The 6th edition of the Milo U18 Secondary Schools Football Championship, was officially launched yesterday at the Beepat Headquarters on Dennis Street.
The tourney which is slated to commence on Saturday, January 27th at the Ministry of Education ground, Carifesta Avenue, features 24 teams [19 Georgetown schools]. There will be six groups.
Among the teams slated to compete in this edition are the champion sides from Linden, West Demerara, East Coast Demerara, Berbice and the East Bank of Demerara. The East Coast of Demerara will have two representatives.
Upon the conclusion of the group stage, the top two finishers in each pool, alongside the best four third place teams, advance to the elimination round. The championship is slated to conclude on March 28th.
Winner of the competition receives $500,000 towards a school project and the championship trophy. Similarly, the second, third and fourth-placed sides pocket $300,000, $200,000 and $100,000 respectively towards a school initiative and a trophy.
Co-Director of the Petra Organization Troy Mendonca said, “2018 we envisage a positive year for us, we want to influence and help youngsters involved in the sport and have influence in positive ways.”
According to Mendonca, “The Petra Organization recognizes the efforts being made by the GFF during this time with their limited resources and we also recognize the faith Beepats and Sons, would have shown in the programmes with us and more so the Milo to come on board and endorse for another year.”
He further said, “The aim for us was to revitalize the sport at the school level and the tournament serves its purpose and has taken its place in the setup of Guyana. Many of the players are now representatives of the country at the national level, which are some of the positives that can be reflected on.”
“On behalf of Petra Organization, thanks to Beepats and Sons through their Milo brand for their continued support. We can assure you that the Petra Organization will put their best foot forward to have the best school tournament in the country”, he added.
Jonathan Beepat, Director and Executive Officer of M Beepats and Sons, said, the company is focused on helping Guyanese, adding, “We are proud to be a part of the tournament for the youths, as there are often not many activities for them. We are fully supportive and will continue to do more.”
Meanwhile, Ian Greenwood, Guyana Football Federation (GFF) Technical Director said, “It’s a fantastic initiative from the Petra Organization”, revealing “We know that the event is usually used by the GFF for the tracking and monitoring of national [youth] players.”
He further said, “It’s fantastic to see corporate sponsorship want to invest in the sport, declaring, “From the GFF point of view, we are happy to support Petra Organization. We really appreciate the hard work you do to ensure that young players have the opportunity to play.”
Representative of the Ministry of Education’s Allied Arts Department Nicholas Fraser, said, “The Chief Education Officer is pleased to give his approval and indicated that it’s a well-run tournament and is pleased to be associated with the event.”
He added, “It’s very heartening to see that the event is expanding because many talents out there that don’t get to showcase their abilities and we commend the coordinators.”
Also, Brand Manager Christel Van Sluytman said, “It would be an understatement to say we are proud to be a part of the event”, adding, “The main goal is to aid in the enhancement of the athletes and their academic development as well as they go hand in hand”.