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Help us keep the dream of Avenues players alive

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01.APR.10

Editor: I write to you on a matter of sports, in particular football (soccer).

In SVG we consider soccer the game of the people.

Yes, football is without a doubt is the game of the people, the game of the grassroots.{{more}}

Football is by far the most economical team sport to play. Twenty-two young men can easily occupy themselves for up to four hours per day on just one game. Two hours to play and two hours to argue about what happened and what should have happened.

Avenues United is moving to the next round of the CFU Club Championship, and has stepped up its pedigree in the annals of Caribbean football. We will have to work harder from here onwards to make a bigger success of this outing. It is not unusual for teams of the OECS sub region to come out of game losing by double digits score lines- check the records. We have done okay, given that we are part timers who practice a lot on a concrete netball court. If you notice the style of play, it indicates the guys are accustomed to lots of short passes, while covering little ground.

In hosting Group C of the competition and qualifying Avenues United has made a bold statement to the football loving public of SVG that we are ready to take on the challenge. Our team is very young and once they stay as a unit they will be a force to be reckoned with.

Can we do this alone? No my people! Avenues United cannot do this alone. In financial terms we are at the edge. We are close to EC$47,000 in the red and still need another EC$54,000 to travel to Puerto Rico. Operating at this level is not cheap. Whilst we tried other events to raise funds, our biggest revenue earner was the gate receipts of the three nights. It was 6 games, 540 minutes of intense football, 38 goals at a rate of 1 goal every 14 minutes; that is intense entertainment. We charge USD$3.73 per person for two games or USD$1.86 per game. I guess this is the reason it is the game of the grass roots, but the story being told is that, if we are to operate at the regional level the public might have to just give a little more by way of gate fees to make sense for local teams to participate.

My last point is to the corporate community. Whilst hope is the food upon which the team feeds- nothing is wrong with identifying with success and keeping this hope alive; that someone is willing to take a chance with the youths of the ghetto. The cycle is very vicious- poor circumstances, single parent homes, no positive role model, the presence of abuse of all kinds and more often than not you will be surprise what a helping hand can do to these youths. Take a chance somebody as you may be the one to effect much needed positive changes in the lives of these youths.

Being aware of the critical importance of the success of this venture, we have decided to employ several strategies for realizing the necessary finances. These include staging fund-raising activities as well as requesting the support of cooperate SVG and individuals.

To this end, we have sent out letters asking for support for individual players, not the whole team for some team members have seen it fit to fund their own way. We have broken the task into bits to make it more manageable for would be supporters. We are looking forward to SVG keeping the dreams of these youths alive. We are confident that well -intentioned VINCENTIANS will stand up and be counted just as the team stood up in the face of adversity to qualify for the second phase of this prestigious competition.

Marlon Stevenson

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