GLOBAL leader in technology Samsung Electronics Company Ltd is making a grand attempt toward getting into local football and significantly at the youth level.
The company will begin its initiative with the staging of a youth football tournament involving children aged eight to 12 years old from both the primary and preparatory school levels islandwide to contest the Samsung Cup.
Two of Jamaica's greatest sporting personalities, sprinting superstar Usain Bolt and former Jamaica international and Bolton Wanderers standout Ricardo 'Bibi' Gardner, will partner with the Samsung Cup initiative.
Bolt, who is also sponsored by Samsung, will lend his support through his Usain Bolt Foundation, which will provide all the footballs that will be used in the tournament, while Gardner is the official ambassador for the Samsung Cup tournament.
Patricia Laufer, sales manager of Samsung Electronics Latin America, made the announcement at a press launch at Devon House, Hope Road, in Kingston yesterday.
Samsung, in collaboration with INSPORTS, Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) and the Jamaica Independent Schools Association (JISA), will get the inaugural tournament off to a running start on November 9. The tournament will last for five weeks and consists of 48 schools with teams comprising 14 players of a total of 672 players taking part.
The tournament will be divided between urban and rural regions with each further subdivided into four zones. The winning school will receive a media room fully equipped by Samsung worth US$10,000, while rural and urban winners will receive trophies and medals.
Participating teams will play in Kingston at Stadium East and in Montego Bay at Wespow Field for the first week, and weeks two and three at Catherine Hall.
Schools will compete against each other in their zones once and the top two from each zone will advance to the quarter-final rounds.
Winners from each quarter-final round will then move into the semi-final stages from which the final two teams will emerge to compete for the regional championship title on December 14, in Kingston.
JFF president Captain Horace Burrell has endorsed the initiative of a Samsung Cup as a top and best-in-the-class youth football tournament. JISA and INSPORTS are the primary partners in the tournament and have both approved all the schools participating in the tournament in an effort to help create a united competition that transcends regions and economic barriers.