The recent one-day first edition of 'My Pekin' Soccer Tournament, involving kids ages 6-7 in one category and ages 8-9 in another, has claimed the attention of the community and it is asking for more and cannot wait for next year's edition.
The tournament, held on February 2, brought 12 teams from both groups. The theme was 'Da Our Own Time Now' and as the president and chief executive officer of DonamiSports, Doc Lawson, was so overwhelmed and excited, he could see the success of the venture.
Lawson said grassroots football level is where skills and discipline are planted and, at that level, kids can be helped to adjust their thinking on what is fair and what is not.
West Point Kru Town Beach FC was one of the teams
He said talents are also built and encouraged from that age. "The enjoyment of the game is essential and it affords the kids the chance to learn more on what to expect the more they remain with the game," he said.
He said, "Whenever there is a tournament the kids in the ages we are working with are not counted and so, for once, this tournament is for them."
And truly it was for them as they assembled at the West Points soccer pitch and engaged each other. After the 12 teams were selected, when the day of the tournament came, a good number of kids came ready to participate in the tournament.
The impact of the tournament has had some effects on the community. "The day of the tournament, the kids in their neat uniforms paraded through the main street of West Point behind a huge motorbike," a resident said.
He added, "It was the first of its kind as the big motorbike led the kids to the sports pitch. It was just nice."
In West Point, a father whose son participated in the tournament has this to say: "We want to thank Doc Lawson and his sponsors for the tournament and we will be looking forward to it next year. My son came home with a medal and he loves it very much."
The first annual tournament was sponsored by Vision Collaborators Incorporated whose chief executive officer, John P. Cooper, expressed his love for kids, which was the reason he decided to work along with DonamiSports and the YMCA-Liberia for the tournament.
Another participating team in the tournament
Vision Collaborators Incorporated is an implementing partner of The Last Well; a United States' based not for profit Christian organization, which Doc Lawson is vice president for operations. The Last Well's mission is to provide access to safe drinking water for the entire nation of Liberia and offer the gospel to every community by the year 2020.
Among the clubs that took part in the tournament were Grace FC, Young Madrid FC, CYP FC, West Point Young Stars, Princess FC, Diamond FC, Young Barcelona FC, Faith FC, Ozil United FC, Prince FC, Kru Beach FC, No Bad Day FC, among others.