Defending champions of the Courts Pee Wee Schools Football Tournament St. Pius will be going all out to prove that their success last year was no fluke, but rather due largely to hard work and superior coaching.
Head Coach Wayne Ritchie speaking with Kaieteur Sport at his home yesterday said that while the aim is not to put unnecessary pressure on his players, they would like to show that their success in the final was no stroke of luck.
St. Pius defeated West Ruimveldt 2-1 in last year’s final to be crowned champions and Ritchie, who has been the lynchpin of the schools achievement exuded confidence ahead of the tournament which is scheduled to commence Saturday with first round action at the Thirst Park ground in Ruimveldt.
“Even though the team is a brand new one made up mainly of students from the Grade 5 level, what we’ve been witnessing is very encouraging, the kids have been turning out in their numbers with the kind of enthusiasm that tells me last year’s success is what they themselves want to duplicate,” Ritchie said.
The Head Coach told this newspaper that what they have is a large cadre of players who want to play football, adding that a lot of parents have been coming to the sessions to inquire how their children could get involved.
He said that even though it is not possible for him to take all, the parents still stick around and has even been offering their support something he related to the team’s performance last year.
Additionally, Ritchie informed that the school currently has a new Headmistress and she too has been very supportive and 100% behind the students.
Meanwhile, Ritchie, who has been around the sport for some time, called on other members of the corporate community to come on board and complement what Courts has been doing by providing some of the schools with football kits such as boots, hoses etc.
“Most of these kids parents cannot afford to fully outfit them, but you can see the eagerness in them they want to play the game, but equipment is what is lacking,” Ritchie mentioned. St. Pius will kick off their pursuit for top honours when they face J.E Burnham.
Twelve games are slated for the day and the remaining fixtures will see West Ruimveldt tackling Redeemer at 10:00hrs on Pitch #1, while Comenius takes on Green Acres on Pitch #2.
Starting from 10:45hrs, St. Stephen’s engages St. Gabriel’s, while Tucville and Thomas More square off at the same time. At 11:30hrs, F.E Pollard clashes with St. Angela’s and at 12:15hrs, Success Academy go up against Enterprise and East La Penitence and Ketley do battle.
St. Margaret’s and Smith’s Memorial collides at 13:00hrs, this game will be played simultaneously with the one between South Ruimveldt and St. Ambrose. In the final double header of the day, Marian Academy collides with Stella Maris and North Georgetown tackles Winfer Gardens.
Furniture and Appliances giant Courts have pledged in excess of $2.8 million in sponsorship towards the tournament, while Petra Organisation will once again co-ordinate the tournament which is also being sponsored by Banks DIH Ltd.
The Ministry of Education is also working in collaboration with the Petra Organisation to ensure that the event is a success.
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