Youth Soccer Cup kicks off at St George’s College

THE inaugural staging of the Yardie Sports Pediasure Youth Soccer Cup kicks off today at St George’s College with 16 teams seeking to be crowned champions in three different age groups.

Yardie Sports’ Dwayne Richards — the conceptualiser of the tournament — says action will begin at 9:00 am with a 5:00 pm completion time. The tournament will feature games being played in the Under-8, Under-11 and Under-14 categories.

Teams from both clubs and their academies have entered the tournament, including Harbour View, Maverley, Norbrook Strikers, Genesis Academy, Emmanuel Christian Academy and Charlton’s Academy.

Richards, organiser of the annual Yardie Sportwomen in Sports seminar, explained the reasons for staging the event.

“Since the pandemic a lot of the children that played the game of football have found other distractions that have taken them away from the sport,” he told the Jamaica Observer.

“It is very important that we return them to the field of play, not only to ensure that we reestablish the base of the sport in the country but also to tackle the problem of youth obesity,” he added.

“We think it is important that our children rediscover the joy of playing football once again, and as we begin summer in earnest we thought it was a great time to get young players back on the field of play,” Richard noted.

David Bonner of title sponsors Pediasure said that getting involved with the tournament was a no-brainer

“Pediasure has always been a sponsor of events that encourage physical activity in our young children in Jamaica. We have been involved in a lot of events such as these over the years, and with the return of sports on the island we saw this tournament as a perfect fit for us,” Bonner pointed out.

“We are looking forward to a great day of football and we are certain that it will be a great success. We wish all the teams participating the very best and maybe we will discover the next Reggae Boy and Reggae Girl,” he added

The tournament is co-ed and so girls will be allowed to play with boys, which is encouraged by Fifa, especially in the younger age groups.

There will be a retreat line for the Under-8 category. This will allow defending teams a chance to have possession in their defensive third from a goal kick from which they can restart play without pressure. This is designed to allow teams to build out from the back and allow younger players to develop.

The event is being sponsored by Pediasure, Swiss, Tankweld, Recycling Partners of Jamaica, City Fusion, Jamagua and Hi-Lyte.

— Howard Walker

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