The Honourable Darryl Smith, Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs, declared the Morvant Recreational Ground a field for the ‘grassroots’ as he addressed an audience on Wednesday, 12th October 2016 to officially announce the start of TT Pro League Games at the grounds. The Park Street, Morvant venue is one of several grounds to now host the Pro League Games.
The TT Pro League announced on Wednesday that the first match at the Morvant Recreation Ground will be on Sunday, when home team Morvant/Caledonia United take on arch-rivals San Juan Jabloteh from 4:00pm.
In the past, Morvant/Caledonia United, now renamed Courts Morvant/Caledonia AIA Club, utilised the St. George's College Grounds and the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
The Morvant Recreational Ground saw upgrades in May 2015 and now boasts of a pavilion extended by thirty feet, additional spectator benches, a cafeteria and meeting room, additional and improved public restrooms, athlete's showers and storage rooms, and open Wi-Fi internet access. The ground will also be fenced and the cricket field will be upgraded.
Standing in front of the upgraded facility, Minister Smith said he is going back to the ‘grassroots’, this is where he loves to be and this is where you will find results to help with crime prevention, health, sport and the youth. He added that the Diego Martin Recreational Ground and the Mahaica Oval will be on the list for upgrades for the upcoming TT Pro League Matches. “It's not about mega projects, it's not about mortar or steel, it's about the youth that are down here in Morvant,” said Minister Smith. He added that he will be investing heavily in developing the young people.
The Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs said that he wanted the different clubs to be able to sell their merchandise items and concession at the grounds. His vision is to see people stay in the community and not have to go far to see the Pro League games.
Minister Smith also said that for the first time a swimming pool will be built in the Morvant community, so that the Morvant/Caledonia AIA Club will have access to aquatics and fitness; the track team, the two cricket teams (Jets and Ebony) and residents will also have access to the pool. He impressed upon the residents to continue to show love and highlight that love in Morvant and get the games going.
In addressing the audience, Member of Parliament for Laventille East/ Morvant, Adrian Leonce said that the Pro League's use of the grounds will bring the energy and culture back to the community.
General Secretary of TT Pro League, Julia Baptiste, said that the Pro League stands proud to be in Morvant and that they are coming home.
Also representing the Courts Morvant/Caledonia AIA Club was Ms. Ricarda Nelson, who expressed her honour to come back to the grassroots to play at home.
Nelson, a former national women's footballer and coach, said, “I wished I had some boots right now to go and play on the field.”
Also in attendance were Councillor for the area, Franz Lamkin; Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs, Ian Ramdahin; Chairman of SporTT, Michael Phillips; President the National Association of Athletics Administrations of Trinidad and Tobago (NAAA), Ephraim Serrette; Representative from Unicomer Trinidad, Nicole Loney-Mills; General Secretary of TT Pro League, Julia Baptiste; Media Consultant of TT Pro League, Wayne Cunningham; the grounds contractor, Pooran; and Amzad Ogeer, Maintenance among others.
The Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs