Will Sion Hill Playing Field be ready?
May 18, 2007
Will Sion Hill Playing Field be ready?

The grassing of the remainder of the outfield of the Sion Hill Playing Field should be completed in the next two months time, but it will be touch and go if football will be allowed to be played there this year.

Making the assurance that the venue will be available in that time frame was Field and Pitch Supervisor of the Local Organising Committee (LOC), Ian Allen.{{more}}

“Once we sow the seeds, the football field will be ready in the next two months”, Allen disclosed to SEARCHLIGHT last Saturday.

He said that unlike the main Arnos Vale field where the sand base was about twelve inches, that at Sion Hill was about three to four inches.

“This means that the seeds at Sion Hill will take a shorter time to germinate”, Allen added.

“At present we are grading off the area to get the length and width of the field and that will take another week and a half”, Allen, a former St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Windward Islands fast bowler revealed.

Allen stated that the use of the sand base on the football area was to keep some uniformity with the already finished cricket area.

The area designated for the playing of football has been left undone since refurbishing work on the Sion Hill facility was concentrated on the cricket area for the four teams that participated in the warm up matches here in March.

Concerns were raised in several quarters over the tardiness in the completion of the Arnos Vale Two and the Sion Hill Playing Fields.

With work visible at both venues, Allen said that the reason for the hold up was the unavailability of heavy earth moving equipment.

“That was holding us back, in addition some of the contractors do not work on Saturdays”, Allen said.

SEARCHLIGHT spoke to a leading member of the Sion Hill Football League Committee, Bevan Lewis last Monday who expressed delight that work has begun on the field,

Lewis was however apprehensive about the time frame given by Allen as he believed that it was more a wish and a hope rather than certainty.

“We have to give them the benefit of the doubt, but I have my reservations if the field will be ready in time for us to have a league this year”, Lewis said.

Lewis based his concern on what obtained at the other venues that were refurbished.

He was still taken aback by the marginalisation meted out to the Sion Hill community during the planning and execution stages of the redevelopment of the facilities at the Sion Hill Playing Field.

On the issue of lack of input from the stakeholders of football in the Sion Hill community Allen said that the onus was not on the LOC to liaison with the league committees. He said that the National Sports Council’s representative on the LOC Osbourne Browne is the person whose responsibility to bring the organisers of the two leagues and other interest groups up to date on the status of both venues.

Browne when contacted by SEARCHLIGHT refuted Allen’s claim.

“ That is the job of the LOC. Doesn’t the LOC have a Communications Officer in place? he questioned.

“Before the warm up matches, who were making the pronouncements about the progress of the grounds, wasn’t it the LOC? Browne further asked.

The NSC manager revealed that a meeting held April 26, concerns were raised on the status of the two grounds. He said that the LOC gave the assurance that they will prepare a statement for the public on the issue.

The Sion Hill and Arnos Vale football leagues were forced last year to shelve the competitions as preparatory work was in full swing for the March warm up cricket matches.

However, it was widely anticipated that both venues would have been ready for 2007, with the cricket matches completed.

They are left to a wait and see approach on the issue of the availability of the two venues.