GuyOil, Petra unveil 12-team school league; private institutions omitted

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By Akeem Greene  

Twelve Secondary Schools will compete in a first of its kind football tournament, which takes a league format. The tournament has the Guyana Oil Company (GuyOil) as title sponsor, in association with Tradewind Tankers.

The launch occurred at GuyOil’s Kitty Service Station on Thursday where representatives from participating schools and officials gathered to understand how the league will run from October 6 to December 9.

Troy Mendonca, Co-Director of the Organising Body, Petra Organisation explained that the focus was to bring some of the best school teams to play, departing from the round-robin/knock-out tournament style previously implemented.

Top teams omitted

Some big names in private institutions such as Chase Academic Foundation, Sir Leon’s Lesson, Morgan’s Learning Centre, Buxton Youth Developers and Masters Academy are absent.

“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,” Mendonca explained.

He added, “The burning issue is these institutions using the lessons [extra circular 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.”

One of the teachers present, in response, stated: “I would like to congratulate the Petra Organisation for making this decision because over the years, the government schools have been suffering at the hands of the private schools who take the students from your own school and play you the same year and I think it was really unfair.”

GuyOil’s Marketing and Sales Manager, Jacqueline James, spoke of the impact she hopes the partnership can achieve: “We are in 42 years in 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.”

More so, Nicholas Fraser, a representative from the Ministry of Education, highlighted the possible academic gains from the league.

“This tournament aligns very well with the programme we have for CSEC and since it is Secondary School 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.”

Petra received $3,520,000 in sponsorship and the tournament which caters for Under-18 students will see participating schools Annandale Secondary, Friendship Secondary, Vergenoegen Secondary, Uitvlugt Secondary Wismar/Christianburg Secondary, The Bishop’s High, Lodge, St Rose’s High, Dolphin Secondary, Queenstown Secondary and Queen’s College doing battle.

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