The T&T Football Association yesterday expressed deepest condolences to the family of Abiela Adams who was found murdered in Courland, Tobago.
Adams was a member of the National Under 15 Women's team and a bright prospect for the National Women's your team programme. She was first selected to the National Under 15 Team last year and journeyed to the CONCACAF Under 15 Women's Championship at Disney, Orlando where she represented the country with pride at that tournament.
TTFA President David John-Williams expressed condolences to the family of Abiela, saying "We are deeply saddened by the news of young Abiela's passing. Our deepest sympathies go out to her family and we pray that God will grant her family and her closed ones the much needed comfort and peace during this time."
"The TTFA will make every effort to support the family in this difficult time. Her death comes at a time when women's football in our country is heading in the right direction. We are all shocked at losing a bright prospect like her," the TTFA President said.
The T&T Under 15 head coach at the time of the CONCACAF championship, Marlon Charles, expressed dismay and shock on hearing the news of her death. "When you hear news like this it reflects on home because as someone you have coached, these players become part of you. You think about it as a father, as a parent, as a coach, you reflect on how she would have encountered everything she had to go through. This is really a traumatic situation that has hit us really hard in the football fraternity," Charles explained.
"She had great potential to go on to play for other national teams and would have been part of the upcoming screening for the national under 17 women's team. She journeyed over from Tobago for the Under 15 screening last year and made the final selection and turned out to be one our better players and I am certain she would have been back for the Under 17s. These are dreams a young lady surely would have had and it has been taken away,"he added.
Under 15 national team manager Ricarda Nelson said the players from that team have been left devastated by the news. "It's heartbreaking. You still cannot understand how the mother or family feels right now. What could a young girl like Abiela do to deserve what happened to her. We really need to deal with what is happening in our society today," Nelson said.
"All my players right now are in tears, crying because they were all close. I could hear the screams while on the phone with some of the parents this morning. I am a mother and you have to ask how do you deal with something like this," Nelson said.
Minister, coach send condolences to slain footballer's family.
By Keith Clement (Guardian).
Tobago's latest murder touched the national football community on Saturday with the news that national under-15 player Abiela Adams was found murdered.
Adams, a defender with the Signal Hill Secondary School team never returned to her Mary's Hill, Tobago home after leaving with a friend last Friday evening.
News of the discovery of her body sent shockwaves throughout the country.
A release from the ministry stated: "On behalf of the management and staff of the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs and the Sports Company of T&T, the Honourable Darryl Smith extends condolences to the Adams family as well as her teammates and classmates on their tragic loss.
"Abiela was described as a player with 'great potential' by Under-15 head coach Marlon Charles, who most recently led team T&T to the 2016 CONCACAF Girls Under-15 Championships in Orlando, Florida, USA."
Minister Smith went further in his words of sympathy, saying: "As a father of three daughters, I cannot imagine the grief Abiela's family must be going through and I pray for their healing and in the long term, for justice.
Pour all your sorrow into supporting each other, as teammates do on the field of play.
"As the Minister responsible for Sport, I will continue to advocate for and create opportunities for the inclusion and full participation of young persons, particularly women and girls in sport, as Abiela was in both football and cricket.
"T&T, we all need to protect our women and girls. The current state of affairs cannot continue."
"The Ministry urges citizens to pay urgent attention to their safety at all times, to use the numerous channels available to alert the police to any criminal activity you observe and to make every effort to protect women and girls in situations of potential danger."
THA takes action on crime.
By KINNESHA GEORGE (Newsday)
The murder of school girl, 15-year old student, Abiela Adams, has prompted not only outrage among Tobago leaders, but also renewed focus on how to treat with increasing homicides and security in general on the sister isle.
Chief Secretary, Kelvin Charles, is to meet with the Tobago Executive of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service tomorrow to address the issue. In a release issued by his office yesterday, Charles sought to assure the Tobago population that security is a top priority.
“The Tobago House of Assembly is committed to working with the TTPS and relevant civil society agencies to find solutions to the challenges of crime on the island,” the THA release said. “The Chief Secretary assures the public that security of citizens is a top priority and that the THA is prepared to do what it has to, in order to protect Tobagonians.
With this in mind, the THA has been strategising and developing initiatives to deal with the challenges, and the public will be informed.” The Signal Hill Secondary School Form Three student went missing last week. Her body was discovered yesterday.
Charles’ media release yesterday said that the recent murders on the island, as well as crime in general, demand the attention and cooperation of all members of the public, leaders and protectors.
Going further to express condolences to loved ones of those who have lost someone to violence, including Adams, the release added, “All loss of any life is painful to society and loved ones. We all have a role to play in resolving this growing problem.” In this regard, the release reminded the public to come forward and report to the police any information related to crime, reminding that there are also anonymous ways to report a crime. I the release, the THA urged the public to use all avenues to relate any such information.
Other political leaders in Tobago, in addition to being outraged by the demise of the student, were critical of the People’s National Movement (PNM) in dealing with the crime situation on the island. THA minority leader Watson Duke told Sunday Newsday that he is continuing his call to the Chief Secretary and Prime Minister to enact a serious crime plan for the island.
“This is Tobago’s darkest hour and it is the most hopeless hour when the Chief Secretary just throws his hand in the air and says he has no crime plan and he would work with Crime stoppers to stop crime.” Duke said. “The Prime Minister keeps ‘jamming still’ even though our country is being ripped apart by crime against humanity, it is indeed sad.” Duke called on all countrymen to not lose faith, as he noted that ‘hope is not lost.’ “We are prepared to deal with crime head on, Duke said. “We are prepared to create community policing to work with the Community Comfort patrols to ensure that every child, every family and every village is protected, none will be left behind.
Very soon and after thorough consultation, we would announce a crime march in Tobago and that would be the beginning of the end of this false PNM THA administration, who is only intent was to win and now that they have won they don’t care, but we would ensure that the voice of the minority or the majority is heard through us in that Chamber,” Duke said.
Meanwhile, Political Leader of the Tobago Forwards, Christlyn Moore said she was overwhelmed by the situation.
“First of all my condolences to the family,” she said. “I cannot comprehend what that mother must be going through to learn that the child that she nurtured for 15 years has been taken from her and not by accident but by the hand and the desire of a criminal.” Moore added, “That is the most heart-breaking thing, and my very being goes out to that family and the community of right thinking people share in their grief.” Moore said this brings into stark reality what has been said for the past few months.
“The crime situation is completely out of control and it has spilled over into Tobago. We are now on the 11th of February, we have met the amount of murders that we ended 2016 with in Tobago, we are now at that number on the 11th of February, 2017.” “We are in crisis.” she declared. “If there was ever a time to sound an alarm, that time is now.
Crime in Tobago is going to become a factor, a larger factor even if all other things are done right in Tobago.”