If Tuesday’s grand launch of the 11th Blackheart Football Tournament at the Beausejour Cricket Ground Players Pavilion is an indication of things to come, then this year’s tournament promises to be bigger and better than ever. The tournament is under the title sponsor Bizz’ up.
In attendance at this impressive affair were officials with Blackheart, sponsors, and representatives from the various teams taking part in the competition. Among the special guests were Director of Youth and Sports, Victor Reid; President of the St Lucia Football Association, Lyndon Cooper and Managing Director of Du Boulay’s Bottling Company Limited, Dunstan Du Boulay who along with associates made a surprise announcement.
During his brief remarks Cooper said “the SLFA is delighted to be associated with Blackheart and the association wants to continue with the development of football in this country.”
He went on to pledge his commitment unconditionally to the tournament and is counting on teams taking part; enhancing the development of football in St Lucia.
LIME Corporate Communications Officer, Terry Finisterre; Guinness Brand Manager, Sylvester Henry; Bizz’ up Representative, and Nicola Cozier followed with brief remarks.
Reid views Blackheart as a meaningful competition which can be used as a stepping stone to moving forward. He commended the sponsors for supporting the tournament despite tough economic times.
Reid applauded the SLFA for sanctioning and embracing this tournament when they could easily have viewed Blackheart as bitter rivals.
General Manager of Du Boulay’s Bottling Company Limited, Richard Du Boulay made a big announcement which can only heighten interest in this year’s tournament. He told the audience that the FIFA World Cup Football Trophy will be displayed in St Lucia for viewing. He went on to say that the winner of the Blackheart Football Tournament will play an exhibition match against a Coca-Cola 11 side. The game which is free of charge is schedule to take place October 21 at the Beausejour Cricket Ground.
Du Boulay congratulated Blackheart for staging a fantastic and successful tournament for several years and said “Du Boulay’s Bottling Company and the Coca-Cola team will be more significantly associated with your event in the coming years.”
Despite the success of this competition, CEO of Blackheart Productions, David “Shakes” Christopher, is far from satisfied. He called on the relevant authorities to take this tournament to the next level “for the betterment of football, the betterment of the country, FIFA, betterment of our children and sponsors who have been injecting money into this tournament.”
Christopher called on the administrators of football especially those in the various communities to work together as a family. While attending the various warm up games leading up to the tournament, he was disappointed with the preparation of some teams and said “it was the most dismal year because some of the most aggressive teams were struggling to put a squad together.”
Following his remarks, the long awaited tournament fixture draw involving the 16 teams took centre stage.
The Blackheart Knockout Tournament kicks off today (Saturday) at the Beausejour
Cricket Ground, with a march pass and opening ceremony at 4 p.m. The opening eremony will be followed by a quarter-final match in the Royal Club SLFA Under-20 Inter-District quarter final between Vieux Fort North and Anse La Raye. After
that is the opening game of Blackheart with Vieux Fort South coming up against Roseau Valley followed by Canaries vs Babonneau.
On Sunday from 3 p.m. in the SLFA Under-20 Inter-District quarter finals Central Castries entertains Mabouya Valley. Blackheart football action continues at 5 p.m. with Soufriere facing South Castries and at 7 p.m. it’s Micoud against Desruisseaux.