The NLCL Community Cup Organizing Committee hosted its media launch for the inaugural 2023 season of the NLCL U15 Community Cup at the VIP Room of the Larry Gomes Stadium this past Sunday.
The brand-new youth football tournament announced it’s being sponsored in part by Next Level Consulting Limited, Next Level Foundation, the National Gas Company of Trinidad & Tobago, the Ministry of Sport and Community Development, as well as Ramsingh’s Sports World.
Starting this weekend, it will feature ten teams from the length and breadth of Trinidad, with a further four anticipated participating in Tobago. The highly competitive Group A kicks of this Saturday, March 25th, and will feature five teams from the North and East zones (Trendsetter Hawks, F.C. Ginga, Queens Park Cricket Club Youth Academy, Santa Rosa F.C. and Creek Sports & Cultural Club). A very balanced Group B will start their group matches on Sunday, March 26th, and will have five teams from the South and Central zones (Waterloo Institute of Soccer Players, Gasparillo Youths, Moruga F.C., Cox Football Academy and Point Fortin Youth Football Academy). When finally constituted, it is anticipated that Group C will feature four of the top youth teams from Tobago, and will kick off at a later date.
Tournament Chairman, Brian K. Jordan advised the media launch audience of the importance of youth development for our young footballers. He stated, “In doing the analysis, the NLCL Community Cup Tournament Organizing Committee found that the recently completed Under 19 tournament had approximately eighty percent of the players being between the ages of fifteen and seventeen. Effectively, as that platform is helping those older age groups, the next step would be to work with helping the development of the very important Under 15 age group.”
The NLCL Community Cup tournament, originally started in 2019 for Under 19 footballers, has become one of the nation’s largest private charitable youth tournaments with the strong assistance of a public-private partnership with the Ministry of Sport and Community Development. Inclusive of the newly added Under 15 tournament, more than seven hundred young footballers will be able to benefit nationwide from the youth development opportunities being provided under the umbrella organization.
Representing the Honourable Minister, Shamfa Cudjoe at the weekend Media Launch were both Mr. Justin Latapy-George (Sport Company of Trinidad & Tobago) and Mr. Patrice Charles (Deputy Director of Sports Division within the Ministry of Sport and Community Development). Both gentlemen spoke to the invited guests about the importance of public-private partnerships and focusing on youth development as a way to positively impact communities, as well as, enrich the calibre of talent available to national coaches and the national football system.
In addition to the representatives from the Ministry of Sport and Community Development, Keynote Speaker, Attorney Joash Huggins, recounted his Secondary School football days at Naparima College, San Fernando. He advised the young footballers in the audience that they had an opportunity to give their best effort not only on the football field but also in the classroom so that the best possible outcomes could be achieved in life. Mr. Huggins also counselled the youngsters about taking advantage of every opportunity provided to them, such as in the NLCL tournament, and about making good choices, especially in who they would choose to surround themselves with.
The NLCL U15 Community Cup tournament kicks of this Saturday with a dynamic double header at Eddie Hart Recreation Ground. At 2pm, perennial powerhouse, Trendsetter Hawks will play against a strong F.C. Ginga team. Later at 3:45pm, well known and storied academies, Santa Rosa F.C. will match up against Queens Park Cricket Club youth academy. Meanwhile this Sunday, the action shifts to the South with Group B games being played at Beach Camp, Palo Seco. In the first game at 2pm on Sunday, serial tournament winners, Cox Football Academy will host upstarts Point Fortin Youth Football Academy. In the second game at 3:45pm, a tough Gasparillo Youths outift will play against an exciting Moruga F.C. Group C will kick off at a later date in the sister isle of Tobago.
Mr. Jordan added, “This is super exciting for us and hopefully for the country. Everyone should know there will be no cover charge to attend the games this weekend. We want everyone to come out to enjoy the football, and support their young sons, grandsons, cousins, nephews, neighbours and friends.”
The Tournament Organizers wish to thank the generous sponsors and partners, Next Level Consulting Limited, Next Level Foundation, Ministry of Sport and Community Development, National Gas Company of Trinidad & Tobago, and Ramsingh’s Sports World.
The tournament organizers wish to also advise the general public that these extremely well organized youth tournaments and annual Holiday Hamper Drive are all held under the auspices of the Next Level Foundation, which is a registered non-profit charitable organization. All are welcome to support and companies (or organizations) are able to take advantage of the tax benefits as a result of their financial support.