Aug 29, 2012 Sports
In extending my heartiest congratulations to Wismar/Christiansburg Secondary out of Region 10, for their resounding 5-2 victory over Waramadong of Region 7, in the finals of this year’s Digicel under-17 Schools Championship, which culminated on Sunday, July 15th,2012 at the Police Sports Club ground, Eve Leary, with a double header, and not failing to mention the 3rd place winner St. Ignatius, out of Region 9, who easily disposed of Region 4 champions Bygevel, by a 6-2 margin in the 3rd place playoff, I must say that I was significantly impressed by the level of play from both finalists in virtually all facets of the game.
However, while I’m not aware if a meeting involving the sponsor, Ministry of Education; Ministry of Culture, Youth & Sport and the Guyana Football Federation took place prior to the commencement of the tournament. If, not I would advocate that such a meeting takes place, so that impending bottlenecks can be eliminated, while fresh ideas for meaningful success can be achieved. Importantly, two of those emanating from the GFF should be stretchers and bearers, and dressing rooms. Match Commissioners and an Ambulatory Service from the quartersfinals stage are also other areas that ought to be included, or at the regional finals.
In the first instance at the finals, it was extremely improper to view player(s) being assisted by team-mates whenever an injury occurred. As it relates to the second; was the sponsor duly informed of this important requirement? The absence of proper dressing rooms was another grey spot, and it’s beyond my imagination that of all places the Police Sports Club, would have allowed its dressing to be unused for a finals of this magnitude or was the conditions not suitable?
Meanwhile, as it relates to my initial point of a meeting being convened by all the major stakeholders, prior to the tournament’s commencement, it would enable the GFF, to outline its requirements for international standards in accordance to the relevant statutes of FIFA, and at the same time incorporating the tournament in its annual calendar of activities.
Also technical assistance can be provided to hinterland teams, an area that was sadly lacking with the losing finalist. i.e. Corner-Kicks! Due to the height advantage by the eventual winners; It would have been more prudent for outswinging corner-kicks or occasionally short; which in essence would have unsettled the opponents defence, and in the process creating more scoring opportunities.
The Ministry of Education’s role would be pivotal towards ascertaining that players, who are selected for school representation and are inclined to miss classes, due to training or playing receive the relevant tuition. Additionally, verification of player(s) true and correct age also must be their responsibility, along with verifying whether playing matches during test time is conducive. Along with its regional ministerial counterpart, they ought to know if every region has access to a stretcher and a qualified medic, which can be utilized whenever matches are played.
Finally, with no clear indication that “physical education and by extension inter-school competitions, in the various sporting disciplines is an integral part of schools curriculum”, the Sports Ministry, with the relevant funding from the state coffers must ensure that inter –form rivalry, be a catalyst for selection and subsequent representation. It ought not to be a situation where for instance selection of the Inter Guiana’s Games football team, is done primarily with the core of the squad drawn from players, the majority of whom are members of their senior club roster. And, yet, still they are no tangible results to show that it has worked, since in some instances there are some players, who don’t attend school. I say so unapologetically and unreservedly, since my representation of Christ Church, in the 70’s at football and table tennis was primarily from inter-form and inter-house rivalry.
In the final analysis it would have been a burning shame if Wismar/Christianburg had lost the finals, due to the fact that “the level of inter-club rivalry in Region 10 and by extension Upper Demerara Football Association is arguably the most active if not productive in the GFF/Association structure”.
Within regions 7 and 9 what do we have? Raw talent, albeit a rough diamond that glows but not to the extent when it’s cut and polished with the sparkled brilliance. And if not ensure that the issue be dealt with in the near future, it would be of utmost priority for the stakeholders to meet sooner rather than later.
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