Following a total of 76 matches played at three separate venues involving 28 teams, the Veterans in Sports Inc St Lucia International Masters Tournament ended with a grand finale on Monday June 10 at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground.
This tournament was the biggest of its kind in Saint Lucia, with international, regional and local teams participating. The tournament wasn’t only about football. Visiting teams were treated to signature Saint Lucian hospitality and were taken out to enjoy a bit of our nightlife at Rhumba at Gros Islet Friday Night Street Party, and in Rodney Bay.
Pele Masters from the United Sates remained true masters of the game, having won the over 40s and over 50s division. Saint Lucian teams performed well and gave a good account of themselves, especially Gros Islet. They made it through to the over 40s final match where they were eventually defeated by Pele Masters. Three local teams, Marchand Veterans, Anse La Raye Veterans and Soufriere Veterans, placed second, third and fourth respectively in the highly competitive over 40s Plate Division.
Local teams also fared well in the over 50s Plate Division, with Gros Islet Veterans placing first, followed by Caricom Masters, Marchand Veterans and All Blacks Dennery. CEO of Veterans in Sports Inc, Alvin Malaykhan said, “It was a really exciting, hardworking and tiring launch. From all the feedback I got from the players, this was going to be an exciting tournament, and it was. We started Friday with the welcome, followed by matches Saturday, Sunday and Monday. A long tournament—one that I think players loved—but it was very taxing on the body. All in all, I think the teams that came in, all the teams that participated, really enjoyed this tournament. Being the organiser, I was pleased with what I saw and what we executed.”
But not everything went exactly as planned and Malaykhan (also a player for Caricom Masters) admitted there were some hiccups. “In all tournaments there are always little hitches,” he said, “This is our first tournament of this magnitude but I think we can only build on it.” Malaykhan thanked everyone, including the many sponsors and, in particular, Caribbean Alliance St Lucia Insurances, which was a major sponsor. When asked to put a figure on the total expenditure for the tournament, Malaykhan said $300,000. From all indications, it was money well spent.
Following are the results in the various age categories: Over 40s: Winner, Pele Masters winning US$3,500 plus trophies. Second place, Gros Islet Veterans winning US$2,000 plus trophies. Third place, Era Masters (Trinidad) winning US$1,200 plus trophies. Fourth place, SLU Metals Central Vieux Fort winning US$500 plus trophies.
In this division, Rawle Gittens of Pele Masters was named the finals Most Valuable Player (MVP) and the tournament MVP. He was also rewarded for scoring the most goals in the tournament for this age category.
Over 40s Plate: Winner, X Men of Trinidad and Tobago; second place, Marchand Veterans; third place, Anse La Raye Veterans; and fourth place Soufriere Veterans.
Over 50s: Winner, Pele Masters winning US$2,000 plus trophies. Second, X Men winning US$1200 plus trophies. Third place, VSADC winning US$700 plus trophies. Fourth place, Vieux Fort South winning US$300 plus trophies.
In this division, Trevor Isaacs of Pele Masters was the finals MVP and the tournament MVP. The award for most goals in the tournament in this age group went to Bertram Ismael of Caricom Masters.
Over 50s Plate: Winner, Gros Islet Veterans; second place, Caricom Masters; third place, Marchand Veterans; fourth place, All Blacks Dennery.
David Pascal: www.stluciastar.com