Western Stars forming strong alliance with community schools
Western Stars have had a successful season so far in the Premier Division, even though they have been without a home field for the past two years.
The club has drawn closer to schools in the area like Berkeley and West Pembroke, using their fields for training while St John’s Field is being redeveloped in a joint project between area business Gorham’s and the Government.
The club recognises that the relationship with the schools is a win-win situation as students will go on to play for the club’s youth and senior teams and yesterday the club donated football and cricket balls to Northlands Primary as part of this symbiotic approach.
“We’ve had a relationship with West Pembroke for a number of years, in the past we’ve donated goals to them and bibs for the football teams,” said Shawnette Perott, secretary of Western Stars.
“The club used West Pembroke for preseason training last summer but went to Berkeley’s field because they had lights.
“It’s been an ongoing relationship, but most recently we put it more in writing because we have asked to use their field for training since our [St John’s] field is being redeveloped.
“Within the last year or so it has been a more formal relationship but we have always had that partnership with West Pembroke.
“It’s a relationship we cherish, our children have been a part of the school, a lot of them have been to the school and we intend to get into the schools more to promote our programme.
“The school has been very accommodating to us, we actually had our girls programme up there, the Dandy Stars girls from 7 to 17 train up there. Even before our field closed, we had a presence there. We donated goals to them.“We stopped going to West Pembroke right around November because they don’t have lights, but we’re working on that.“We were up there in August, September and October and then we went to Berkeley.
“We did have a footprint at Northlands before Covid.
“At Berkeley we help maintain the grounds, we recently helped fix their lights which is a benefit to the school as well. “Just being there at Berkeley has been good, it’s about building relationships with the schools.” Wendell Smith, the Deputy Principal at West Pembroke, said the partnership with Western Stars is good for the Pembroke community.
“One of the things we at West Pembroke has endeavoured to do is form business-school partnerships,” said Smith.
“One thing we have established with Western Stars Sports Club is, for a number of years, we have been facilitating the enhancement of our school through various initiatives with them.
“They have utilised our field for cricket training and a number of our students play on their many junior teams.
“They have also assisted us with even cutting our field when there has been problems with machinery.
“I reached out to ask them if they could help us with some footballs because our children love to play football at lunch time and they came by and provided us with six football and four plastic cricket balls.
“The whole idea is a win-win situation because we can help Western Stars and they can help us.”
Devarr Boyles, the president of Western Stars Sports Club and a PE teacher at Berkeley, appreciates the importance of the clubs working closely with the schools in their community.
“Western Stars has a huge connection to West Pembroke due to the proximity of our ground, so West Pembroke is certainly one of the feeder schools for our programme in both cricket and football, and hopefully soon to be netball and softball for women,” the club president said.
“What we want to do is have a bigger relationship with the schools in the parish of Pembroke, particularly the ones in Pembroke West, Northlands, West Pembroke and Berkeley.
“When the field closed, we reached out to the three principals and board of governors respectively to see if we can have a relationship with the schools, certainly while the field is being renovated.
“Coming soon there will be some lights erected at West Pembroke which will facilitate usage for the club, the community and the school.”