In time for Christmas - Ball to start rolling at Llandilo again
After being out of use for more than a year, the football field at the Llandilo Sports Complex, near Savanna-la-Mar in Westmoreland, is now poised to be reopened in December.
According to Everton Tomlinson, the president of the Westmoreland Football Association (WFA), the protracted closure is to be blamed on a fruitless rehabilitation exercise, which the Institute of Sports (INSPORTS) started last August but failed to complete.
"What happened was that last August, I received a phone call from INSPORTS. They told me that they would be coming to Westmoreland to resurface this field because we have been requesting some assistance for over 10 years," said Tomlinson. "The work began, but when payment stopped coming for the contractor and labourers, the project was abandoned, leaving the playing field in ruins and throwing football in the parish into disarray.
"I find it difficult to accept that INSPORTS came to a parish and literally mash up the only playing field and, even today, they are not assisting in its rehabilitation. Whatever their internal problems, it should not have affected us in the way it has," added Tomlinson.
An INSPORTS official, who asked not to be named, said it might be in Tomlinson's best interest to speak with the organisation's leadership so that a proper evaluation of what transpired could be done.
"INSPORTS is about building community, so it is difficult to accept what Tomlinson is saying," the INSPORTS official said. "Instead of starting a conversation in the media, I would suggest he seek dialogue with INSPORTS so that we can take a comprehensive look at the situation."
While the parish's football, especially its much-vaunted youth programme, has been negatively affected by the situation at Llandilo, Tomlinson is of the view that the restoration now taking place will ultimately fix the problem.
"I must give thanks to Dujan Construction and Tyre Warehouse, who have come on board to help us with materials, plus other individuals, who have given their labour free of cost.
"A perimeter wall and a ticket booth are now being constructed and should both be ready to coincide with the reopening of the playing field ... . The youth football programmes will get priority treatment when the facility reopens."