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Jan 10, 2023

Berger Field Almost Complete; Prime Minister Shoots for Goal

Berger Field is a location where many of Belize City’s past football talents were realized. In the seventies and eighties, the field was one of the main venues on the south side where people gathered to watch official matches between the best teams, or where neighbourhood players went to hone their skills on the pitch. But gradual deterioration and lack of maintenance discouraged the youths from continuing to use the field and it simply degenerated into a wasteland. But now, Pickstock Area Representative, Anthony Mahler took on the project to transform the area into a brand new football pitch, fit for future football stars. Prime Minister John Briceño – a former footballer, tested his skills ahead of its opening in the coming weeks. News Five’s Marion Ali has the story.


Marion Ali, Reporting

The tradition of yore, when youths met at the historic Berger Field on Vernon Street to play football and when families gathered to cheer them on is one that will be revived. The infrastructural work was commissioned less than a year ago, and Prime Minister John Briceño was on hand recently to tour the facility where some of the country’s future football stars will meet to practice.


Prime Minister John Briceño

Prime Minister John Briceño

“This is what we need to do more of in the city, especially in the south side of Belize City, where we have limited playgrounds, more of this so that the young people – instead of hanging out on the streets, they can come out here to play.”


The project was spearheaded by Minister of Tourism, Anthony Mahler, who is also the Area Representative for Pickstock. Mahler was attending a meeting in southern Belize when the prime minister conducted his tours, but the PM shared how the project got off the ground.


Prime Minister John Briceño

“It’s his brainchild.  He was the one that sourced the funds to be able to get this done. I’m told they’re spending close to four hundred and fifty thousand dollars for this work and obviously, you could see that there’s great value for money. They had to take out a lot of muck and mud and so forth to get firm ground for the clay. They had to do a lot of filling.”

The facility will include a series of bleachers and stadium lights, two concession stands, the proceeds of which will be used to invest in maintenance of the field. The project is a major transformation from what was left to deteriorate at the location over the years. In 2012, former Minister of State in Sports, Herman Longsworth pledged to restore the field to its former glory, but fell short on that promise.


Prime Minister John Briceño

“Berger Field was a mess. It was muddy, it was abandoned. When it rained, the yard was full of water, and here we have something where young people can come and have fun. And this is what our government is all about – to transform some of these areas – find ways how we can transform the lives of young people, not only through education but also sports.”

As a former footballer himself, the PM attests that sports hold an important role in helping to mold one’s character.


Prime Minister John Briceño

“You build that friendship, you learn how to cooperate, you learn team spirit – these are important in building true character in our young people.”


Marion Ali reporting for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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