The Samsung Cup – Football for the kiddies

I was invited to the launch of the 2nd Annual Samsung Cup recently and wasn’t sure that it quite fit in with the audience of my blog until I learned that the Samsung Cup was football for the kiddies, i.e. Primary and Prep Schools. A mom of an overactive 4yo girl, I went along to hear what the big hoopla was about. It seemed quite a big fanfare for kiddie football (soccer to my American friends) but then I reminded myself that the kids are our future and if more entities saw the need for developing our children from this early age, we might have a different Jamaica being bred.

Samsung Cup Jamaica
Patricia Laufer, Marketing Manager for Samsung Electronics Latin America with members of last year’s Samsung Cup winning team from Holy Family Primary School

From a press release coming out of the event:

Keeping its commitment to the Jamaican community, Samsung Electronics initiated its second annual football tournament, the 2014 Samsung Cup with another opening ceremony in the Montego Bay recently, following a similar event at UTech football field in Kingston the week prior. This tournament brings together youth soccer teams from primary and preparatory schools, including girls this year, in Jamaica to face off in a series of games that will culminate in the finals, to be held on June 7 at the University of Technology football field. Samsung Cup consists of 56 school teams composed of 14 players, ages eight to 11, for a total of 784 players, and is divided between Kingston and Montego Bay regions, each further sub-divided into four zones with seven teams per zone (A-D).

This year’s champions will receive USD$10,000 worth of Samsung products to prepare a media room for their school, while the region winners will be awarded trophies and medals. Individual prizes will also be awarded to the MVPs of both region finals as well as the all-island finals. Additionally, the Usain Bolt Foundation has donated all the footballs to be used in the matches throughout the tournament, and each player on the teams that make it to the semi-finals round will receive their own Usain Bolt football.

I was thrilled to hear of the inclusion of girls because football is something I wanted to get my little munchkin involved in next year. She has A LOT of energy to expend and I want her to get involved in sports. All sport, any sport, not just the traditional girly sports. She’s taken an interest in football and tennis and I’m looking forward to getting her more involved.

Honourable Julian Robinson, Minister of State, helps to select the members of the different zones at the launch. He shares one of the random selections with Mr. Young Dae Sin, Managing Director of Samsung Electronics, Latin America while a Samsung hostess looks on.

I listened keenly for the name of munchkin’s school to be called but they were not. I briefly mentioned this to a member of the team who told me that they were a part of the competition last year so who knows why they didn’t sign on again. She shared with me how heartbroken some of the little youngsters are when they lose, I can just imagine the “cowbawling” as munchkin absolutely hates to lose! It’s a good lesson for them, we can’t always win at everything!

Mr. Young Dae Sin with former Jamaican National Football Player Ricardo “Bibi” Gardener, spokesperson for the Samsung Cup and Patricia Laufer display the Sasung Cup trophy and one of the Usain Bolt Foundation donated footballs.

It’s a fantastic initiative and I’m happy to see such a mega-corporation getting involved in what I consider local grassroots activities. Football is the most popular sport in the world, one that every boy pickney play in Jamaica and one that can keep them off the streets and help them to cultivate their talent and good sportsmanship qualities like teamwork and perseverance that will take them through life. I’m also happy to see the joining of both primary and prep schools in one competition, helping to eradicate classism and separation from early and the inclusion of girls. Hooray Samsung!

Now, if only I had won that S5! My poor S3 is hanging on for dear life -__-

What do you think of this initiative?


Photos by Infuzion. 

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