The Petra Organization in partnership with the Guyana Oil Company [GuyOil] and Tradewind Tankers, officially launched their inaugural U18 Secondary Schools Football League yesterday.
The launch was staged at the GuyOil Kitty Service Station. The event which will run from October 6th to December 9th and will feature 12 teams from Region #3, #4 and #10, is being staged to the tune of $3,520,000.
The participants are Annandale Secondary, Friendship Secondary, Vergenoegen Secondary, Uitvlugt Secondary Christianburg/Wismar Secondary, The Bishops’ High, Lodge, St Rose’s High, Dolphin Secondary, Queenstown Secondary and Queen’s College.
Amongst the major schools omitted from the tournament are private institutions Chase Academy Foundation, Sir Leon’s Lessons, Morgan’s Learning Centre, Buxton Youth Developers and Masters Academy.
Troy Mendonca, Co-Director of the Petra Organization, stated that the event departs from the traditional knockout format, adding that the exclusion of the private schools was due to the differences in philosophy between the institutions and the coordinating team.
Mendonca explained, “We think that their practices do not align with our philosophy, however, we would like to go on record in recognition of their efforts that contributed to the growth of the game”.
He further added, “The burning issue is these institutions using the Lessons [extra-curricular schooling] to have players come on board to represent them which over the years has been a burning issues as it relates to the other schools about it not being a level playing field and it doesn’t reflect in regards to our philosophy.”
Meanwhile, GuyOil Marketing and Sales Manager Jacqueline James said, “We are in 42 years of business but we are pleased to be associated with youths and as a company we see that sports plays a holistic part in your education. We would want to encourage you to focus on the academics and also this activity.”
Nicholas Fraser, representative of the Ministry of Education said, “This tournament aligns very well with the programme we have for CSEC and since it is Secondary Schools we can have a collaboration with the students who are writing the examinations to be able to use this tournament and maybe other tournaments as well as part of their assessment”.