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Couva/Point Lisas Chamber president Lily Heerai is appealing for government funding for the Couva Sugar and Energy Festival. She said it is a “major challenge” to get funding for the popular event. Heerai made the appeal when she addressed a Planning Ministry consultation on an implementation strategy for the 4Cs Growth Pole. The consultation, which was held at the Chamber’s conference centre in Camden, Couva, focused on developmental plans for the 4Cs—Couva, Chaguanas, Carapichaima and Charlieville.
Heerai said since sugar is no longer an industry in T&T, the Chamber has decided to rename the event the Sugar to Energy Festival and plans to hold the event in April or May. She said it is the Chamber’s flagship event and is the “only festival that encompasses sports, culture and business.” The chamber applied to the Tourism Ministry to have the festival incorporated as part of the overall tourism thrust and to obtain funding but is still awaiting a response.
“The festival has outgrown the area,” she said. David John Williams, owner of the W Connections Football Club which is based in Couva, complained that he has been trying to get government support and approval for football and cricket training facility in central Trinidad. He said he submitted proposals for Lisas Gardens playground, Macaulay Park, Dow Village and upgrade of Gilbert Park, Couva in the last ten to five years without success.
Williams said for years sports has been paid lip service by the Government. He said while he welcomed the construction of the national aquatic centre in Couva, he believes there are more opportunities for investment in the sports industry and he is willing to partner with Government in this regard.
Planning Minister Dr Bhoe Tewarie told Williams it was not fair to blame the People’s Partnership for failing to review his proposals. He gave Williams his personal cellphone number and asked him to call to set up an appointment to discuss the proposal.