Atkinson Brothers Male and Waramuri Silver Sands female teams have defied all odds and emerged champs of the just concluded NAMILCO under 17 Football league after finishing on eighteen and nine points respectively.
The action culminated at the Kumaka Recreational Ground over the weekend.
Seven male and three female teams competed in the competition which started in February and matches played across venues in the Moruca Sub-district, Barima/Waini, Region 1.
West Rockers emerged second in the league with fifteen points, while Mighty Rockers and Golden Eagles ended on ten points apiece.
The tournament is being used to spot talent in the district for both ball weavers and referees alike.
Emerged winner of the golden booth award with eight goals was Atkinson Brothers’ Daniel Henry, while Waramuri Silver Sands, Atina Fraser, received the golden booth award for the female competition with two goals under her belt.
In congratulating the players for their commitment to the game, Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Valerie Garrido-Lowe said she is pleased with the strides made by the locals.
The Minister however noted that “it is time now to step up and that is why we have decided to ensure that you have that link with the Guyana Football Federation, hence, this system that you have right now, because it is time that our indigenous talent shine at the national and international level”, the Minister ascertained.
Minister Garrido-Lowe who has direct responsibility in the Ministry for youth, women, children and sport development is also patron for women’s football in Guyana and has been diligently championing this cause.
Meanwhile, Lawrence Griffith, who is the Ministry’s Coordinator for Sport Development in the Hinterland, continues to share his expertise with the youth in order to foster that positive nature, bringing it on par with that of International standards.
Lawrence explained that his role is to “ensure that all the clubs are fully operational, there’s the constitution and rules are in place. I was also asked to identify players who can be on the national team and to be the referees; we will take you on to the city and further on, so you too will have a chance to exhibit your skills”.
Griffith has successfully conducted several football clinics across the hinterland region giving players an equal opportunity to not only improve their game but to showcase their tremendous potential.
The Ministry while supporting activities on the field of play, is also mindful of ensuring that footballers receive a rounded education and as such, with support from Pele Football Club Alumni Corporation seventeen outstanding footballers from the league received educational kits in this regard.
The Pele F.C. Alumni Corporation is a Non-Profit Organization whose mission is to empower children in Guyana through sports where they can building confidence, self-esteem, and ambition through the power of sports.
The corporation believes it will achieve this vision by providing educational opportunities for young football players who have the aptitude for education and are in need of non-cash support.
Additionally, as the women’s game continues to make significant strides, talented Annalisa Vincent of Santa Rosa, Moruca Sub-district, Region 1, was picked in the “Lady Jags” squad to represent Guyana in the just concluded Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Women’s Challenge Series Tournament, hosted at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Trinidad and Tobago.
The tournament was a precursor to the upcoming CONCACAF Senior Women’s Championship Qualifiers.
Eyes were on the young talented Vincent who made her presence felt during the tournament and will be looking forward to continuing her dominance when the qualifiers kick off at the end of the month as Guyana hosts matches in Group E of the senior qualifiers.
Guyana is pitted against Bermuda, Barbados and Suriname in the group.
The final qualifier group stage for the Caribbean Region is scheduled for August with the finals of the 2018 CONCACAF Women’s Championship set for October in the United States.