Samsung committed to build sporting ties in Jamaica
THE inaugural Samsung Cup youth football tournament is done and dusted, but the technology firm is committed to extending sporting ties with Jamaica.
Karen Gardener, the sales manager of Samsung Electronics Latin America, said the tournament, held across 48 schools island wide, is just a peek into what the company has planned.
"Samsung is excited to inaugurate its first Samsung Cup in Jamaica this year," she said recently in response to e-mailed questions from the Jamaica Observer.
"The Samsung Cup is part of an overall initiative by Samsung to support the development of sports in children. For the short term, we really hope to have a major impact on the lives of the children and the schools that participate.
"This is just the beginning of a long-term relationship and we hope we have proven our interest and commitment to positioning the brand as a leader in Jamaica, both in technology and in youth sports initiatives. We look forward to continuing to expand in Jamaica and creating additional initiatives in the region," Gardener said.
"The beauty of the Samsung Cup is that we have been able to get the support of the Ministry of Sport and the Jamaica Football Federation, as well as the collaboration of JISA [Jamaica Independent Schools' Association] and INSPORTS [Institute of Sports], to help approve all the schools participating in the tournament," she added.
Gardener said the initiative began in 2012 with five countries in the Latin America and the Caribbean region. It was extended this year to a further five nations, including Jamaica, in 2013.
In the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua, the youth initiative has taken the form of a baseball competition.
Earlier in December, the St James-based Irwin Primary School won the rural area title, while Holy Family Primary, located in Central Kingston, took the urban area title. Holy Family went on to beat Irwin 3-1 in a penalty shoot-out after the teams were locked 0-0 at full time, for the all-island trophy.
Gardener said Samsung "received much positive feedback" about the tournament from the schools, parents and spectators. She said the "collaboration of many partners" made it "a remarkable experience for the players participating".