The Zone of Special Operations (ZOSO) that has been declared in Mount Salem, St James has not disrupted sporting activities in the football-loving community. The community’s vibrant corner-league competition was completed Sunday while players, especially schoolboys, who are currently preparing for the rural daCosta Cup competition have no difficulty traversing to and from the community Daniel Ricketts, Wadadah Football Club’s coach, says although they have not trained at Mount Salem for years, he has players living there and says there is not much sign normal life has changed much. “We don’t have a lot of players there, only a few. It is not affecting us. We have not started training, but I have seen the players,” he said. “They (community) had their corner league and the final on Sunday went well, so things are good.” Winsome Barnes, president of the Mount Salem Community Development Committee (CDC) and organiser of the corner league, said the operation has had very little effect on the summer competition and the main problem residents are now facing was lack of proper identification. “Those who are having problems are the ones who don’t have any IDs. They have no National ID, driver’s licence or passport, they have nothing. So they have to talk to the officers,” she said. Although the match venue is not located within the zone, most residents and teams taking part are from the side of the community being curfewed, but still the turnout for games was no less than in the past. “We had a fabulous corner league final. Clarke Street is in the zone and is one of teams that would have been affected, but their supporters were out in droves for the final,” she noted. Cornwall College’s coach, Dr Dean Weatherly, though admitting he knew very little about the Mount Salem situation, says players who reside there have no problem getting to and from training and have shown no sign that the operation is having a negative effect on their daily lives. “The students are coming to training, so it is not really affecting them,” Weatherly said.
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