His name is recognized throughout Linden and by extension Region 10 communities and when he delivered the feature address during the Opening Ceremony to mark the inaugural Upper Demerara Football Association (UDFA)/Banks GT Beer Knockout Tournament on Wednesday evening at the Mackenzie Sports Club ground (MSC), President of the Association Sharma Solomon as customary ignited a rapturous applause from all in attendance.
Known for his dynamism and potent representation of the people of Region 10, the UDFA President, who also serves as the Regional Chairman, told the gathering which included Guyana Football Federation (GFF) Christopher Matthias, executive members of the UDFA, senior officials within the community, Banks DIH Communications Manager Troy Peters, Outdoor Events Manager Mortimer Stewart and the large turnout of fans that what they were witnessing was a rebirth of football in the Region.
According to Solomon, the day marked a special day for football in Region 10, adding that the turnout proved irrefutably that the sport has returned to the community and it is the best way to preserve the rich cultural legacy that is associated with playing football in Linden at yearend and which was absent for the past five years.
“Today, (Wednesday December 11, 2013) marks the rebirth of Region 10 football… our football…our players…our fans…our ground…our thing. For too long, Linden has suffered without its beloved game occurring at a time to which we have grown accustomed. For too long, this MSC Ground has stood silent…its stands empty…at the beginning of each year,” Solomon remarked.
He said the creation of a major football tournament, which from start to finish will be played right in the community, will put the future of football development and the development of the town and Region on the right track to future.
Solomon added that by hosting the tournament at this time, it is the hope of both UDFA and Banks GT Beer that it will create a positive, competitive and inspiring environment that is conducive to the enhanced development of players, coaches and the people of Linden, Region 10.
Fourteen (14) teams totaling 252 of the Region’s most talented players gathered for the Ceremony and according to the UDFA President it symbolized the rebirth of hope for players and a chance to develop their ability, to train and compete and an opportunity to win big, whilst playing the beloved game.
“This yearly event has the potential to inspire players and coaches to improve their game on a familiar turf against familiar opponents. It also serves as an opportunity for the game of football to attract a wider base of talent which will see the game of football rise to new heights. It is for the love of the game that Banks GT Beer, the UDFA and 104.3 Power FM have joined together to make – what is a dream for so many of us – a reality,” he remarked.
Solomon then spoke of some of the plans that the UDFA has in store for the further development of the sport and they include:
Sustaining and increasing the number of players through a range of services such as coaches education and in-service events which will support a network of quality clubs to provide coaching and playing opportunities; creating a safe and positive environment free of abusive behavior; developing better players through the promotion of a culture of learning where there is an emphasis on player development over results and leading and governing the game by developing the UDFA Football Partnership, bringing together a
forum of key partners to support plan delivery and identify key issues/solutions.
Additional plans also include the improvement of FOUR community grounds through the installation of sufficient lighting which will provide teams the opportunity to perfect their game, while another imminent plan includes a partnership with football governing body FIFA.
The FIFA Goal Programme is aimed at associations with the most pressing needs that lack the necessary resources to respond to them and the UDFA has acquired funding for the complete renovation of the Bayrock Community Center Ground with a turning of the soil set for February, 2014,” Solomon disclosed.
Matthias in his remarks spoke of happy he was to be back at the same place where the GFF Premier League was launched a few weeks ago and at a place he considered home.
The GFF Head said the making of the tournament was due largely to a few vital components and pointed to the UDFA President, sponsor Banks DIH, the Planning Committee, the 14 teams who were all decked out in outstanding uniforms and the people of the community.
He urged the supporters to spread the word of the tournament around so that every playing day there will be a massive turnout that will ultimately bear success.
He then thanked Solomon and his executive for bringing back the game to the community at this time of the year and pledged his and the GFF Congress’s support throughout its duration.
Peters in his brief remarks reminded all present that the Company was indeed happy to be associated with the tournament and even more elated to be responsible for bringing back football at the end of the year to the community.
Meanwhile in on-field action, Blue Berry Hill defeated South Amelia’s Ward 6-1 in the opening encounter.
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