Guinness Caribbean Street Football Challenge starts tonight
- Soca Warriors/Stoke City star Kenwyne Jones arrives this evening
By Rawle Welch
It is now just a case of awaiting the arrival of Soca Warriors and Stoke City star Kenwyne Jones, the designated Guinness Brand Ambassador tonight, but at the Launching of the Caribbean Street Challenge Competition which was held yesterday at the Princess Hotel, the Organisers of the event told a gathering of local and foreign media that all systems are pointing to go for the start this evening, at the National Park.
The media witnessed the arrival of the four overseas teams in Antigua and Barbuda, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago and St. Lucia who will do battle with Team Guyana (Back Circle) in the inaugural competition which is anticipated to attract thousands of spectators over the 3-day period.
Apart from the teams, those in attendance yesterday included Sales & Marketing Executive Carlton Joao, Regional Brand Manager Gareth Geddes, Local Brand Manager Lee Baptiste, Banks DIH PRO Troy Peters and Co-ordinators Marlan Cole and Troy Mendonca.
Joao in his remarks first apologized for the no-show of Haiti, who he said was unable to attend the tournament due to logistical issues getting to Guyana.
He pointed out that Guyana and Banks DIH suppliers of Guinness are indeed privileged to be hosting the first ever regional Guinness Street Challenge Football Tournament, adding that Guinness has decided to make the event a ‘larger than life’ experience for the players and the fans.
He promised three days of exciting action, informing that all the teams have won the right to represent their respective countries by virtue of winning their local tournaments and as a result is on top of their game.
Joao initially welcomed the visiting teams and Press and urged them to immerse themselves in the local culture and have a wonderful stay. Geddes, who is no stranger to these shores, spoke of the activity as creating lots of passion and football in Guyana over the next three days.
“The interest in this format here in Guyana is unrivalled and I say this because there is no country that I’ve visited that displays the same sort of passion that I’ve witnessed here,” Geddes stated.
He assured that the quality of competition will not be lacking judging from what he witnessed in Trinidad and Tobago recently. The Regional Top Man said that they would like the standards to be very high and was optimistic that that will be so after listening to the various Captains speak about their respective preparations.
He praised Guyana for being the forerunner in the particular format of the sport, but cautioned that other countries are becoming just as good. Geddes spoke about some of the gains the winner of the tournament will benefit from, adding that the players will be legends in their own right and have their names engraved on the facility that will be built in the community of choice of the winner.
Cole gave an overview of the tournament highlighting the rules and regulations that will govern the competition. He extended thanks to Banks DIH for providing the opportunity and having faith in them and helping to promote the format of the sport.
Joao spoke of the safety of the athletes and fans, informing that all the nights there will be aggressive security presence where everyone entering will be searched and scanned for weapons and any other item that might be deemed offensive.
Tickets for the first two nights will be sold for $500, while the final night, price of admission will be $1000. The respective Captains expressed confidence ahead of the start, disclosing that they’ve all prepared assiduously and are here to enjoy the tournament, but at the same time carry back the top prize.
Five matches are scheduled for tonight.
The respective colours are –St. Vincent (yellow), T&T (red), Antigua (white), St. Lucia (blue) and hosts Guyana (green).