Nov 01, 2013 Sports
– 24 teams go after honours; 1.2M 1st prize at stake
They have braved the vicissitudes and persevered for close to a quarter century to fashion one of the best football tournaments locally but their efforts have dwindled considerably following an impasse with the ruling football body, the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) that forced them to abandon plans to stage this year’s edition of the tournament.
Notwithstanding, the principals of the Kashif and Shanghai Entertainment group has demonstrated an indomitable spirit and continues to invest in the development of local footballers.
Towards this end, the two K&S principals, Aubrey ‘Shanghai’ Major and Kashif Muhammad hosted a press conference yesterday afternoon and disclosed that all systems are in place for their 24th annual event which will enjoy sponsorship from Ansa McAl under the Smalta and Tropical Rhythm brands.
However, instead of the much anticipated senior tournament, the organisers will stage a school’s tournament that will see the involvement of 24 teams from around the country battling for honours from December 8 to January 1 next.
Major and Mohamed were joined by Chief Education Officer, Olato Sam, Public Relations Officer (Ansa McAl) Darshnie Yusuf, Operations Manager (Mohammad Enterprise), Desmond Helwig and Liaison Officer, Roy McArthur.
Participating schools will be drawn from Linden (4), West Bank Demerara (4), Georgetown (8), East Coast Demerara (4), East Bank Demerara (2), Mazaruni and Berbice (1 apiece).
Mr. Sam was extremely delighted with the tournament and congratulated the organisers for their initiative. “The Ministry of Education is excited by this tournament and is pleased to partner with the K&S organisation to enable the growth in the education system,” pronounced Mr. Olato.
He said the tournament complemented a well thought out plan by his Ministry to support the education process through sports. Mr. Sam further extended the hope that more coaches will be placed in the schools to support his Ministry’s agenda. He also observed that over the years there has been an upsurge in the corporate input which heralds well for their objective to support education through sports.
“I wish to urge the students to exhibit the kind of behavior that segregates them as true role models even as I anticipate a well planned and executed tournament,” expounded Mr. Sam.
Ms. Yusuf reiterated her organisation’s staunch support and said that Ansa McAl is always eager to support the development of sports at all levels. She said that she was especially delighted that the K&S organisers have turned their attention to development within the schools. “I note that there is distinct improvement and am optimistic that this tournament will harness the cream of the crop,” said Ms. Yusuf.
Mr. Muhammad admitted that the youth tournament will present new challenges but assured that his group is prepared to meet them head on. He promised that the youngsters would enjoy similar privileges and benefits as their senior counterparts but for a slight variation. “We intend to treat this event as part of the process of helping to provide the youngsters with a rounded education,” he revealed.
Mr. Helwig expressed delight on behalf of Mohamed’s Enterprise in once again being afforded the opportunity to contribute to the development of the sport. He reminded that his organisation has supported the tournament one year after its existence and continues to be impressed by the shrewd organisational skills of the K&S principals. “As such, I am confident that this tournament will be a resounding success,” he prophesied.
The winning team will cart off 1.2M, the second to fourth place finishers receive $750,000, $500,000 and $250,000 respectively. Seventy five percent of all prize monies will be allocated towards a project identified by the respective school’s administration.
Additionally, the winners will receive a beautiful trophy and 25 replicas while the second and third place teams receive trophies and 25 silver and bronze medals respectively. The Most Valuable Player will receive one laptop computer.
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