The football season has started and there are tournaments on the East Coast, West Coast,
East Bank and even in the Upper Demerara. Just when it appeared as though the fans are truly inundated, another group comprising past stalwarts has launched an Under-17 School football tournament which gets underway tomorrow afternoon.
Touting an agenda of development of youth, the group which identifies itself as ‘Premiership Sports Promotions,’ is operating in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport and tomorrow’s games will pit the skills of St George’s High taking on Dolphin Secondary followed by Charlestown Secondary up against St Stanislaus College starting at 13:00hrs.
Thereafter, matches will be played up to Sunday December 21 when the finals will be contested. The tournament will be played on a knock out basis and all matches will be played at the Ministry of Education Ground, Carifesta Avenue.
The organizers hosted a press conference at the GFF office Dadanawa Street, Section K Campbellville yesterday afternoon to discuss the modalities of the competition and the forum was graced by Mark Young (Chief Organizer), Lawrence Griffith (competition coordinator), Ceon Erskine from the Department of Physical Education, Ministry of Education, GFF General Secretary (Ag), Mabiola Howard as well as some members of the representative teams.
Mr. Erskine congratulated the team of organizers and expressed gratitude on behalf of his Ministry for the honour of being a part of activities. He urged the participating schools to retain a high level of discipline while abiding by the rules of the championship. He also beseeched the teachers to supervise their charges and concluded by stating that his Ministry wishes to engage in future programmes of a similar nature.
Ms Howard reminded that the GFF’s pivotal aim is to foster development of the sport and their current main thrust is grassroots football. “This is the mechanism to develop youth football,” she emphasized. Mr. Griffith said that the tournament will be staged on a yearly basis and organizers will be broadening the scope to other regions as the competition gathers momentum. He said that for the inaugural championship, organizers would be concentrating on talent around Georgetown.
Mr. Young stated that the group took up the challenge after another group of organizers decided not to stage a youth tournament which started last year. “We decided that this is the ideal opportunity to promote a tournament of this nature,” he explained.
Meanwhile, Mr. Griffith was loud in praise of the many sponsors that supported the tournament and expressed his gratitude. Among those on board are Demerara Harbor Bridge, Fazia’s Collection, Albert Kramer, Dev’s Grocery, German’s Restaurant, Nigel Hughes, Pooran Brothers, Dynamic Trading, Ross Gas Station, Medicine Chest, Juice Power, GFF, People’s Choice Barber Shop and Talk is Cheap Internet Café.
The winners cart off $150,000 with the second place finishers receiving $100,000. The third and fourth places receive $100,000 and $75,000 respectively.
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