Sun, Apr

Nevick Denoon (left)

Nevick Denoon has not only been hailed as a football coach but a father figure to dozens of boys in the Morvant community which is plagued by rising murders, gang warfare and gun violence.

For almost four decades, Denoon, 64, has trained a generation of boys in his Morvant Elements Football Club, victims of poverty and hardship from broken homes while others have dropped out of school.

Denoon has imparted his coaching skills to players such as Russell Latapy, Dennis Lawrence and Arnold Dwarika who have carved a name for themselves in the football arena at home and abroad.

And he continues to play a fatherly role in the lives of many of his players even up to this day.

“A lot of players who lack fathers or are fatherless I try to reach out to them ... to at least be a father figure to them. I keep telling them the wages of sin is death,” said Denoon, who has four children of his own.

“These children have no parental guidance and would sometimes go down the wrong path. I try to encourage them to do better and to work harder for what they want in life.”

Some have taken Denoon’s advice, while others have not been so fortunate.

“A few of them were gunned down in this very community,” Denoon said. “It pains knowing what Morvant was to what it has become ... a killing field.”

Last month, Denoon said he became a pillar of support to one of his players who was released from the Maximum Security Prison in Arouca after serving a 15-year jail time for murder.

“This young man who lost his father at the age of 12 came to me for guidance and advice after coming out of prison. What can I do? I cannot turn my back on him. I have been trying to steer him in the right direction ... to keep him out of trouble in the last few weeks. If I could save one male I would have accomplished something. My work would not have gone in vain.”

Denoon said he feels gutted knowing that little was being done to save this generation of children who are caught up in a life of crime and gun violence.

In the meantime, he continues to do his best.

SOURCE: T&T Guardian