The seventh Digicel Schools football Championships was officially launched yesterday at the West Demerara Secondary School.
The event, which is scheduled to commence June 12th, will feature more than 120 schools from the 10 administrative regions competing in an elimination format. The event concludes on July 30th at the National Track and Field Centre, Leonora.
Chase Academy is the defending champion, with Christianburg/Wismar the most successful school with four consecutive titles (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015) in six successive final appearances.
The other winner of the tourney was Government Technical Institute (GTI) in the inaugural edition (2011). Winner of the event will receive $1,000,000 towards a school project and a trophy.
The second, third and fourth place finishers will collect $700,000, $400,000 and $350,000 towards a school initiative and the respective accolade.
Delivering the feature address at the launch, Digicel Head of Marketing Jacqueline James said that the theme of the event has always been to unite, develop and excel.
“Unite; bring families, friends and communities. Develop, develop the talent of our youth through their passion of their favourite sporting activity and excel, putting their best foot forward in seeking to realise their dreams in becoming a member of the Guyana’s Golden Jaguars team and ultimately even reaching higher heights.”
James added, “Football is a talent developed through feeding a passion that has become a way of life for youth, the future, our youths, Guyana’s stars.”
Meanwhile, Director of Sport Christopher Jones said “They (Digicel) are leading in the development of our young people and we at the commission have recognized their efforts so I want to say here today we are committed to offering assistance wherever it is needed.”
Third Vice-President of the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) Thandi McAllister said, “This investment is reaching the young footballers at the most critical state of their development and it indeed compliments the GFF formula to grow the game.”
Dr. Wazir Mohammed, Special Technical Adviser in the Ministry of Education, Culture & Sport declared, “Every child must have equal rights and opportunities to participate in organised activities and sport in schools must become a priority because it increases functional literacy.”
Mohammed, who spoke on behalf of Minister Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine, declared that he was disappointed at the lack of sporting activities at the school level, adding that the situation severely affects the ability of students to be well rounded individuals.