Frustrated Tomlinson threatens to quit Westmoreland FA
Paul Clarke, Gleaner Writer
After promising to deliver on the multimillion-dollar plan of bringing the Llandilo Sports Complex off the pages of his tattered diary and into reality, Everton Tomlinson, the long-serving Westmoreland Football Association president, is contemplating throwing in the towel because of their inability to get the project funded.
"It is really such a dream of mine to make this plan a reality, but with the way things are now, I am thinking about quitting," said Tomlinson.
Three months ago, Tomlinson was buzzing with excitement and presented a big budget plan that would have transformed the overutilised Llandilo playing field into the premier sporting centre in Westmoreland.
It includes a reconfiguration of the main playing field, with two additional training fields, a multi-purpose court for the hosting of netball, basketball, along with long-term prospects for a Mondo all-weather track, to make the complex the home of sports in the parish.
The construction, when completed, would have complimented the three-thirds completed football association office building, to which businessman Andrew Buddan of Tyre Warehouse has contributed close to $3 million.
"Mr Buddan has been our saving grace, but he alone cannot do it, and while we are eternally grateful for his contributions, I am very disappointed in the local business leaders who continue to fail the youth of this parish," revealed Tomlinson.
With the sum of that money already spent, work on the property has ground to a halt and with nowhere else to turn for assistance, and Tomlinson's dream is fast becoming a nightmare.
"You look at what we have achieved in the parish without much help; you see Reno once again rising; there is Savannah SC and Sandals; now Beaches FC in the Super League; I would say we deserve even a little help," Tomlinson reasoned.
"Schools from the parish have won the daCosta Cup and have been a constant presence in the semi-finals at least for the past couple of years. Young players have donned the national colours, some received scholarships, yet we cannot get the necessary funding to create the infrastructure we are missing," he further outlined.
It will cost an additional US$20 million to fully develop the property, which is centrally located and projected to serve the many communities, as well as doubling as the training centre and home ground for Reno FC.
"This issue has drained me in many ways. I cannot do it on my own. We are calling on the political representatives and the business leaders in Westmoreland to join us," he said.
"Their assistance is needed if we are to get the plans moving forward again. The future of thousands of our young people are depending on us; the success of football in this parish is depending on us," he charged.