Football key ingredient in bridging social gaps, says Samuda

Thursday, September 06, 2018

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MORANT BAY, St Thomas — President of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) Christopher Samuda underlined the importance of sport at the parochial level and its role in the broader scope of Jamaican life.

The JOA boss, in delivering the keynote address at the St Thomas FA awards ceremony at Morant Villas last Thursday, said sports and football at the local level interlink uniquely communities in tangible and intangible ways, but suggested the impact on the social fabric is undeniable.

“Sport, in bridging the gap, builds a bridge, not over troubled waters, but between contrasting lives and establishes common ground for social cohesion of communities.

“But then, communities don't exist in isolation and therefore, there must be a theology in sport that unites them into a nation, that calls into being the spirit of nationhood. 'Nationhood”' a word often spoken but seldom understood,” said Samuda in his usual eloquent style.

The JOA president urged the parish of St Thomas to, through football particularly, to strive to make its imprint on the wider community in the service of young people.

Dr Gavin Belammy general manager of title sponsor of the St Thomas FA, who addressed the late evening event, said his organisation is pleased to be on board a movement that seeks to build the community through its young people.

“Seprod Limited, through its homegrown subsidiaries, Serge Island Dairies Limited and Serge Island Farms Limited, would like to extend our gratitude for being able to partner with the St Thomas Football Association to bring back some interest in the Major League which was not sponsored,” he noted.

“Football is not just a game; it is a medium to foster community relations, and to build confidence and discipline in the players, and provide a constructive outlet for our young persons to be gainfully engaged,” Belammy added.

Meanwhile, Seaforth received the Serge St Thomas Major League Trophy and $200,000 for their championship season, while York FC took the runners-up spot for $100,000. Port Morant All Stars finished third and collected $50,000 for their efforts.

In other awards, Heartease walked away with $30,000 for being the Most Disciplined Team; Landsdale Parry took home $10,000 for Winning Coach prize; Winning Manager was Kevin Strachan ($10,000); Top Goalscorer award went to Miguel Ricketts of York ($10,000); while the MVP of Final Andre Luther of Seaforth got $10,000.

In the Under-17 competition, York FC carried away the championship trophy and $30,000, Bath FC were runners-up with $20,000, while Lyssons FC ended third for $10,000.

A grateful St Thomas FA president Wayne Thompson thanked Serge for boldly coming on board, this their first season as major sponsor of not only the Major League, but the wider programme.

He also raised the proverbial glass to the teams, fans and a “hard-working executive” for an outstanding season, highlighted by a “a well run competition”.

Also attending the awards function were vice-president of the Jamaica Football Federation and the JOA Raymond Anderson, Sports Development Commission's Darline McCalla, JOA board member Laurel Smith, and former KSAFA president Ambassador Stewart Stephenson.

— Sean Williams

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