Nov 23, 2008 Sports
By Franklin Wilson
Business Development Unit Manager of the Linden Economic Advancement Programme (LEAP), Neil Fraser has pledged his establishment’s solid support for the Kashif & Shanghai (K&S) Football Tournament.
At a press briefing held at the K&S office Irving Street, Georgetown yesterday, Fraser announced that LEAP’s support will match last year’s contribution of over three million dollars. Fraser said it’s a real pleasure for LEAP to be associated with the K&S organisation, which relationship goes back over two years and their involvement is not only with football.
When K&S had the Franchise for the Linden Town Week in 2006, which was the best organised according to Fraser, LEAP had contributed $2.4 million to that effort. “We are associated with these guys because we know that they can organise events they have done it with the K&S tournament and they have done it excellently for the town week.”
The two bodies also collaborated in 2006 in spearheading a project for the comprehensive rehabilitation of the Mackenzie Sports Club where LEAP paid one million dollars for the architectural drawings and designs for the proposed project which would have improved the seating accommodation, dressing rooms and the ground.
“LEAP would also, because it has a mandate to rehabilitate and upgrade public facilities would have contributed towards those works but when this plan was put to the management of the Mackenzie Sports club, they turned it down.”
Fraser said if the plan had gone through the works would have already been completed since other business entities would have contributed towards the upgrading of the venue. At the time the estimated budget was $150 million and LEAP was committed to $15 million.
“If the plan was accepted the final of the K&S tournament would not have been moved to the National Stadium. We believe that the K&S organisation has Linden’s interest at heart and we believe that it was probably a very painful decision for them to make to move the finals away from Linden to the stadium.”
The economic spinoffs from the final being staged in the Bauxite Mining town was acknowledged but the question was asked, How do you work in an environment where the powers that be do not seem to recognise what you want to do and support that effort?
“We are behind these guys because we really believe that we are backing a winner and for 2008 we will continue our support to them. We have agreed on a couple of things we are going to fund apart from others.”
The LEAP executive lauded the organisers for their vision to support a group of youths who will be bringing off a free public event on Saturday December 27th which is aimed at generating finances for the community.
This event falls in the middle of what is expected to be an entertaining weekend of action with matches scheduled for the MSC ground on Friday 26th and Sunday 28th.
“So Kashif and Shanghai are not unmindful of what moving the final would mean to the community so they are trying to fill the gap on the 27th and LEAP will also be willing to contribute to whatever shape or form this event takes. Se we are very, very happy, glad and honoured to contribute again to the hosting of this football tournament.”
Fraser noted though that he sees the move to the Stadium as temporary.
Meanwhile, K&S Director Kashif Muhammad disclosed that they had a very fruitful meeting with President Bharrat Jagdeo and will shortly be issuing a press release on the outcome of that meeting. President Jagdeo is also expected to meet with all the team captains prior to the start of the tournament.
Fellow Director Aubrey ‘Shanghai’ Major it was reported met with President of the United States Soccer Federation Sunil Gulati and they have agreed to support the tournament by donating equipment. This would however be done through the Guyana Football Federation.
More details on this positive development would be released shortly.
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