Tamara Bailey, Gleaner Writer
Patrick Town, Manchester:What began as a dream for one man has now become a reality for several. The communities of Patrick Town and surrounding areas in Manchester have been given renewed hope and vision with the initiation by a community visionary of the 'Right Kicks' football competition.
Owner and operator of the Right Vibes Grocery Shop and Bar in the community, Junior Wright, popularly called 'Andy', saw the need to initiate the event for community upliftment and progress.
"I always thought about having such an event, enuh. I have always dreamed of it, even before other persons made an attempt to do something similar. The community needs something like this, and I wanted it to be done on a bigger scale, not the mediocre ting that use to happen before," he said.
The competition has 10 teams from in and around the adjoining communities of Farm District, Windsor Forest district, Patrick Town district and Green Pond district. Each Sunday, three matches are played, which sees six teams playing each week. As the competition winds down, teams will be eliminated and the final three will be left standing.
The winning team will receive $25,000; the runner-up team $15, 000, which the councillor of the division, Anthony Bryce, will donate; and the third-place team will receive $10,000.
Wright also mentioned consolation prizes such as most goals scored and possibly most disciplined team that will be made to the respective teams.
Captain for the Windsor Forest Football team, Kevin Mitchell, told Rural Xpress of the potency of the initiative.
"It's a good link between the communities. You get the opportunity to network and build relationships with others. It's also great for community growth and enhancement," he said.
The sentiment for development of the underdeveloped communities and the need for recognition were echoed by several of the residents present.
"The community needs more sporting events like these so as to help keep the young people focused," said Mr Marshall, member of the Patrick Town community.
"We need help, man, a lot more help, cause when we have these tings, it keeps peace in the communities and ban di violence. We need some netball matches for the girls now," said Dave Witter.
Scores of residents turn out every Sunday not only for the matches, but for the rocking music provided by sponsors Red Stripe; the local cuisine of jerked chicken back; and as one resident rightfully puts it, "Di likkle vibe weh build afta di match".
"It's really something to look forward to, trust me, man. It entertaining and I really hope it continues to grow for the coming years," said Shawn-Kaye Gowan.
According to Wright's daughter, Nyzinca, the family business has achieved a big accomplishment with this venture.
"It not only highlights the talented footballers that we have in the area, but it also gives singers a chance to show off their skills with the sing-off competition that we have after the matches."
After each match, disc jockeys, singers, and persons versed in the art of dribbling, scoring, and performing other football skills are given the platform to showcase their talents with the opportunity of later winning impressive prizes from the bar.
organisers and supporters are hoping this optimism will evoke in potential sponsors the desire to get involved in community growth.