An appeal has been made for the youths of Mayaro to take up sports scholarships offered by energy company bpTT.

The call was sounded by the company’s Corporate Responsibility Manager, Ronda Francis, who moved the vote of thanks at the prize distribution function of the 2009 bpTT Mayaro Football League competition held at the Mayaro Resource Centre on Sunday.

Ms Francis lamented the fact that although bpTT offered two sports scholarships each year for the last five years, only one person had taken up the offer. She challenged the young footballers and other sportsmen and women to take full advantage of the awards and urged them to pursue their dreams to the fullest and to give back to their community.

Pride of place at the function went to Illusion Sports Club who were crowned champions of the Senior League and Mayguaya United who copped the Under-17 championship title.

Ryan Colthrust, Galeota Asset Manager, bpTT, told officials and players that the company was pleased to sponsor the league for the past 10 years, adding that the company enjoyed a close working relationship with the organising committee, headed by the indefatigable Razack Jan.

“This partnership, coupled with our general support to sport in Mayaro, is possibly one of the contributors to Mayaro’s continued status as a melting pot of talented sportsmen and women,” Colthrust noted.

Feature speaker Mohammed Isa, a national football administrator, showered praise on the organisers, declaring that the bpTT Mayaro Football League “is one of the most consistent and best organised leagues in the country, rivalling that of some zonal leagues.”

“The Mayaro league provides an excellent avenue for players to express and develop themselves. It has produced several national players, such as Colin Samuel, Anthony Wolfe and Under-20 captain Leston Paul,” he noted.

Also addressing the function was councillor Matthew Pierre, a former national basketball star, who praised bpTT for their continued sponsorship of the league over the years, especially during the past year with the global economic recession which affected the company. He made special mention of league organiser Jan who has devoted more than 40 years to the development of football in Mayaro.

Special tribute was paid to talented son-of-the-soil Leston Paul, who captained TT at the recent FIFA Under-20 World Championships in Egypt and the Under-17 World Championships in South Korea a few years ago. A special award in appreciation of his outstanding career was presented by the bpTT Mayaro Football League.

Recapping the 2009 season, Razack Jan said the various competitions in the Under-17 and Senior Divisions demonstrated that there was an abundance of sporting talent in Mayaro.

He said he would like to increase participation in the league in 2010 with the introduction of new divisions, including Under-15, Over-40 and a tournament for women.

Jan was showered with praise by all the speakers, who pointed to his selfless sacrifice over the years to develop not only football, but other sporting disciplines, in Mayaro.

BPTT’s Ronda Francis called on the sports officials and the community to come up with a fitting tribute to Jan, which, she promised, would be supported by the company.

Following is a list of the major winners in the 2009 bpTT Mayaro Football League:

Senior Division
League Champions — Illusions Sport Club
Runners-up — Mayaro Boys Sports Club
KO Champions — Mayguaya United
Runners-up — Mayaro Boys SC
Most Valuable Player — Rocklan Jones (Mayaro Boys)
Team scoring most goals —Mayguaya United (41)
Player scoring most goals —Carlon Hughes (Mayaro Spurs — 22)

Under-17 Division
League Champions — Mayguaya United
Runner-up — Mayaro Spurs
KO Champions — Mayaro Composite
Runners-up - Mayguaya United
Most Valuable Player - Kerdell Alfred (Mayguaya)
Team scoring most goals - Mayguaya United (39)
Player scoring most goals - Lee Felix (Mayaro Spurs – 7).