The 2018 RBC West Penn Community Youth Football League got off to a rousing start at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Mucurapo on the weekend, with lead sponsor RBC’s Managing Director for Trinidad and Tobago, Darryl White, urging the young footballers to “not just be players in a game, but take the discipline, tolerance and production that make up your commitment to football in other areas of your life.”
Following the traditional Show of Colours by participating teams, the official launch was highlighted by two exciting exhibition matches featuring the top performing male and female teams from last year’s competition.
The RBC West Penn Community Youth Football League, now in its fourth year, is organised by West Penn Sports & Culture, through partnership with RBC Royal Bank.
Offering words of encouragement to the young players, their coaches, parents and community representative were White; Gabre McTair, Assistant Director of Physical Education and Sport, Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs; and Shurland Hartley, Vice President, West Penn Sports and Culture and Tournament Director.
In the first exhibition encounter, defending Boys Under-18 league and knockout champions, Andrew Trace Fourth Generation played to a 3-3 draw with Goodwood Gops. Napthali Carrington scored twice for Andrew Trace, with Giovani Wong adding the third. Goodwood got their goals from Nkosi Salandy, Jahai Solomon and Jerrel Hibbert. Diego Martin Central and St James Youths played to a goalless draw in the Girls Under-18 match-up.
During his remarks, White said RBC Royal Bank was extremely delighted to be part of the West Penn initiative because sport brings people and communities together.
“West Penn has been growing as an organisation and RBC identifies with your efforts to grow your community. The important message we share here this morning is that this initiative is much more than just a game. When you put on a football jersey, you represent your family, your team and your community.
“Football is one of the most popular sports in Trinidad and Tobago. It captures our imagination, our energy, our passion. On and off the field, it fascinates us in many positive ways… As a team sport, football helps promote team spirit, fairness and cohesion – all values that should be founding principles for young people,” White said.
He added: “I can proudly say RBC is again happy to be your sponsor. As our partners at West Penn have said, the tournament brings out a pioneering spirit that is bringing communities together. At RBC, this resonates with us. Part of our purpose is to help communities prosper.”
McTair, who congratulated RBC for its “unwavering support and continued commitment to the West Penn sporting initiative”, said it was heart-warming to see corporate entities supporting the development of the countries young sportsmen and sportswomen. “The Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs is extremely appreciative of the collaborative efforts of entities such as RBC to partner with NGOs such as West Penn in mounting sporting tournaments,” McTair said.
Tournament Director Hartley said the overall objectives of the league are to provide a platform for the young people to develop their football talent, to provide a safe environment for sporting activity and protect the youths from falling prey to ‘gang culture’ that has gripped certain communities.
The tournament, which features two competitions – League and Knock-Out – will be contested in two age groups, Under-18 and Under-15, in both male and female divisions. Twenty-three teams have already signed up, but teams have been requested to submit all player information by Friday to facilitate drawing-up of fixtures in the respective age groups. Competitive action in the league kicks off on Sunday, April 29, at the Diego Martin North Secondary School grounds.
SOURCE: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday