Basseterre, St. Kitts, September 18, 2021 (SKNIS): Members of the sporting fraternity and community residents from Verchilds and the surrounding community joined with government officials and the families of St. Clair “Monty” Samuel and Vincent Williams to celebrate the renaming of the community playing field as the Samuel-Williams Sports Complex.

The renaming officially took place at a ceremony held at the facility on Saturday, September 18, 2021. The ceremony served a dual purpose as outdoor sport lights were also commissioned.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sports, Valencia Syder, noted that the government remains committed to honouring the tremendous contributions by stalwarts in all spheres of life and the outstanding accomplishments in sports is no exception.

Vincent Williams is renowned for his 40 years of dedicated service in developing sports in the Old Road and Verchilds communities. This includes managing teams in football and cricket and advocating for the expansion of the Verchilds Playing Field. Meanwhile, St. Clair “Monty” Williams played football and cricket and had a passion for sports overall. His cricketing prowess back in the 1970s left many wondering why he was not selected to play for the West Indies cricket team. After his playing days, he excelled as a referee in football. He also contributed to the development and maintenance of the Verchilds Playing Field.

Member of Parliament for St. Christopher #4, the Honourable Lindsay Grant, noted that the renaming of the facility “is very important because when a community or a society sees it fit to pay tribute to its residents and citizens this sends a clear and unmistakable message that people count and what we do in the service of others matters.”

Minister of Sports, the Honourable Jonel Powell, said that the continued development of sports remains a priority for the government.

“Sports matters,” he stated. “It is essential to our physical and mental health; it defines us; entertains us; brings us together; builds a sense of community and belonging; fosters inclusion and resilience from being a part of a team, a participant or even spectator.

“It is important to my ministry, and to me personally as the minister responsible, at both the professional and grassroots levels. On that premise, the Ministry of Sports is excited to be continuing its national initiative of upgrading all sporting facilities on St. Kitts. An initiative that is not just about providing better sporting facilities, it is about building stronger, healthier communities by promoting physical activity, social connection and economic vitality,” Minister Powell added.

He referenced the commissioning of the outdoor sports lights at the facility and noted that the government invested $1.48 million in procuring and installing the LED lights. The minister indicated that outdoor sports lights will also be mounted at the basketball and netball courts as part of a wider upgrade project in the area.

Honourable Powell indicated that the Ministry of Sports would ensure that well maintained and functional sporting facilities remain available and accessible to all involved in competitive and recreational sports as outlined in the National Sports Policy 2020-2025.

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