By Emmerson Campbell
In keeping with its vision to develop the sport of football at the grass roots level, Petra Organization, has once again collaborated with a corporate entity to stage a schools tournament.
On the heels of a successful primary school tournament (Courts Pee Wee) which culminated last month, the organization and Beepats through its Nestle Milo brand yesterday in the company’s Regent Street boardroom launched the inaugural Milo Schools under 20 Football Tournament.
The tournament which will kick off on January 12 at the Ministry of Education ground (Softball ground) will see 24 city secondary school teams vying for the $200,000 bragging rights and the winner’s trophy.
During the launch yesterday, Petra’s Co Director, Troy Mendonca, gave a brief overview of the tournament and also thanked Beepats for their sponsorship.
“Once again it’s an honour for the Petra Organization to team up with a company in this case, M. Beepat through their international brand Nestle Milo, to organize another tournament” said Mendonca, who is one of the organizers of the Guinness Greatest of the Streets Tournament.
“I promised before, our main aim is to resuscitate football at the junior level and this is another indication of our willingness to get involved”.
According to Mendonca, the 24 schools will be divided into six groups of four and the top 16 teams will advance to the knockout stage. He also intimated that the finals could be played at the Georgetown Cricket Club (GCC) ground.
“The tournament will be played on a round robin knockout basis with six groups of four. At the group stage, teams will compete against each other and the first and second from each group along with the best four- third place teams will go through to the group of 16 knockout stage” the organizers said.
The tournament is expected to last 20 days with the round robin stages being played on Saturdays and Sundays. Special awards will also go to the MVP, player with the most goals, best goalkeeper, best coach and most supportive parent.
Mendonca also revealed that the second, third and fourth place teams, will pocket $100,000, $50,000 and $25,000 and trophies respectively with the money going towards the purchasing of needed equipment for a project for the school.
Beepat’s Brand Manager for Nestle, Selwyn Bobb mentioned that the tournament’s budget will amount to close to three million dollars but maintained that his company’s sponsorship will “go a far way” because of the benefits it will garner.
“We are convinced that our sponsorship will go a far way” said Bobb. “Not only because we are targeting our school age consumers but as an incentive for us, Milo will help to promote health and aid in the well- being of the said consumers”.
“This year’s sponsorship is nothing new as we have teamed up to host similar tournaments with the Petra Organization for the past three years consecutively but we have opted to become involved with the schools because the youths are our future and sponsorship through school programmes will greatly aid in their development, we pledge our support and we look forward to sponsoring similar tournaments”.
Head of the Physical Education Department of the Ministry of Education, Nicholas Fraser, endorsed the tournament which got the green light since October and intimated that he is looking forward to witnessing keen, competitive games.
The teams competing for the top honours are: Ascension Secondary, New Campbellville Secondary, Richard Ishmael Secondary, Tutorial Secondary, Charlestown Secondary, Queen’s College, Tucville Secondary, St Stanislaus College, Guyana Education Trust College, Brickdam Secondary, Cummings Lodge Secondary, East Ruimveldt Secondary, North Georgetown Secondary, St George’s Secondary, St John’s College, Central High School, Houston Secondary, Bishop’s High School, South Ruimveldt Secondary, Lodge Secondary, Christ Church Secondary, Queenstown Secondary, St Joseph’s High and North Ruimveldt Secondary.