ExxonMobil U14 tournament kicks off

Some 29 games were on the cards on Monday as the fifth edition of the ExxonMobil Boys’ and Girls’ Under-14 school football tournament got underway.
The Ministry of Education (MoE) Ground, Carifesta Avenue, was a hive of activity as the customary March past exercise was followed by the official kick-off and then, the on-field action.
As Christ Church Secondary showed off their crisp uniforms and banner to cop the March past accolade, Petra Co-Director Troy Mendonca reminded of the tournament’s objectives and its subsequent growth.
Mendonca shared, “I reflect, a few years ago, when we conceptualised this tournament, we thought of filling the gap between our Under-18 and Under-11 tournaments. But that event has grown more into a family-oriented event; we have a combination of girls, boys, schools from all parts of Guyana, teachers and it’s an event where we share experience, we have very good camaraderie.”

Three Miles Secondary (green) took the first win in the Girls’ tournament (Jemima Holmes photo)

Highlighting the tournament’s positive impacts and strides for inclusivity was ExxonMobil Community Relations Advisor Ryan Hoppie, who cited these as reasons for Exxon’s continued support.
“It shows that this tournament is evolving and continuing to be the impactful tournament that we know it to be. I think that, when we look at it, we also see and we recognise the importance that sport plays in the lives of young people. And it’s important as well, to our communities because they get to see who the next star players for the Guyana Golden Jaguars will be,” Hoppie said, addressing the potential ballers.
He went on to add, “But this is why ExxonMobil is investing in sport and in community, because for us, over the past five years supporting the Petra Organisation with this initiative, we’ve seen it make positive contributions in the area of youth and community empowerment. I mentioned the girls just now, because I’m really pleased to see the inclusivity of the girls’ teams.”
Defending Boys’ Champions, Bartica Secondary were the first to pick up a win when the tournament kicked off, defeating L’Aventure Secondary 3-0. Jaden Christian, Ray Spencer and Lenny Skeete netted one each. Then their regional counterparts, Three Miles Secondary overcame VYC 5-0. Malique Ambrose, Eric Stephen, Lebron Mendonca, Adrian Stoby and Sergio Deagrella contributed one goal each.
In the first girls’ game, a brace from Arianna Stoby and one goal from Zalina Jones handed Three Miles Secondary a 3-0 victory over East Ruimveldt Secondary. Marian Academy then defeated Charity Secondary 2-0, with goals from Breanna Nobrega and Ashley Walton.