THE Brian Lara Recreation Ground in Santa Cruz, which cost $13 million to upgrade, was officially re-opened on Tuesday.
The project took two years to complete and includes a car park and a refurbished pavilion, which seats 500 people. The facility also includes a multi-purpose court, cricket practice nets and a children’s play area.
A number of officials attended the opening including former MP for St Ann’s East Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly, Sport Company of TT (SporTT) chairman Douglas Camacho and Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs deputy permanent secretary Claire Davidson-Williams. The San Juan/Laventille Regional Corporation was also instrumental in the work done at the facility.
Dr Gadsby-Dolly said the facility is especially for the children of the area. “We recognise (the children) this morning…because it is for them more than for us. This facility having been built will benefit the residents of Santa Cruz and we are so happy to be at this event this morning.”
Gadsby-Dolly knows the facility is in good hands. “I know the residents of this community will use it well. I know that they will take maximum care and respect of the facility.”
She said it is pleasing that a facility under Lara’s name is complete. “This ground is named after one of our global sporting legends and the community of Santa Cruz is always very proud to acknowledge Brian Charles Lara’s start in this community. His family is still here and so we are very happy to be able to have the ground live up to its very illustrious name.”
Lara, a TT and West Indies batting legend, was born in Cantaro Village, Santa Cruz.
The MP thanked all those in Santa Cruz for making the opening possible and looks forward “to the transformation these types of spaces bring to the community.”
Davidson-Williams said, “We at the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs are committed to providing first-class facilities to our youth population by creating a platform that can significantly enhance their capabilities in sporting activities, youth development (and) positioning them as next generation change makers who can contribute to more sustainable policy and opportunities.”
Davidson-Williams urged people to “see this facility as an opportunity to improve your skills and to find meaningful ways of occupying yourselves with meaningful activities.”
She urged residents to maintain the facility. “I challenge you to ensure that it is used in an effective way and maintained in its pristine condition, so that it last beyond generations.”
Camacho thanked community activist John Williams for his enthusiasm in urging him in getting the facility complete. The SporTT chairman said the project took longer than expected but “it is really indeed a pleasure and an honour to eventually be able to deliver this.”