The league kicked off on Saturday, 30th July, 2016, at the old recreation ground in St. Paul’s and consists of eight teams; five from St. Paul’s and one each from Newton Ground, Dieppe Bay and Saddlers.
When asked what inspired this particular league, Public Relations Officer (PRO) Kevin Jeffers indicated that on any given Sunday a great number of youths can be seen on the field playing football.
“If you should pass here on a Sunday on this same field you will see probably 100 fellas kicking football, and so we [saw] it fit to do something to embrace the entire community,” he said.
Jeffers stated that the purpose of the league is to develop and enhance the youngsters within the community, as it relates to sports. He said that the teams were encouraged to come up with meaningful names, so there are teams with names such as Movements, Positive Vybz and Togetherness United.
Thrizen Leader, coach for the Movements team and member of the St. Paul’s Football Club and the national football team, said that it is a positive football league that will help to advance the youths and bring the community together.
“This league will help to develop more youngsters and give them a chance to showcase their talent and provide an [opportunity] for the premier team to look at them and see their potential,” Leader said.
However, there is more to this league than just developing the skills of the youths.
Speaking with MyVueNews.com, League President Shavon Douglas said that they not only want to develop the football product in the community, but, also, to instill discipline and togetherness as well.
“We want to build and institute a strong level of discipline and commitment and bring back a certain level of comradery and brotherhood,” Douglas said. “We are trying to give the youths a positive platform for where they can engage themselves, as opposed to being idle on the streets and getting involved with crime and violence and any other idle activities,” he added.
The president said there are several initiatives to be undertaken for the community, once the league progresses. According to Douglas, there were “barely enough funds to start”, but the intention is to generate as much revenue as possible, and to begin a sponsorship drive, for next year’s league, as early as September 2016.
Douglas said the League would want to provide each student at the St. Paul’s Primary School with at least six exercise books, equip the primary football team with well-needed jerseys and conduct a grass roots community programme.
The grass roots programme, Douglas said, would be held on weekends and at least one day throughout the week, where young boys can enhance their football skills and be trained and disciplined with rules and regulations.
It is the hope of the organizers that the league will expand to other communities and spark interest in other youths as well.
The league will run until 30th August, 2016.