Flow swells prize money for Champions Cup KO
Robert Bailey, Gleaner Writer
There will be a major increase in prize money for this year's FLOW Champions Cup knockout football competition, which was launched at the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) Academy at the University of the West Indies (UWI) yesterday.
A draw for the first round of matches accompanied the launch of the championship, which the title sponsors will be using to support community development with a first-time initiative called 'Flow Goals for Charity'.
In addition, Flow's channel 100 will broadcast the matches live and delayed across Jamaica and three other Caribbean counties - St Lucia, Barbados and St Vincent and the Grenadines.
The broadcasts will include the weekly highlight show 'Overdrive'.
Flow, in its fifth year of sponsorship for the island's premier knock-out football competition, announced a 50 per cent increase in prize money, with the champion team now set to receive $1.5 million, a vast improvement on the $1 million that defending champions Waterhouse pocketed last year.
Additionally, this year's runners-up will pocket $440,000, while each of the two semi-final losers will receive $220,000.
Twenty-six teams, including all 12 Premier League outfits and 14 parish champions, will contest this year's staging, which will kick off on October 1, with the finals set for November 17.
"We remain committed to the continued development of Jamaica through sports and education, and this tournament is one such example of this commitment," said Donovan White, vice-president, marketing and sales, Flow.
"Sports have shown to be a major unifying force. It breaks down barriers and builds lifelong bonds. It also helps in improving health and wellness," White said. "As leaders in innovation and telecoms technology in Jamaica, we at Flow will be using the best resources available to get the best out of our footballers so they can become the stars of the future."
JFF's president, Captain Horace Burrell, lauded Flow for their continued sponsorship.
"I really want to thank Flow, because I think it is most timely," said Burrell. "I believe this will help to propel football in Jamaica because, as you know, it is very difficult to get sponsorship in this harsh economic climate."
goals for charity
The 'Flow Goals for Charity' initiative will see $50,000 going to the team that scores the most goals in each round. This money is to be used for a community project of their choice. White explained that they would work with the Premier League Clubs Association (PLCA) and the teams to administer this and make it a project that would lead to the enhancement of a sporting centre. This involvement is valued at $250,000.
Flow will also be continuing its annual clinic for players and coaches. Former Reggae Boy Altimont 'Freddie' Butler will be in charge of this year's clinic, where former national goalkeeper Aaron Lawrence will work with the goalkeepers.
This year's clinic will also involve a sports psychologist, Olivia Rose, who has been doing extensive work with athletes in various sports at the collegiate and national levels.
First round fixtures (home teams named first)
Seaforth vs Holland United
August Town vs Highgate
New Green vs Black Stars
UWI vs Sporting Central
Barbican vs Cavalier
Bucknor United vs Granville
St Georges vs Tivoli
Lewis Strikers vs Reno