ATL boss says $3m for Waterhouse FC aimed at social change
MANAGING director Danville Walker suggests that the $3 million cash sponsorship by the ATL Group of the Waterhouse Football Club goes beyond the field of play and should also be viewed as a statement in social responsibility.
"We at ATL always want to be unbeatable and be with the champions. But it is much more than that. It is about social responsibility and supporting the leadership of the Bicknells with this club and the general community of Waterhouse," says Walker, who is also managing director of the Jamaica Observer, a member of the ATL Group.
"We also believe that as a corporation, the ATL Group has to play its part in social outreach and support people who are trying to improve their communities. And in line with that we are expected to continue to work with the Waterhouse Football Club and the Bicknells in trying to get enough work for young people who are trying to make a difference in their lives through sport," Walker added.
The symbolic cheque for the 'tidy sum' was presented to Waterhouse FC chairman and Tankweld managing director, Bruce Bicknell, by Walker during the half-time break of Waterhouse Red Stripe Premier League match against Harbour View on Sunday at Drewsland. The hosts won 2-1.
Waterhouse FC Chairman Bicknell was grateful for the ATL Group's contribution.
"We are grateful to ATL for believing in us to come forward and help in a meaningful way... this contribution is expected to lift the morale of the players and the club going forward," Bicknell said.
The new sponsorship deal will support in part the club's Premier League team in keeping with all elements of the senior team's preparations such as financing local camps and procuring additional training equipment.
The news of the ATL Group's contribution was added spice for Waterhouse FC, who at the end of Sunday's match, had confirmed themselves as preliminary champions of the country's top league, a distinction that carries with it a $1-million bonus.
Waterhouse have already pocketed $1 million after they topped the Flow Champions Cup, a national knockout tournament.
Meanwhile, nine-man Waterhouse FC accomplished their feat in a red-card studded game against champions Harbour View.
Juvaune Benjamin came off the bench to ensure victory from a solo effort in minute 78 after Marvin Morgan had given Waterhouse the lead with a fierce shot in the 40th minute. John-Ross Edwards consoled Harbour View somewhat, with a goal in the final seconds of minute 90+4 after his team had laid siege around the Waterhouse goal area for the most part of the second half.
A game that was not in anyway ill-tempered from some points of view, was marred by what was deemed a number of injudicious refereeing calls. Waterhouse went down to nine players after Oshane Roberts was sent off for an early shower for a second bookable offence, while Vincent Earle received a straight red card for a clumsy tackle against second-half teenage substitute, Kevaughn Frater, with three minutes in the game remaining.
With another two games remaining to be completed Waterhouse cannot be overhauled in the league as they have already accumulated an unassailable 59 points to sew up the million-dollar bonus.
Waterhouse FC — Richard McCallum, Nicholy Finlayson, Mark Walcott, Oshane Roberts, Kimorlie Brissett, Ramone Howell, Weston Forrest (Romario Campbell 54th), Damarley Samuels, Marvin Morgan (Juvaune Benjamin 73rd), Vincent Earle, Kenroy Howell (Rohan Amos 90+3).
Subs not used: K Cousins, S Broderick, V Hayles, R Henry
Booked: Roberts (28th, 74th-ejected), Campbell (63rd), Finlayson (83rd), Earle (87th, red-carded)
Harbour View — Michaud Barrett, Montrose Phinn, Kemar Lawrence, Nicholas Beckett, John-Ross Edwards, Dicoy Williams (Kevaughn Frater 46th), Christopher Harvey, Joel Senior, Xavian Virgo, Brian Brown (Ranique Muir 46th, Damion Harwood 90+3), Donovan Edwards.
Subs not used: L Williams, C Waugh, D Oliver, D Isaacs
Booked: Williams (23rd), Lawrence (51st)
Referee: Cardella Samuels
Assistant Referees: Stacy-Ann Greyson, Princess Brown
Fourth Official: Odette Hamilton
Match Commissary: Norman Blair