that we as a society are faced with, we welcome the opportunity to host such a tournament.”
With darkness approaching, Edwards felt the need to bring to everyone’s attention a matter he addressed during the finals of last year’s competition.
He said: “I made some very bold pronouncements. I said the finals of the Shawn Edward competition in 2013 would be held under lights. I am sure most of you are aware that we are yet to break ground on our lighting project.”
The minister went on to say: “Last week the Prime Minister signed a direct purchase contract for a company based outside St Lucia to start the electrification of four playing fields in the country namely the Phillip Marcellin Grounds (Vieux Fort), Anse La Raye Playing Field, Marchand Grounds and of course the La Ressource Playing Field.”
The crowd applauded when he announced that next week work would commence on the La Ressource Playing Field expansion project, funded by the Government of St Lucia. That being the case several matches will be played on the nearby Grande Riviere Playing Field.
Football is already King in Mabouya Valley and with lights on the way, things can only get brighter for this district.