( Barbados Today}, That is the plea from veteran politician and sports organiser, Hamilton Lashley who said Caribbean leaders need to look more seriously at revamping regional air travel which has become extremely expensive and cumbersome.
Speaking ahead of the start of the seventh annual Caribbean Children’s Charity Shield Soccer Classic, scheduled for August 17th – 28th, Lashley said to move across the region to compete some organisers, teams and individuals are forced to charter flights. He went further and maintained that an inefficient air travel system is an impediment to the rights of Caribbean citizens.
“It is having a negative impact on sporting events, the players and even the countries where events are being held. Caribbean people expect that part of their rights as a citizen of CARICOM is to move easily through the region. Something must be done,” he said.
This year’s Soccer Classic will be held at the Blenheim and Dover Playing fields and is expected to host 200 players in three categories – U13, U15 and U17. Teams are coming from Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, St. Lucia and Barbados.
They will be competing in the respective categories for the Egbert ‘Dads’ McClean Trophy, in memory of the late Trinidadian and co-founder of the Soccer Classic, the Joycelyn Miller Memorial Trophy and the Gerald Garcia Challenge
Barbados is the defending champion in the U13, while T&T took top spot in both the U15 and U17 age groups in the last tournament held in Grenada in 2020, which also saw St. Lucia, Grenada and Guyana compete.
The Caribbean Children’s Charity Shield Soccer Classic was started in 2014 after a meeting convened at the Hilton in Trinidad and Tobago with Hamilton Lashley from Barbados, Gerald Garcia, Novick Denoon and the late Egbert ‘Dads’ McClean from Trinidad & Tobago. The aim of the Soccer Classic is to bring together Caribbean young people from marginalised communities to participate in friendly rivalries in an atmosphere of togetherness. (