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Tue, Jun

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RBC Royal Bank is partnering with West Penn Sports and Culture for the third successive year to stage the 2017 edition of the West Penn Community Youth Football League, the premier football competition for youths in the north-western peninsula of Trinidad.

The formal launch kicks off tomorrow at 11 am at the Diego Martin North Secondary School, with a parade of teams (male and female), with Minister of Sport, Darryl Smith, delivering the feature address. Managing Director of RBC Royal Bank Trinidad and Tobago, Darryl White, will head the bank’s team.

Two exhibition matches will be played, the first a female encounter between Covigne Corpus Christi and Cocorite Stars, then a representative West Penn team will tackle the TT Under-17 male squad.

The league, which has enjoyed RBC support since its inception in 2015, will cater for both male and female players in two divisions, Under-15 and Under-18, for the first time. The theme for this year’s competition is “Play Football; Make Peace”.

“At RBC, we take pride in making communities in which we operate, develop and thrive. We are extremely happy to partner with West Penn to unearth and nurture the sporting talents of the youths of these communities and we embrace the opportunity to help them develop all-round life skills which will enable them to grow as productive citizens,” White explained.

As West Penn Chairman, Selwyn Luces, pointed out, the partnership with RBC was vital for the organisation, as an NGO, to develop the youth in the communities of the north-western peninsula and steer them away from a life of crime.

“We see sport and culture as positive avenues to channel the energies of the young people toward positive and rewarding activities and we are delighted that RBC has been in full support of this vision as a pioneer with us,” said Luces.

Shurland Hartley, Vice President/ Sport Director, West Penn, said two major objectives of the league are to create a forum for players to develop and exhibit their technical skills leading to scholarship and professional opportunities; and to select and train a high performance team from the league to participate in competitions at the highest level in Trinidad and Tobago.

“There are immense opportunities for our football talent to look forward to in the major leagues around the world. A whole new world has opened up for TT footballers and we intend to steer our youths from West Penn in that direction,” said Hartley.

The formal launch of the league today will also include a community fair which will feature a display of health products, a demonstration of physical skills, sports massage by the Tunapuna-based Institute of Health, the sale of healthy food and beverages, and fun activities for children, including bouncy castle.

West Penn Sports and Culture intends to introduce competitive basketball, netball and athletics, to its list of sporting activities in the near future.