Letter of the Day
Cup hurting schoolboy football
THE EDITOR, Sir:
I must first commend ISSA for its hard work in developing schoolboy football to the level it is at now. We continue to see so many rising stars in Jamaica, and no doubt the Manning Cup, the daCosta Cup, the Walker Cup and the Olivier Shield have all contributed to the overall development of Jamaica's aspiring young football talent.
However, I do have some concerns as it relates to the recent introduction of the LIME Super Cup to an already packed roster of Jamaica's schoolboy football competitions.
I understand the need for commercial sponsors to fund sports, but it should not come at a cost to the welfare of the players and the game itself.
The recently held LIME Super Cup is taking away from the traditional and long-standing rivalry between the top rural and urban schools as played out in the Olivier Shield.
I remember looking forward to watching brilliant football being played between the best schoolboy teams in the island, whether it's my beloved alma mater, Wolmer's Boys' School, or any of the other teams who compete. Will we now see the supporters dwindle and the focus of teams turn to what is essentially a marketing showpiece? Is it right that we put the pressure on young footballers to put more money into the pockets of corporate Jamaica?
We cannot allow commercial pursuits to stifle and sideline the established competitions that have produced some of the best players of the beautiful game that we have seen come out of Jamaica.
There needs to be a more sustainable framework put in place that not only gives schoolboy football fans something to look forward to, but also creates a balanced atmosphere for the player to grow and thrive - in all aspects of their lives.
I am sure ISSA never intended for the schoolboy football competitions to become a purely commercial venture, but rather a means to facilitate the growth and development of footballing talent in communities across Jamaica.
I am beseeching ISSA and the powers that be to consider the true purpose of the LIME Super Cup and whether it is doing more harm than good to our beloved schoolboy football. Put our boys first!
Washington Gardens, St Andrew