The re-opening of Vigie Playing Field on Sunday afternoon was indeed a proud moment for the Castries Football Council (CFC) and the St Lucia Social Development Fund (SSDF) through Hope, who spear-headed what many thought was the impossible dream. Like the Beausejour Cricket Ground (BCG), the refurbished Vigie Playing Field can also be referred to as St Lucia’s Field of Dreams, judging by what transpired on a playing surface once dominated by weeds and sand among a few patches of grass.
During his welcoming remarks, Chairman of the Castries Football Council, Francis Daniel said: “To have this facility completed is a marvellous testament to leadership and vision. This is a shining example of the result of a partnership between Government and the community. Above all it is a common goal we have reached through sheer hard work.”
Executive Director of the SSDF, Joachim Henry, not only complimented the CFC for single handily taking responsibility for implementing the project, but also completing it at a cost of $800,000, well below the projected of $1.8 million figure. Parliamentary Representative for Castries Central and Minister for Physical Development, Housing, Urban Renewal, Local Government and the Environment, Richard Frederick, views the facility as a training ground for youngsters who may someday appear in the English premier league.
For now anyway, football is the main sport played on this newly refurbished surface, but as time goes on things are likely to change. With that in mind, Frederick had these words of caution for the CFC. “I urge the CFC to ensure that while you don’t discriminate among persons using the field, if and when it has to be used for cricket let it be confined to cricket for the youth in schools in the vicinity and let football be the hallmark use of this ground.”
Minister for Social Transformation, Public Service, Human Resource Development, Youth and Sports, Lenard Montoute said: “The re-opening of the Vigie Playing Field represents a triumph of perseverance and commitment over doubt. A triumph of cooperation and collaboration over narrow mindedness and individualism. A triumph of the collective dream to transform a dream which has been talked about for decades into a reality.”
(published by Star Newspaper)