Milo football tournament provides opportunities for players


By Treiston Joseph

If it’s one thing that all the stakeholders of the Milo School Football Tournament could agree on is the opportunity for upward mobility that the event provides for the youth demographic of the sport.

At the tournament launch on Thursday at Beepats’ head office in Sophia, CEO of the company, Jonathan Beepat, noted the impact such tournaments have on young men in the sport.

“Since the time of my father we are always looking to help our fellow Guyanese and (we) played a role in helping Shiv (Shivnarine Chanderpaul), Sarwan (Ramnaresh Sarwan) and that is before they became who they are but I see football has become the predominant sport and we are happy to be a part of this because it gives the youths positive activities to do instead of being in adverse situations,” Beepat noted.

Brand Manager of Nestle, Christel VanSluytman, echoed the sentiments of Beepat. She shared the aim of the company, while encouraging consumers to buy Nestle products that will in turn be used to fund such programmes.

“Our main goal is to aid in talent enhancement and academic enhancement because both go hand in hand,” VanSluytman mentioned.

Meanwhile, Director of the Petra Organisation, Troy Mendonca, is of the opinion that the tournament has been serving its purpose. He thanked Beepats and other stakeholders for their continued support of the event.

“2018, we envisage a very prosperous year for us because we want to use our programmes to influence or help guide these youngsters involved in the sport one way or the other and so as we go along throughout the year we will make reference to that point. I also want to use the opportunity to highlight the effort of the GFF in football with limited resources and recognise the faith Beepats and Sons would have shown in the programme we have been doing. 

“Six years ago we started this programme and our aim then was to revitalise the sport at the school level and I think over the years its served its purpose and secured its place in football in Guyana. We are looking at expanding and making this tournament exciting and competitive; hopefully we can have a Milo segment in outlying areas and have a national playoff; hopefully,” Mendonca stated.

Technical Director of the Guyana Football Federation (GFF), Ian Greenwood, was also on hand and shared that the Federation will have an open door policy to the schools that want help with regard to coaching their teams.

Ministry of Education representative, Nicholas Fraser, also lauded the Petra Organistion for extending the tournament to teams outside of Georgetown. 24 teams will contest the tournament that will begin on January 27 at the Ministry of Education ground.

The tournament will start with a group stage featuring six groups of four teams. The top two teams and the best four third place finishers will advance to the Round-of-16 stage.

The winner of the tournament will receive $500,000 towards a school project of their choice, while second, third and fourth place will receive $300,000, $200,000 and $100,000 respectively to a school project of their choice as well. 

The tournament is expected to conclude on March 28.

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