The vision of a group of youth from Lh. Kurendhoo, to give the island’s football field a major facelift, has become a reality.
The effort to install turf on the football field – an initiative of a group of youth – began with a meeting held on the night of March 17 at Hulhumale’s Ghaazee School. About 30 youths took part in the meeting.
Today, Kurendhoo’s football field is one of the most beautiful in the country.
The youth who carried out the effort with help from the island council are extremely happy with the outcome. They said the initiative was carried out as part of their effort to promote football in the island, and in the hopes of producing talented footballers from the island.
A leading member of the youth committee established to carry out the work told VNews that Kurendhoo is a football-loving island which already has nine registered football clubs. He said that the clubs take part in the major annual football tournament in the island.
“We take part in the annual football tournament in Kurendhoo. It is the biggest football tournament held in the island. Almost the entire youth population return to the island for the tournament. But, they complain about the poor state of the field. But, today turf has been installed on the field. It is a dream of Kurendhoo’s youth to see the island producing revolutionary footballers. It will happen.”
The committee member further said that about MVR 2 million was spent on installing turf on the field to the same level as that of the national football stadium in Male’. He said that the youth were involved in the money-generation process.
“Kurendhoo has nine football teams. Every team has 23 or 25 players. Most of the players have jobs. They really want to do this. They want to play on turf,” he said.
He said that the turf was installed under the guidance of experts and after obtaining the knowledge required for it. In that regard he said that the work was carried out to meet FIFA’s standards.
Kurendhoo Council’s president, Ismail Madheeh, said it gives him great joy that such a huge initiative was undertaken by the island’s youth. He said the council has been providing its cooperation from the start, adding that, through the effort, Kurendhoo has set an example to other islands.
Similar sentiments were expressed by other residents as well. One resident who spoke to VNews said that 46 years ago an onion field was there in place of a football field, and even then the field was producing onions for the entire country. He said that the current field will also prove to be extremely beneficial for the island.
While residents of all ages in Kurendhoo have demonstrated that the spirit of football runs high in the island, this is not something seen in any other island. Government has also built a futsal stadium in Kurendhoo to develop and promote football in the island.
Kurendhoo’s football field now looks similar to an international football field, but work on the field is not complete. A member of the youth committee said that work on building a fence around the field will start very soon. He said that the field will be inaugurated after the upcoming fasting month of Ramadan.
Kurendhoo currently has a population of over 2000 people. Most of the island’s youth work in resorts. About one in every five school-leavers work in resorts. The island’s council has been commended for its efforts to bring infrastructural and socio-economic to the island, and its active involvement and support for youth-related activities.