Oil giant ExxonMobil continues to invest in Guyana’s social welfare. The most recent indication of this investment has been its continued funding of the ExxonMobil Under-14 Boys and Girls Football tournament, which commenced on Saturday morning.
More than 20 boys’ and girls’ school teams will, for the next few weeks, compete at the Ministry of Education (MoE) ground every weekend for top honours in the ExxonMobil Under-14 tournament. After a few delays due to inclement weather, the tournament finally got underway on Saturday, and the kickoff was witnessed by ExxonMobil’s Senior Director of Public and Government Affairs, Marcus Tripp, and Community Relations advisor Ryan Hoppie.
During the opening ceremony, Hoppie expressed the company’s elation at having the opportunity to finance the tournament for a third year, while emphasising its youth development prospects.
“We’re happy to partner with Petra. This is our third time doing the Under-14 boys and girls football tournament, and of course, over at ExxonMobil, we’re excited to have this kickoff here today,” Hoppie shared with a warm smile.
Addressing the teams present for the March Past, Hoppie said, “You know sport is very important for youth development, and we know that it brings both physical and mental benefits; but, also the camaraderie among players within the team! We’re hoping that, over the next several weeks, as you play, that you remember good sportsmanship and I’ll say good ‘sports-woman-ship’.”
The tournament will feature 12 girls’ teams and 16 boys’ teams in Round Robin groups, while will be followed by knock outs and plate games.
Petra Co-Director Troy Mendonca underscored the importance of the tournament, and what it could mean for the young players.
Mendonca expressed, “We are very happy, here at Petra, after two years of not having such an event. Three years ago to now, there’s been a lot happening in the football arena. And I want to say to you, the kids here today, that ExxonMobil presents an opportunity to enjoy yourself, showcase your talent, and compete with zest.
“When we look at what this tournament has done over the years, as I alluded a few weeks ago, there are several persons like yourself who are now representing our country and who are now representing senior football teams within the country,” the Petra Co-Director later added in a bit of inspiration for the players.
ExxonMobil had, a few weeks ago, injected Gy$6 million into the tournament. (Jemima Holmes)