JOSHUA ALEXANDER scored the lone item to power Rangers to a 1-0 victory over Love and Life in the final of the Football 7s tournament at the Beetham Gardens Recreation Ground. The tournament featured 14 teams from the Laventille and Beetham community as well as Port of Spain and Environs and the East West Corridor over the past six weeks.
It was sponsored by the Miscellaneous Group and co-hosted by the Beetham Gardens Sporting Academy and the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).
Rangers took home the $8,000 first prize as they held off a stiff challenge from Love and Life before an appreciate crowd of around 500 spectators at the Beetham venue. Isaiah Leacock of Love and Life took home the $1,000 cheque and the trophy for the Leading Goalscorer, while Alexander took away the MVP (Most Valuable Player) award of $1,000 and a trophy.
Love and Life received $4,000 for their runners-up finish and First Touch, who were third, walked away with $2,000.
In attendance was Minister of National Security and Member of Parliament for Laventille West Fitzgerald Hinds, former Trinidad and Tobago captain Khaleem Hyland and Miscellaneous Group CEO Sham Mohammed.
Hinds commended the efforts of the organisers and participants.
“I am very happy to know that this has been organised by the community and supported by Miscellaneous. We have naturally so a lot of talent in this country and most of the talent you will find in communities like these. Laventille produced all kinds of top level talent in cricket, basketball, football.. in all aspects of human endeavour,” Hinds said.
“It really gives opportunity to those who scout to see the talent. It gives an opportunity to those who play to demonstrate their skill and talent but most of all this has a way of healing the community and pulling the community together,” Hinds added.
Albert Sprott, representative of the Beetham Gardens Sporting Academy, echoed similar sentiments.
“I took the opportunity to run this tournament with the help of the people in the community and of course Mr Sham Mohammed who came together with me to host this very successful event," Sprott said. "Definitely this is good for community building. There were so many teams from Beetham and environs, Sea Lots, Belmont, Morvant and as far as Tunapuna. You look around and see so many people involved in terms of providing support which makes it so interesting to have teams coming into our community.
“People view our community with a bad stigma and therefore this is so important to show people that we can have an incident free tournament right here in Beetham,” Sprott added.
Shaun Fuentes, representative of Miscellaneous and Pushing Limits said the group’s intention was to continue supporting these type of community building initiatives.
“These are opportunities we are always looking to create for community building and empowerment. History shows that some of the best talent in our sporting history has come out of areas such as Laventille, Morvant and other similar communities. From (Russell) Latapy to (Dennis) Lawrence, you name it,” Fuentes said.
“The pandemic forced a bit of a break in our hosting of these football 7s tournament as you would recall we hosted several of these events at Sogren Trace Ground prior to the pandemic. We resumed hosting last month with a Football 7s tournament in honour of the deceased Kareem Charles who was a member of Laventille United. That tournament attracted several teams from the Laventille community and we are looking to expand on this sort of interest and progress over the coming months.”
Vision United topped the Kareem Charles tournament table with 24 points from eight matches and later defeated B-Boys 2-1 in a final playoff to walk away with the $12,000 winners cheque. B-Boys received $7,000 for their efforts in placing second in the final that took place on June 12 at Sogren Trace.
SOURCE: T&T Newsday