I would like to commend the Georgetown Football Association (GFA) and Banks DIH for running off another tremendously successful end-of-year football competition. Together they ran with this competition for a second year, tackling numerous challenges and scoring big with a grand final that will be on the lips of many Guyanese throughout many months of 2013. As promised, the competition was bigger and better that the inaugural one, with a winner-take-all $4M first prize, adding considerable motivation for players and clubs to perform at their best.
The grand final held on January 1, 2013, was nothing but spectacular. And the football loving public showed their appreciation for the work of the GFA and Banks DIH, by turning out in their thousands to support this relatively new and innovative competition.
With a ground already filled to capacity by the time Northern Rangers displaced GDF 3-1, the match of the night between Sunburst Campton FC and Riddim Squad was to begin before tens of thousands of football loving fans.
I took a glance outside the pavilion during the half-time break of the final match and was moved by the mere sight of the crowd on Shiv Chanderpaul Drive, all the way to North Road and spilling into Robb Street waiting to enter. I am not sure what the scene was at the other entrances, but when the organizers decided to open the gates retraining thousands from coming on the field under the pavilion, the stream of patrons seemed to be never ending. By the time of the final whistle of the final match, Sunburst Campton FC emerged dominant winners of the 2012 Banks Beer/GFA Knockout Competition brushing aside Riddim Squad 2 -0.
With the games concluded and the party commencing, the entire field was quickly engulfed with patrons. Guy-anese really turned out in their numbers to celebrate Guyanese football and to celebrate Banks.
A hard-working Mingles Sound Machine tried its best to set the mood for Beenie Man. But it seemed clear that patrons were already in the mood for ‘The Doctor,’ and were just biding their time for Mingles to leave the stage. And then he came on. Belting out a superb mix of old and new school tunes, Beenie Man rocked the crowd in a manner only he could, impressively showcasing all the majesty reminiscent of the ‘King of Dancehall.’
The support shown to Banks DIH and the GFA is clearly highlighting a fact that perhaps the final is beginning to outgrow the GCC venue.
There were a few low points of the evening that threatened the ability of many patrons to enjoy the proceedings. The throwing of very loud fire crackers onto the field by very misguided individuals disturbed the senses of many who came to enjoy the matches. At one point, a Sunburst Campton striker missed a very easy goal only to be further distracted by a loud firecracker thrown at the goal.
Perhaps searches need to be thoroughly conducted the next time and all firecrackers seized. Throwing firecrackers onto the field during play is not funny, safe, or sensible.
Two other things of notable mention seem to be endemic at entertainment events throughout Guyana. Bar service was extremely poor and at best inadequate in dealing with the massive crowds, thirsty and out to drink and party. The other issue of note was the poor sound quality. One easily got the impression that the after party concert was only for the patrons directly in front the stage. Much sound was lost to the wind and the density of people on the field.
Surround sound forms the basis for modern effective sound management at events regardless of their magnitude. The piling of speakers in front of a stage is simply not good enough.
Speakers need to be strategically placed within a venue so as to ensure patrons are afforded the best sound quality possible. This ensures that all will be able to enjoy the entertainment of which they are a part. I sincerely hope that as evaluations are conducted, these issues can be properly addressed for more improved event hosting.
The GFA and Banks DIH have done well again! May this strategic partnership continue to bear more successes for football in Guyana. I urge Guyanese to continue celebrating Banks and Guyanese football.