The success story of the Rose Hall Town Youth & Sports Club is well known across Guyana and the Caribbean and we have received the support of almost every individual, Government agency, the Government of Guyana and countless sponsors.
Sadly, over the years we have never received the support of our Town Council, despite being the one shining light that has made Rose Hall Town proud over the past twenty-five years. Last week, we were forced to pen a letter to the media, out of frustration concerning the attitude of the Groundsman/Caretaker and the failure of the Town Council to take the necessary disciplinary action to correct the situation.
Since the publication of the letter in the media, the Town Council’s response has been to remove the individual from the ground and leave us on our own. Our members on Saturday January 24, 2015 were forced to clean up piles of garbage after the Town Council granted permission to two schools to play a cricket match on Friday January 23, 2015.
On Sunday January 25, 2015, we had to prepare the pitch ourselves for a first division match and then again on Monday for practice. Mr. Editor, what is of concern to residents of this township, is that the Town Council treats the Area ‘H’ ground as an unwanted step-child despite this facility being its second most important asset after the major market.
Each year the Council makes thousands of dollars from rental of the venue and yet its only recent investment has been the payment of the non-productive caretaker. The last IMC Chairman had the wisdom to invest part of the Council’s subvention to repair the fence and Rose Hall Town Youth & Sports Club salutes him for his support of the youths.
The current Council however seems not to care and the following are just some of the examples.
a) The Rose Hall Town Youth & Sports Club has been forced to provide security lights for the Area ‘H’ ground for the past seven years at our expense.
b) The Rose Hall Town Youth & Sports Club a few years ago had to pay Guyana Water Inc. over a hundred thousand dollars to prevent disconnection at the Town Council’s ground.
c) The Town Council has over the past eight years failed to provide security at one of its most expensive assets. The end result has been endless damage to the venue and the usage of the ground for illegal activities during the night. The Rose Hall Town Youth & Sports Club over the past two years has had to replace the ground’s water connection, over four times due to theft. Of course as everyone knows we have lost millions of dollars worth of items due to numerous breakages into our office and store room. The Council since 2008 has promised to budget for a security guard but has failed to fulfill another promise.
d) The Town Council without even the courtesy of informing us took away our Charity Kitchen which was constructed by us at the cost of about $1M and handed it over to a group that has no proper structure and hardly ever uses it. The end result is that we have been forced to cut back on our feeding programme for less fortunate families. This group never invested a cent in the project but now has full control over the building which was built by the Rose Hall Town Youth & Sports Club.
e) All three pavilions at the Area ‘H’ ground have been repaired and are now in excellent condition due to the fact that the Rose Hall Town Youth & Sports club was able to raise millions from the Government of Guyana via the Ministry of Sports. In 2012, a new million dollar pavilion was constructed and in 2013, a $2.3millions grant allowed us to repair the old southern pavilion. A million dollars grant in 2014 was able to restore the main pavilion to its former glory. To date, we have not seen a member from the Town Council to inspect any of these projects. In fact Mr. Editor, a crude message (indecent language) was painted on the Southern pavilion four months ago and it is there for all to see including the hundreds of youths who attend the J.C. Chandisingh Secondary School. This is the same pavilion where the office of the Caretaker is based.
f) The Town Council in its “wisdom” decided to allow our cricketers to practice on the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of each week while Monday and Friday was given to a group of footballers who have no structure, no leader and do not partake in any competition. Sadly, the footballers have taken over the ground for all five days and our cricketers find it very difficult to practice properly. The footballers practice sessions involving over thirty players and two goal posts take place less than thirty yards from the pitch and it is a common sight to see footballers kicking the ball on the pitch or on the bowler’s run up while the bowler have to wait.
g) Our batsmen cannot hit the ball too hard for fear that another Phil Hughes accident would occur. It is our hope that the Mayor and Town Council would look into this major problem. On Tuesday January 27, 2015, there was heavy rainfall and our players immediately stopped their practice to avoid causing damage to the outfield but the footballers led by a relative of a senior Town Council employee continued to play causing severe damage to the ground. It took my intervention for them to leave the field as no one from the Town Council was present in the venue.
Mr. Editor, we sometimes wonder how we have been able to achieve so much and be so successful when we face so much non-co-operation from this Town Council which collects our hard earn money for taxes to serve us.
Our club’s record of achievement in this township is unmatched and we have transformed its image singlehandedly. President Donald Ramotar should look into the performance of this Town Council, its Councillors and Senior Officials and make sure that they operate in a more professional manner.
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