Nov 26, 2013 Sports
After declaring how delighted he was to be part of the Opening Ceremony of the Georgetown Football Association (GFA)/Banks Beer Knockout Cup, Prime Minister Samuel Hinds immediately commended the work being done by the Body and the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) in helping to promote and develop the sport.
According to the PM the Government has been paying close attention to the development of the Sport and cited the construction of venues such as the National Stadium, National Aquatic Centre and the soon to be concluded Synthetic track at Leonora as testimony to the Administration’s commitment to Sport.
Hinds, who along with Director of Sport Neil Kumar, GFF President Christopher Matthias, Banks Beer Brand Manager Brian Choo-Hen and Banks DIH Communications Manager Troy Peters joined GFA President Vernon Burnett, General Secretary Odinga Lumumba at the tournament’s opening ceremony on Saturday at the GFC ground, also lauded the assistance being offered by the corporate community and urged fans and supporters of the thirty-two teams in the competition to come out and contribute to the further development of the sport.
The PM later kicked off the ball to signal the start of the tournament which has teams from seven associations participating for prize monies in excess of $13million.
Kumar in his remarks said that the GFA seems to be an entity with principle and informed that they are always willing and encouraged to work with such entities, especially when they have a genuine interest in sports development.
The Director revealed that the Commission and the Ministry of Sport has been working very close with the new executive of the GFF to get a home for football and he is optimistic that very soon that will be realised.
“It is indeed good to see thirty-two teams from across the country in the competition and for this the GFA needs to be applauded and I’m once again going the optimistic route by saying that one day Guyana will field a team at the World Cup,” Kumar said.
Matthias immediately issued commendation to the GFA for working together with the other associations to secure thirty-two teams for this year’s competition and this he said was ample evidence of an association
working with others for the good of the game.
“The GFF is fully behind the initiative and fully behind football development and we as the executive will always be fully supportive of such ventures providing that it is done in conformity with our rules of governance,” Matthias stated.
Shortly after thanking Banks DIH for leading the way and issuing an invitation to other corporate entities to join forces with the sport, he wished the clubs, coaches, referees and fans a good tournament.
Peters, who represented the platinum sponsor, said that the Company’s involvement in the yearend tournament and many other initiatives unambiguously demonstrates its commitment to the development of young people and even recognised the growth of the tournament which now has thirty-two teams vying for the prize monies and bragging rights.
He said it was a wonderful Christmas gift for the teams and the fans and they are happy to be part of it, especially since Banks Beer is Guyana’s beer and this is Banks country.
Burnett said the GFA was extremely happy that the other associations have joined with them to make the tournament a great one, before wishing the teams, fans and associations well during the competition.
Lumumba, who made the opening remarks pointed to the importance of partnerships and commended Banks DIH for remaining on board, informing that the Company has been a good and vibrant partner in football.
He said the success of football needs a lot of teams and called on the corporate community to support the sport, adding that by doing so it simply gives a lot of the youths in the society an opportunity to escape crime and other social ills.
Lumumba said each club has around 30-40 players and if the sport do not receive the necessary funding to enable the clubs to sustain themselves them it leaves the players with not many other options, but to become involved in deviant activities which are unhelpful for the society.
Dolphin Secondary School Steel Orchestra provided some sweet renditions of Christmas carols, while Lisa Punch as usual was a hit with the national Anthem.
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