FOLLOWING consultations with the Ministry of Education (MoE) over the past few weeks, the Kashif and Shanghai Organisation will this year and after a period of 23 years, divert their attention to a Secondary Schools Football Competition, which has a first-place prize of G$1.2M, 75% of which will go towards a project identified by the victorious school.
Such announcement was made by co-Director of the K&S Organisation, Kashif Muhammad, in the Savannah Suite of the Pegasus Hotel yesterday in the presence of Chief Education Officer Olata Sam and Public Relations Officer of Ansa McAl Darshanie Yusuf, along with other special invitees.
This tournament, which Muhammad views as a challenge to his organisation, will see the top eight schools from this year’s DIGICEL nationwide football tournament, including double-crowned champions Wismar/Christianburg Secondary, battle for supremacy, with the final being played at the Guyana National Stadium on January 1 2014.
“We go forward offering the assurances that our young footballers will enjoy conditions no less favourable than those that have been enjoyed by the senior players over the years; except, of course, that we intend to treat this event as part of the process of helping to provide the youngsters with a rounded education,” said Muhammad.
To that effect, the prizes for the winning teams will be consigned to the schools and following a recommendation from Sam will be spent on in-school projects that will concern the development of sports within the institution.
“The top teams and key players will be rewarded individual, non-monetary prizes, such as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) being assigned to a major club in Trinidad and Tobago, compliments of the K&S Organisation while other individual prizes will be of educational nature.”
According to Muhammad, the challenge his Organisation faces is one where they have to create a high level of public support for this inaugural event and, while they have sponsors on board, it is their hope that there will be more, even as they made a call for the schools involved in the tournament and its community as a whole, along with parents to support the event.
While an entrance fee of $500 is being charged per game, Muhammad said sponsorship arrangements will be put in place to ensure schoolchildren and perhaps some deserving parents get complimentary tickets to witness the matches, even as they expect the customary fans to purchase tickets.
“It remains for us to seek the customary cooperation from the media on the success of this tournament and, as a matter of courtesy, the customary discourses with the Guyana Football Federation in the matter of hosting our customary club-based tournament, do not allow this tournament to be hosted with clubs,” stated Muhammad.
In his brief remarks, Sam congratulated the K&S Organisation for joining forces with the MoE on this project, while he wished them the best, adding that he hopes it will be beneficial to the young footballers in the schools.
In her remarks, Yusuf thanked the organisers for inviting her company on board once again, giving them the opportunity to use their Smalta and Tropical Rhythm – 2 non-alcoholic products – this time around.
“We are always happy to have an opportunity to support sports and even so when it helps to develop young people, giving them a chance to showcase their talent and shine in a tournament such as this one that is being launched here today.
“We are happy to be on board with the K&S Organisation for a tournament that is being played in the similar mode of a national tournament and as we have always done in the past, wish them all the best in their endeavours with this tournament,” said Yusuf.
The second-, third- and fourth-placed teams will pocket prize monies of $750 000, $500 000 and $250 000 respectively, with 25% going towards a project identified by the school, at the completion of the 24-team tournament.
In addition, the winning team will receive a trophy, medallions and 25 replicas and the second- and third-placed teams will receive trophies and 25 silver and bronze medallions respectively, with the fourth-placed team receiving a trophy, while the MVP will receive a laptop in addition to his overseas assignment.
Along with Wismar/Christianburg Secondary, the other top eight schools in the Digicel Schools tourney, Waramadong, Covent Garden, St George’s, Leonora, Bladen Hall, Ash Educational Trust and Lodge Secondary have all earned a bye to the next round.
This means that Wisburg, New Silvercity and Mackenzie High (Linden), East Ruimveldt, North Georgetown, Queen’s College, Dolphin, Christ Church and Queenstown (Georgetown) and Stewartville, Uitvlugt, Patentia, (West Demerara) will do battle in the first round.
Also clashing in the first round are: President’s College, Ann’s Grove and Annandale Secondary (East Coast) and Friendship Secondary from the East Bank, where the losers will exit the tournament while the winners go on to face the top eight schools that were given the bye. All the teams will be outfitted with gear.