By Neto Baptiste
Football coach and community organiser, Colin James, is well known for his involvement in sports within the All Saints Community and its surroundings. As a matter of a fact, the journalist’s name is today, still synonymous with the All Saints Community Football League although he left the competition’s organising committee many years ago.
James was also the main driving force behind the popular Attackers Football Club in the ‘90s and also organised what was once a vibrant Warriors Cup, which saw participation from regional clubs from Trinidad and Jamaica on an annual basis.
Speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show recently, James explained how he became involved in organising the league and other community-based activities.
“Uriah Caleb was the organiser somewhere between 1984 and ‘85 and he had asked for volunteers and, as usual in the community, most of the adults would shy away from coming forward to assist. It was, maybe, a feeling amongst the adults at the time within the community that they didn’t want anybody to criticise them. So, being young and innocent and having the love for the game, I volunteered and I got hooked on assisting and he [Caleb] entrusted me with a lot of responsibilities,” he said.
“When it was time for him to move on he turned over the reins to me so I began to work along with my good friend Shelly Hunt; we called him judge. We did it for about 15 to 20 years and then in my last five years or so I recruited Rowan ‘Three Fives’ Isaac to take over from me.”
A former government senator, James said there was a natural link between organising the league and preparing the Attackers team for matches in the football association competition.
“Once you were organising the All Saints Community Football League, you had to organise the Attackers club. I had the dual responsibility of not only organising Attackers, I was also young enough still to play a few seasons with Bassa in the Second and First divisions. So it was like going to school pasture to practice with Bassa from about 4 pm until 5:30 pm, and before the sun sets between 6 and 6:30 pm, I was at McPond assisting with the whole question of selecting the team or putting the Attackers team together to play in the upcoming matches,” he said.
James, who would have impacted the lives of many young players in the community, said he drew inspiration from his parents who were also heavily involved in the community.
“My parents, the late Alfred ‘Colo’ James and Tessie James were very ardent sports people and whatever they liked or loved about sports was instilled in us and when I us I mean also my three other brothers in Vaughn ‘Pop T’ James, Avery James and Clint James so we had a natural love and a knack for sports, watching sports and being involved with sports and playing as well and my father was a sports administrator in the All Saints community, cricket, football, netball and volleyball I think as well,” he said. James is still active within the community and has been the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party candidate for the All Saints East & St. Luke Constituency for the last two general elections, losing by only 10 votes in 2018.