Informing the young lads from 10 of the 12 clubs that are participating in the Third edition of the East Bank Football Association/ Ralph Green Under-11 League, that the next few weeks would bring new challenges in further developing their skills, Guyana Football Federation (GFF) President Wayne Forde yesterday kicked off proceedings at the Diamond Grove Primary School ground.
Sharing the moment along with Forde were President and executive members of the host association, Grove /Diamond NDC Councilor Ms Nafeeza Rodrigues, Headmistress of New Diamond Grove Primary School, Ms. Wendy Norville, Coaches and parents.
Franklin Wilson, EBFA President, in welcoming all to the event told the players that they are all winners and the tournament is geared towards developing sound players. Gratitude was extended to the Diamond Grove Primary School, Regional Democratic Council of Region 4 and REO Ms. Pauline Lucas, the Grove/Diamond NDC coaches and players for their combined efforts to make the league a reality.
Sponsor, Ralph Green, who resides in the USA, was also praised for his continued commitment towards the development of youths. In his feature remarks, Forde noted that what was being witnessed on the opening day of the league was a culmination of commitment, initiative and partnership.
”If we take the initiative as members of the Guyana football fraternity to just get the job done, we’ll produce tournaments similar to this. If we are committed, fully committed to the obligation of organising football, we’ll give opportunities to these young people. And if we seek out new partnerships we gain access to a facility like this here.”
The federation head also told the players that they will experience many situations during the tournament that will mould their character.
”You will learn to win, you will learn to lose, you will learn to support your friend, you will learn to be a member of a team, you will learn to laugh, you will learn to cry and life is nothing without these things. Every disappointment must be converted to a positive life changing experience.”
Forde also noted that he was happy to see a number of female players involved in the league and challenged the EBFA to work with the host school to see how many more females can be injected into the teams.
”The GFF technical staff would be scouting players during this tournament and many of you, based on your performances would be invited to join the academy training centre programme. Work hard, do well but remember most importantly to enjoy the game and have fun.”
Headmistress of New Diamond Grove Primary School, Ms. Wendy Norville, said that she was excited to be supporting the youths for this league, stating that it is very good for boys and girls to be involved in sports.
”I am very much elated to see the girls especially, involved in football, it shows that we care about both boys and girls. I hope that you have a good healthy tournament, remember everyone is a winner and I want to see good sportsmanship and I wish every team the best of luck.”
Grove Diamond NDC Councilor, Ms Nafeeza Rodrigues, representing the NDC encouraged the players to always, “Be unique in society and you will always be respected”.
”So I want to leave you with a message, together we stand united and if you play as footballers the united forum would be won as players representing Guyana. You are all winners, but you will have challenges along the way during this competition, play to enjoy your games and be respectful.”
Ms. Rodrigues also told the young players that while sport is an extracurricular activity, they must all strive to keep an academic focus.
”Because if we ensure one compliments the other it makes us rounded human beings. I want to wish you well in this league and I want to see you building your careers grounded persons in society always.”
The clubs attending yesterday’s opening were Swan, Herstelling Raiders, Hauraruni Eagles, Grove Hi Tech, Timehri Panthers, Samatta Point/Kaneville, Friendship All Stars, Diamond United, Diamond Upsetters and defending champions, Agricola Red Triangle. Absent were Mocha Champs and Kuru Kururu Warriors.
Four matches were contested and recording wins were Diamond United, Timehri Panthers, Grove Hi Tech, Swan, Agricola and Diamond Upsetters, the latter two, via the walk over route; details in tomorrow’s edition.
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