Sports

Blackheart 2018: 1 Day, 1 Venue, 4 Games This Evening

Image: (l-r) Big 8 Champions, National Under 20; and former Blackheart Champions, Mabouya Valley. (PHOTO: Anthony De Beauville)

FOUR games are scheduled for the La Ressource playing field today and football fans coming from near and far for the showpiece will see the return leg between Desruisseaux and Vieux Fort North; while Soufriere plays South Castries. The winners of both encounters will book their tickets to this year’s tournament.

Also this evening, Blackheart 2018 Big 8 champions, the National Under-20 team still bubbling over their thrilling penalty shootout win over Vieux Fort South on Sunday 2nd September at the same venue, will take on former Blackheart champions Canaries in a warm up friendly; while host and former champions Mabouya Valley take on their neighbours and former champions Dennery in another warm up encounter.

Image: (l-r) Big 8 Champions, National Under 20; and former Blackheart Champions, Mabouya Valley. (PHOTO: Anthony De Beauville)
(l-r) Big 8 Champions, National Under 20; and former Blackheart Champions, Mabouya Valley. (PHOTO: Anthony De Beauville)

On Wednesday 5th, former Blackheart finalist Soufriere took on South Castries in the first leg qualifier played at the Anse la Raye playing field, throughout the first half of play South Castries created a number of chances, likewise Soufriere but both teams failed to convert.

On the resumption following the halftime break both teams saw the urgency to up the tempo a few notches and that they did; but it would be the men from the western district that nosed ahead when Anthony Herman found the back of the nets, that’s how the scoreline line remained up until the final whistle.

Following this past weekend showpiece at the La Resource playing field, CEO of Blackheart Production, David Christopher said, “What I saw during the two days of competition in the BIG 8 tournament was simply enjoyable. I can proudly say the La Ressource playing field past in flying colours (100%) and I can make the pronouncement now before the press and sponsors launch scheduled for Tuesday 11th September at the Saint Lucia Olympic Committee Headquarters in La Clery, that the grand opening of the 16th edition of the tournament will take place at the La Ressource playing field on Saturday 15th, Sunday 16th and will return on Wednesday 19th”.

The Blackheart train next stop will be the Phillip Marcellin Grounds on Saturday 22nd, Sunday 23rd and Wednesday 26th; while the final stop will take the train to the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground for the semifinal on Saturday 29th September and the finals on Saturday 6th October.

Christopher took the time out to thank DJ Dongar for his unwavering support, in getting the venue prepared and secured, the Mabouya Valley Management Committee and other individuals who played their part as well”.

He continued, “I want to thank the Parliamentary Representative for Dennery North, Shawn Edward, who worked behind the scene with us ensuring the MVPF got the Blackheart games and most importantly the tournament opener”.

In terms of seating capacity, the western stands hold at least 1000 persons, and the surroundings including the additional spectators on the outside perimeter (standing), Christopher believes the venue will hold 3000 plus fans.

Parliamentary Representative for Dennery North, former Minister for Youth Development and Sports took the time out to speak to the media present about the two day event; this is what he had to say, “First off all I need to commend David Christopher for putting together a very good programme over two days, there was tremendous amount of support for the activity.

I am on record for saying, if you really want to feel the sporting pulse of the nation, La Ressource is the place to be. I don’t think there is anywhere else in Saint Lucia where the sporting pulse of the nation is stronger than at La Ressource. I guess it’s a reflection of the community where people have a passion and a love for sports and once it is organized properly and well marketed people will come out and support.

Additionally I think it is a very good platform for young footballers. I think what we saw over the two days was a very good advert for sports and football. It really is a moment of vindication given the investment that was made in this facility. The Mabouya Valley has contributed much to the sporting development of Saint Lucia. When I was in the Ministry of Sports, we needed a facility to continue to encourage persons to gravitate towards sports and this is what we have seen.

“In terms of the chances of the district representative team, unfortunately they did not go all the way in the Big 8, but I am very confident and with the amount of young talent players in the squad, this year we are in with a real chance. We are a very rich repository of sporting talent as a district so it’s just a matter of the people in the football league and the management team having to sit down and set the minds of the players in a direction that will see us be part of the glory as far as Blackheart is concern”.

In terms of additional seating and other amenities for the MVPF, Edward said, “When that project was conceptualized, we had plans for seats on the northern side to compliment what exist, but as you know there was a change of administration in 2016 and we were not able to take the project to completion. What you see at the moment is 50% of what was envisaged; we were fortunate enough to have gotten the lights, seats, changing rooms, toilets and arguably the best surface on island at the moment, away from the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground. For the time being, we can make do with this, but rest assured this facility is far from complete and I am hoping in the not too distance future we will be back on track/course in terms of this facility being completed”.

Anthony De Beauville is The VOICE Publishing Company’s multi-award winning sports journalist. He works closely with a number of sports federations including the Department of Youth Development and Sports, the Saint Lucia Olympic Committee and other organizations.

He covers and contributes articles highlighting the areas of international, regional, national, community based clubs and schools sporting activities. There is never an off day as he stays busy... Read full bio...

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