THE MARABELLA Family Crisis Centre and friends will host a memorial football event at the Manny Ramjohn Stadium today in recognition of the late Noah Simmons who was murdered recently.
Simmons was an aspiring young footballer living in Marabella, who attended and played for Shiva Boys’ Hindu School, as well as representing Central FC in the Flow Youth Pro League through his association with the Anthony Sherwood Football Academy.
He regularly attended the Marabella Family Crisis Centre and spent many happy hours playing football at the Manny Ramjohn Stadium in Marabella.
Simmons was gunned down on the morning of his 16th birthday.
No motive has been determined.
The purpose of the event today is to bring the Marabella community — and, indeed the entire TT community — together to promote the messages “Shoot Goals, Not Guns” and “Join A Team, Not A Gang.” This will be a day for the community to promote peace using the medium of football.
All Pro League clubs will submit two players to form an All Star Pro League team to play the national Under-20 team.
First there will be a game between Shiva Boys and the Marabella Family Crisis Centre and Friends.
Admission to the event will be $20, with children aged five-16 paying $5, and children under five will enter free.
All the funds raised will be donated to the Marabella Family Crisis Centre in memory of Simmons.
The game between Shiva Boys and Marabella Family Crisis Centre will kick off at 2 pm, and will be a 60-minute affair.
The TT Pro League All Stars and the National Under 20s encounter, scheduled for 3.30 pm, will be a 90-minute game.
“We are hoping to attract a big crowd to support this event,” said Anthony Sherwood, one of the event’s organisers. Simmons regularly went to Sherwood’s football academy.
“This is not just a football event,” added Sherwood. “I believe this tragedy could become a catalyst for communities to stand up to crime in their areas.”
Another member of the organising committee, Kevin Harrison of Central FC, said, “We must stress that this event will be non-political, as it is about the community putting aside race, religion and politics and joining together to create peace in our communities. It will fall nicely into a company’s corporate social responsibility programme and, we are hoping that businessmen will get behind this event and offer monetary or product donations.”
Sherwood, an outstanding football prodigy in his youth, noted, “People don’t realise just how much good work is carried out by Terry Boissiere and the rest of the team there. They don’t just coach football. The centre offers a safe haven to those people in the community who may be at risk.
They offer counselling services, provide mentorship and role models and, in some instances, provide a family network to those who need it.”
The organisers have been pleased with the support received so far, and thanked the TTFA (TT Football Association), TT Pro League, Shiva Boys Hindu School, referee Rashbie Mc Phee and SPORTT (Sports Company of TT) for their assistance.