By Neto Baptiste
The under-20 division of this year’s schools football competition will carry the name of someone who contributed to the development of the league in the past.
This is according to coordinator of the programme and former national coach, Rowan Benjamin, who stopped short of divulging whose name the league could carry.
Benjamin said that plans are being finalized for both that and the starting of the secondary component of the competition.
“Well, all plans are a go in a sense that schools are aware we are going to start the third, the third of October but we are looking at a situation and we will have to finalize that with the minister [Daryll Matthew] as to whether we prefer to use a launch instead of the march-past, and whether the march-past has outlived its usefulness, so we are looking at that with a little bit of twist to it,” he said.
“We think it is time that we recognize someone who played a huge role in school football, but whatever format it takes, we are going to open on the 3rd [October],” he added.
Although tightlipped as to whose name was suggested by the organizing committee, reports are indicating that it is that of former coordinator and administrator, Pat White.
Some schools, Benjamin said, have commenced their preparations for the competition.
“I know Irene B Williams, All Saints Secondary have started for a fact during the last two weeks of the summer. There is a new coach at Irene B. Williams in Kerry Skepple, and he began out at John Hughes, and we got the field cut at Irene B. Williams so he is there now and Curtis Charles who had done the same thing last year,” the coordinator said.
Benjamin also made a plea for financial support ahead of the competition; money he said that is needed for the preparation of fields, transportation and referee stipends.
“We have sent out letters to at least two corporate sponsors [citizens] hoping that we can attract sponsors. We have a product, but we need cash and it’s not many of these corporate sponsors who are willing to give cash. The government spends monies in terms of hundreds of dollars and I can’t see a sponsor getting the mileage, and the government is putting in a huge and significant amount of money,” he said.
Teams will compete in five categories across the secondary competition this year. They will battle in the under-14, under-16 and under-20 boys while the girls will play in the under-16 and under-20 categories.