Starworld Strikers Football Club, based in San Fernando, have initiated a novel programme to promote football at the community level.
The newest addition to the Professional League, Starworld Strikers will today embark on a “School Adoption Plan” in which students will be able to develop a link with the team and reap rich benefits.
“The relationship would enable the participating schools and students to get a range of attractive incentives including coaching assistance and free admittance at Pro League games,” said Ria Ali, project manager.
The management/finance graduate of the University of the West Indies (St Augustine) is being assisted by Communication Manager of Strikers, Marissa Jugmohan, whose specialty is management of information systems.
A support staff to implement the programme has been sourced and will include registered players, parents, relatives and other interested parties.
Ali said the “School Adoption Programme” is one way the game can develop from the grassroot level which will facilitate its national growth and also help the club grow.
The schools initially selected for the project are Grant Memorial Presbyterian School whose principal is the very recently controversial Lennox Sirjusingh; and Gasparillo Primary Government School.
Grant Memorial was selected, Ali said, because of its close proximity to Starworld Strikers and its home ground and because Sirjusingh has a long history of involvement in the sport.
He has served as a FIFA Badge referee and was a two-time president of the Southern Football Association and is extremely interested in developing the potential of his charges and increasing the opportunities available to them.
Grant Memorial will participate in the district football competitions for the first time this year fielding both boys and girls teams.
Ali said Gasparillo has been a fixture on the south football scene winning the Victoria district competition for many years and also has the distinction of their principal serving as a match commissioner in the Pro League.
The project also has the blessing of the SFA whose general secretary has indicated that the “School Adoption Programme” may be included in the SFA’s strategic plan next year.
She also has suggested that each member club of the SFA adopt a school within their area to enhance the overall objectives of planners.
Ali said the project will be first sold to the students by officials of Starworld Strikers using video presentations and display booths on the school compound. Students will also be issued identification cards entitling them to the benefits of the programme she said.
Apart from coaching assistance, participants in the programme will also stand to benefit from physical education classes; discounts at football camps and clinics hosted by Starworld Strikers; free admittance at Strikers games; door prizes at the Starworld games; free entry and participation on the club’s activities.