There is an old adage which goes this way, “First impression is the lasting impression” well Thursday evening press launch at The Harbor Club to usher in the 8th Veterans in Sports Inc Veterans (VIS Inc) Football Tournament which kicks off this weekend at the Phillip Marcellin Grounds in Vieux Fort was the best ever presented.
In matches scheduled for today, Island Masters of Canada takes on Plate champions and three times Gold Cup Champions VSADC.
In the second encounter, Era Masters of Trinidad and Tobago with Earl Jean, Titus Elva and Elijah Joseph in their lineup will play Gold Cup Champions Soufriere in a Regional challenge.
The following day, at the same venue, will see the following teams in action, Vieux Fort North, Micoud Veterans, Laborie Veterans, Labowie Connextions, All Blacks of Dennery, Valley Ledgens and Vieux Fort South.
Thursday evening’s press launch was a glittering one, classy as a number of key individuals associated with the 2018 -2019 tournament in some special way were in attendance.
So unique was the evening, there was no head table this time around, but seated right of the lectern was Elma Gene Issac – Permanent Secretary in the Department of External Affairs, Fabian Louis (Veterans In Sports Inc), Sergin John Baptiste (Saint Lucia Distillers) and Alvin Malaykhan (CEO Veterans In Sports Inc), on the far left were Donavan Williams (Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth Development and Sports), Mc Claude Emmanuel (Flow Representative), Nicole Gajadhar (Caribbean Alliance Insurance Representative), Ed Mathurin (Brand Manager – Mackeson) missing in action was Saint Lucia Football Association President – Lyndon Cooper.
During his welcome remarks, CEO of Veterans In Sports Inc Alvin Malaykhan said, “We have worked hard to get everything right for you and it is a great reward to see that you are enjoying yourselves”.
“I think it is also important to note while we might arrive as strangers, with our friends from Trinidad and Tobago and Canada, I know that before the night is over we will be discovering how much we have in common. A special welcome to Era Masters and Island Masters Touring Teams”. he noted.
Malaykhan said, “We started with the revival of Veterans Football in 2011, where we have seen from eight teams to sixteen and now 22 with playoff match qualifiers becoming a major part of our preliminary stage in determining the final 20 teams to compete for the Grande Prize.
Malaykhan continued, “It’s our eighth year, we are continuing with the expansion of the tournament that has drawn local, regional and international appeal. In June 2016 we hosted the first ever International Veterans Football Invitational, drawing the participation of England National 45 and over, we also had 767 Ledgens of Dominica. We have continued with our support of teams wishing to take part in Barbados International Masters Football Festival. In 2015 we were able to fully fund Caricom Masters participation and in 2018 offered some support to the Gros Islet Veterans Football Team”.
We have continued with the sponsorship of sporting equipment for various teams and individuals, sponsorship of trophies for the Gros Islet Domestic Cricket League and continuing assistance in the development of young athletes such as Johnnel Eugene.
Community activities have also been at the forefront of VISI development plans.
According to the CEO, “This year we were able to launch our first ever Kick For a Cure in aid of a cancer patient, all done in partnership with Caribbean Alliance and the participating teams of the veterans football tournament. We have slated this event on the Veterans Football Calendar and it will be held every 1st August moving forward”.