BFA General Secretary Edwyn Wood (left) accepting the sponsorship cheque from Unit Manager, Guardian Life of the Caribbean Fabian Bishop.
When the first ball is kicked this coming Saturday, the start of intense rivalries between the island's best youth teams will besignalled.With the 2018 Guardian Group Youth Football Tournament slated to get off the ground this weekend, details of the competition were revealed during a media conference today.
The regional insurance and finance company has taken up the mantle of title sponsorship of the tournament for the past three years, and Barbados Football Association General Secretary Edwyn Wood took the opportunity to thank Guardian for its commitment during the current economic climate as well as clubs and supporters of the sport. “We would like to thank the clubs for taking part and ensuring that the youth are looked after and are able to enjoy the beautiful game of football. As well as the supporters for their contribution to making the sport better. Again, we take this opportunity to thank the Guardian Group for continuing their partnership with us and your enthusiasm towards developing a core crop of players. The development of our youth is critical to the success of our football programme.” Wood said.
Unit Manager, Guardian Life of the Caribbean Fabian Bishop was on-hand to represent the sponsors and said that his organisationwas pleased to be the title sponsor of the tournament for a third year. “Today Guardian Group, through its Life, Health and Pension arm of the Caribbean, affirms our commitment to assist in the tournament which is eagerly anticipated by the youth football stars of Barbados. This year represents a solid third year partnership with the Barbados Football Association in support of this youth tournament that is well over 40 years old. This year the stage is set for another exciting tournament under the theme – Protect your future. Live easy.”
Going on to say that the partnership with the BFA was an easy one as they played a major part in the fight against obesity and non-communicable disease in children, Bishop said that bothorganisationswere on the same page. “Guardian Group's corporate social responsibility is firmly set on actively encouraging individuals and societal development by supporting initiatives to improve well-being through the investment in activities aimed at promoting healthy lifestyles. Guardian Group is cognisantof the increasing national concern and the effects of the efforts to combat the incidences of childhood obesity in Barbados. With the alarming statistics observed in our most vulnerable age groups over the years, this has prompted the signing of a national accord in support of a campaign spearheaded by the Heart and Stroke Foundation.” Bishop said.
This year's tournament is expected to run from September down to December in five age groups. Getting started with a parade of the 78 teams at 8:30 AM at the Wildey Turf, the Under-9, Under-11, Under-13, Under-15 and Under-17 categories are expected to be keenly contested at various venues in the environs of St. Michael.
With four games being played at the Wildey Turf for Saturday's opening ceremony, the action will move to their respective grounds on September 22nd.
Age groups and venues
SOS Under-9 – Wildey Turf
Rejuvenator Under-11 – Kick Start
Liberator Under-13 – Blenheim
Presidia Under-15 – Meadow Road and Parkinson Field
IPI Under-17 – Blenheim