The Guinness Street Football Challenge is back for another year.
The competition, which searches for the greatest community team from across the Caribbean, kicks off this afternoon Tobago at the Shaw Park Basketball Courts from five pm. But in the coming weeks,m there will be action in six zones across the country—Tobago, East, South, Central, North East and North West.
The winning team from each participating country will represent their country in a regional final taking place in Guyana on June 23. As an incentive for winning, the team that triumphs will have a multipurpose street football pitch built for their community courtesy of Guinness.
Melicia Wilson, marketing manager for Guinness Trinidad and Tobago, said there will be weekly zonal playoffs each Saturday until the grand national final on June 16.
"We guaranteed last year at our inaugural Guinness Street Football Challenge that we would ensure that this tournament becomes a permanent fixture on the annual sporting calendar," Wilson said. "We also promised to be back this year with a bigger tournament and we have lived up to this promise."
She added: "In addition to the $30,000 first prize to the T&T winners, we have upped the ante and are providing a chance for the Trinidad winners to represent their country at the grand regional final in Guyana.
Kenwyne Jones, striker with English Premier League Club, Stoke City F.C. and captain of T&T, is to continue in his role as Guinness Street Football Challenge Ambassador.
Jones will appear at the finals day in Trinidad, as well as attend the pan-Caribbean finals in Guyana. In addition, Jones has recorded a 30-second Public Service Announcement designed to raise awareness of the importance of drinking responsibly.
"It's great to be back as the Guinness Street Football Challenge Ambassador," he said. "There are many people who have inspired me through my career, especially in the early days as I was growing up in Point Fortin. Hopefully the Guinness Street Football Challenge will inspire some greatness in local communities around the Caribbean. Whether you are actually playing or supporting your local team, make sure you get involved," Jones said.
Gareth Geddes, brand manager for Guinness Caribbean & Central America commented: "We are thrilled to be continuing the Guinness Street Football Challenge and delighted that Kenwyne will continue in his role as ambassador. Guinness aims to inspire greatness within each of us so we want to make this year's competition bigger and better.
The winning community team from each country will go to Guyana, representing their nation as they bid to become the greatest Guinness Street Football team in the Caribbean. What's more, Guinness will build the winning team a space to play within their community."
For more information and to register for the tournament, teams may call 37GREAT (374-7328) or 78GREAT (784-7328). Registration is only 24 Guinness crowns.
Guiness Street Football start schedule
Tobago - Shaw Park Basketball Courts, 5pm
East - Bon Air Basketball Courts, 4pm
South - Skinner Park Basketball Courts, 4pm
Central - Edinburgh 500 Basketball Courts, 4pm
North West - Jean Pierre Complex, 4pm
North East - Petit Bourg Basketball Courts, 4pm