By Zaheer Mohamed
Twelve Schools will battle for supremacy from October 6 when the inaugural Guyoil/ Tradewind Tankers and Petra Organisation Under-18 football tournament commences. The tournament was launched yesterday at Guyoil Gas Station, Public Road Kitty and will conclude on December 9.
Speaking at the lunching of the event, Co-director of Petra Organisation Troy Mendonca said they are happy to have Guyoil Company teaming up with their business partner Tradewind Tankers for this tournament.
”It is keeping with our vision of assisting with the development of the sport through the school system. Our focus in this tournament is to bring together 12 of the best teams in the country competing in a league format. This being our first year, it was done on an invitational basis and hopefully we can have a stage set to have a more structured qualifying process in the future.
Mendonca added that they will not be inviting institutions such as Sir Leon, Chase, Buxton, Morgan and Masters to participate. “We think that their practices do not align to our philosophy however we would like to recognise their efforts that contributed towards the growth of the game. One of the burning issues is that some institutions using their lessons to have players coming on board to represent them which over the years have been a burning issue and this did not create a level playing field. Schools were selected based on their performances in previous tournaments such as Milo and Digicel.”
”This tournament will help us to create an environment that merges sport and education which can produce quality sportsmen and women to serve their country with distinction.”
Games will be on Saturdays and Sundays at the Ministry of Education ground and teams competing are Annandale, Friendship, Vergenoegen, Uitvlugt, Berbice High, Wismar Christianburg, Bishop’s High, Lodge, St. Roses High, Dolphin, Queenstown and Queen’s College.
Mendonca pointed out that they will be launching the KFC four-team invitational tournament in December. “We will be having Shiva Boys from Trinidad and Tobago competing with three local teams in this competition. “This was planned since last year and we did extend an invitation to Annai Secondary, so the two top teams from this tournament will join those two teams in what is expected to be an exciting three days of football.”
He thanked the Ministry of Education, the Guyana Football Federation (GFF), the Guyana Football Referees Council, Media, Teachers and Students. Head of the Physical Education Department of the Ministry of Education Nicholas Fraser stated that they have a good relationship with the Petra Organisation.
”We have been in some tough situations relating to some schools that are unique and I do appreciate how it was handled. I am happy about the format of the tournament and the schools must ensure they follow the rules. This competition aligns very well the programmes we have for CSEC and I am hoping that we can have the students who are preparing for their exams able to use this and other tournaments as part of their assessments.”
Jacqueline James Marketing and Sales Manager of Guyoil said they are pleased to be associated with Tradewind Tankers in sponsoring this activity.
”We at Guyoil see our corporate social responsibility as a very important aspect of our business and we see sports as a holistic part in education. We encourage students to focus on their academics and will continue to support them. In terms of the prizes, the winning school will be able to do a project in their school and we do look forward to a successful tournament.”
Ashmin John, Marketing Executive of Guyoil expressed gratitude to the sponsors and organisers, the GFF and Ministry of Education for their commitment towards the development of the sport. “The mission of the tournament is so noble that the winning school will be able to win a prize that will benefit the entire school. And whatever they choose Guyoil will be there to lend support. We want to be that involved in this project,” she posited. Games will be live streamed on Guyoil facebook page.
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