The Trendsetter Hawks Football Academy wll be hosting a first ever reunion, entitled “A gathering of Friends and Family” at the Newtown Playboyz pan yard in Woodbrook tomorrow.
The Port of Sport-based Hawks, led for 38 years by community coach Anthony “Dada” Wickham, are widely considered to have one of the best youth development football programmes in T&T. The reunion will provide an opportunity to reconnect with former members.
This year, the club installed a Board of Directors, launched a Facebook Group, hosted a Football Camp and devised a professional youth development program.
Arguably the longest-serving community and proven anti-crime initiative in East Port of Spain, the Hawks and coach Wickham have, since 1978, provided hundreds of children from low income communities of the capital with football and other recreational opportunities, as well as life skills.
Twice voted Youth Coach of the Year by the TT Pro League, “Dada” has assisted in the development of many national players, including Travis Mulraine, Brent Sancho, Devon Jorsling, Attaulah Guerra, Jomal ‘Bebo' Williams and Kerwyn Jemmott. While East Port of Spain conveys images of crime and vengeful turf wars, Hawks are installing in their charges an enthusiasm to play together and achieve positive goals rather than alignmen themselves with the negative aspects of their community.
For 2017, the priority is to acquire a vacant piece of Housing Development Corporation land at Piccadilly Street, so it can be converted into a recreational field. The Hawks Academy hopes that by attaining the land, it can ensure a structured long-term youth programme, a quality training surface and activities that engage five community primary schools and hundreds of residents.