Ryon Jones, Gleaner Writer
Football's unifying effect was once again put to the test and has passed with flying colours, as the most popular global sport has been used to bring together warring factions in the Cassava Piece community.
The second in a series of football matches will be played today at the Constant Spring Junior High School playing field to celebrate the first anniversary of the education centre which was established in the area. The tournament is slated to kick off at 9.30 a.m. and will be followed by a community dance, which is set to last until 2:00 the following morning.
The football tournament will see 12 six-a-side teams matching their skills in a knockout tournament. Some of the teams will hail from areas such as Cassava Piece, Mannings Hill Road, Big Yard and Whitehall Avenue.
The victorious team will pocket $10,000 and cop the championship trophy. All the team members from the first and second-place teams will receive medals.
Unity in the community
"We are looking to highlight the unity in the community with a great football match and bring the divides together," Virginia Chin, administration manager of the education centre, shared. "We have eight to 10 different teams and they will play under the theme 'Unity for a cause'. We are using the football to keep them (community members) together without fight and shooting," she added.
The first tournament was staged in February 2011 and was deemed an overwhelming success, hence it was decided to make it the main unifying tool.
A new room has been added to the education centre and the German Ambassador to Jamaica, Josef Beck, will undertake the symbolic ribbon-cutting at a date to be announced.
The education centre was established by Help Establish Library Projects Limited in Jamaica, which was formed by German nationals Birte Timm and Hilmar Keding. The group seeks to establish and support education centres and libraries in deprived communities in Jamaica.
"We open from Tuesday to Saturday, but it is going to be open week this coming week, and we are inviting especially corporate Jamaica to come to open house and see the work we are doing up here at Cassava Piece," Chin highlighted.