By Zaheer Mohamed
Port Kaituma Football Foundation (PKFF) is one of the leading sports organisations in Region One. The body was formed in 2009 with the aim of developing sports in the area. Its Director Ronaldo Rodrigues said there is a lot of potential there and with more exposure the athletes can go places.
Speaking with Kaieteur Sport Saturday, Rodrigues said they usually host an Easter weekend tournament, but due to the Coronavirus outbreak it had to be postponed. “We have been hosting this tournament for 11 years now, but it had to be put on hold. Apart from our senior tournaments (male and female), also on our calendar of activities are an all-female and schools tournament which we usually host in the latter stages of the year,” he added.
According to Rodrigues these tournaments help to bring the people together and unearth new talent. “We get a lot of support from the people here; they usually come out in their numbers and support the games. The players do look forward to these games as well, and from time to time we would see some new talents emerging.”
The clubs that participate in the senior tournaments are Martarkai SC, Matthews Ridge FC, Arakaka FC, Sebai Invincible Talons, Port Kaituma United, Fitzburg FC, Five Star, Oronoque FC and Mabaruma FC. Rodrigues said they will be looking to expand on these competitions when the season resumes and thanked the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) for their assistance in helping to develop the game there. “We received some assistance from the GFF in the form of coaching and refereeing programmes. With this, each club can have a qualified coach which will boost the game here, while having our own referees will be an advantage for us since it costs a lot to bring referees from Georgetown. We are also working with the GFF to host a coaching clinic for the youths here sometime in the future.”
“We have seen the growth of the sport here, the youths placed a lot of emphasis on their training and we would like to see their continuous development, and has such plans to stage an U16 and schools’ tournaments later in the year are in the pipeline.”
With regards to sponsorship for tournaments, Rodrigues stated that they have been getting a lot of help in this area. “While we would host fund raising activities from time to time, a number of businesses would also lend their support including Banks DIH, Import and Export Supply and GBTI; the GFF would also assist, so this area is ok, but we would welcome anyone who wants to come on board.”
While there have been a lot of positives, there are also a number of challenges that the committee is faced with. Among them is the state of the facilities there. Rodrigues said that the Port Kaituma community ground is under the supervision of the Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC), but it is usually in a poor state. “The PKFF would cut the ground when there is a tournament and yet we have to pay the NDC $30,000 to use the facility for each competition. We a
lso repaired the fence with assistance from the Central Government in February last.”
Rodrigues informed that along with the Central Government, they will be looking to install lights at the venue so games can be played in the nights which will help to run-off tournaments in a timely manner. Other grounds in the area are; Port Kaituma Secondary School ground, Oronoque and four-mile, but they all need to be upgraded. He said that the PKFF can fund the cost for some of the works, but needs assistance from the Government.
Apart from football, Rodrigues indicated that cricket is a major sport there. ‘The people here love cricket, but we need some assistance in this area with gears and pitches. I am hoping that the Essequibo Cricket Board and the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) can assist in this area to help with the develop of the game here.”
Only recently, two players with great potential from region one; brothers Bruce and Nicko Vincent, represented Essequibo in the GCB U15 and U17 inter county
tournaments. They are now members of the Imam Bacchus Cricket Club on the Essequibo Coast. Region one has also been giving a good account of themselves in swimming, having placed runner up for a number of years at the National Schools’ championships.
Port Kaituma United won the Heritage games male football tournament is 2017 and reached the final four in 2018 and 2019. Apart from Rodrigues, other members of the organisation are Michelle Campbelle Secretary, Glenroy Hercules Marketing Manager and Sherlon Rodrigues Public Relations Officer.
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