The annual football and netball competitions for teachers organized by the SLTU will commence this Friday September at venues in the north and south. The Zonal Football kicks off with the North and West Zones meeting at the SAB Sporting Facility in Castries at 4:30pm, while the East and South zones clash at the Dames Playing Field near Sandy Beach in Vieux-Fort. Chairman of the Sports, Cultural and Social Committee of the SLTU, Nigel Mitchel, expects maximum participation from teachers in all of the zones and is confident that the games will once again be hosted in a festive, friendly but competitive manner. Hall said: “The organizing committee has been meeting since July and a number of new initiatives and incentives will be offered to both players and supporters this year. These activities mark the commencement of celebrations for Teachers Week in October and the idea is to make all teachers feel truly appreciated while engaging in healthy, stress relieving exercise.” Captain Neil Fontenelle of the defending football champions, the North Zone, is confident that his team will retain their title despite the fact that the other zones have added some new exciting talent and have been training hard. “I am aware that the other zones have been improving steadily over the years,” said Fontenelle, “the quality of their football is very good and they have some excellent players. However, our strength is our mix of youthful and experienced players who have taken an oath not to surrender our title.” The events also feature some of the best netball talent on island, as the female teachers will feature in a number of matches at venues close to the football on the same day. Featuring several former and current national players in the likes of Roxanne Snyder, Deselva Florton, Marvel Modeste and Michel Rogers, to name a few, this will also assist the SLTU in its netball team’s preparation ahead of the 2012 Inter Commercial House Netball Championship. The competitions will climax with the grand finals during Teachers Week in October.