Gov’t official gives KSAFA youth league thumbs up
From left: Denzil Thorpe, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport; Wayne Shaw, president of KSAFA; Michael Ricketts, president of the Jamaica Football Federation; Alando Terrelonge, the minister of state in the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport; former KSAFA President Stewart Stephenson; and Denzil Wilks, general manager at the Sports Development Foundation at the official start of the KSAFA/Valeo Youth Football Development League at the JFF/UWI Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence last weekend. (Photo: Dwayne Richards)

THE Kingston & St andrew Football Association (KSAFA)/Valeo Youth Football Development League, which began three weeks ago at the UWI-JFF Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence, has received the thumbs up from Alando Terrelonge, the minister of state in the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport.

Speaking at the official ‘kick-off’ last weekend, Terrelonge was full of praises for the persons involved in putting together the competition that will keep the players from various clubs and academies occupied for the next 10 weeks.

“I have to big up the entire KSAFA team. When we speak about sports in Jamaica we have to realise that sport is not just about physical exercise. Yes, that’s a benefit to it, but sport is about youth development, sport is about youth empowerment, sport is about national growth and development as well,” he said.

The minister noted that what was happening at the Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence was not happening anywhere else on the island at the moment.

“The truth is that the KSAFA grass roots programme here on display is going to run for 12 weeks but this is the only programme of its kind in the entire country, so as a Government we support the programme because we understand what it means to develop the skills and talent of our young men at this stage.”

He also underscored the importance of local players being taught the game early and the long-term benefit to the country.

“It teaches them discipline, it teaches them teamwork, it teaches them how to respect each other — and we get the benefit in the long run because, rather than importing players we are developing a cadre of superstars that will represent themselves, their communities and Jamaica in the long run,” he explained.

Terrelonge challenged other parishes and other sporting organisations to mimic what the KSAFA and Valeo Academy have done.

“It is an impressive programme. The Government of Jamaica supports it wholeheartedly, and I look forward to the day when other parishes, other sporting bodies, will have similar meet developments for the youth at this level,” he said.

Following on their impressive performances in week one, Liguanea United/Ballaz Academy made it six from six when they won all their games against Kingston Football Academy last Saturday.

In the Under-13 they won 6-2, in the Under-15 they won 4-2 and in the Under-17 it was a close 2-1 victory.

Harbour View enjoyed two wins on the day, beating Brown’s Town 3-0 in the Under-15 and Valeo FC 2-1 in the Under-17, but lost 0-2 to Valeo in the Under-13.

In the other Under-13 games, New Kingston beat Boy’s Town 3-2 while Browns Town beat Los Perfectos 5-0.

In the other results in the Under-15, Benders Academy beat Valeo Academy 1-0, Norbrook Strikers beat Boys’ Town 1-0 and Los Perfectos and Central Kingston ended 0-0 in the only scoreless game of the day.

In the Under-17, LAX Academy beat Molynes United 3-2, Brown’s Town thumped Los Perfectos 4-0 and Boys’ Town beat Benders 5-2.

The league continues today with match week three games.

— Dwayne Richards

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