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Young Footballers from Antigua and Trinidad emerge as winners of Flow Ultimate Football Experience

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The Ultimate Young FootballersTrinidad, May 11, 2017 Port-of-Spain –  Thirteen-year-old Ronaldo Flowers of Antigua and 16-year-old Che Benny of Trinidad and Tobago will gain the ultimate football experience as they head to Old Trafford in Manchester, UK to see Manchester United play against Crystal Palace on May 21. The young footballers won the trip after reaching the final round of the Flow Ultimate Football Experience which was hosted by Flow and the Manchester United Football Club in Trinidad.

The event, which took place recently, was the culmination of a series of competitions across Flow’s 15 markets throughout the Caribbean. The finals at President’s Grounds, St Ann’s saw two young footballers from each country vying for the coveted prize. Among the 30 participants, 15 countries were represented – Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda,  Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Cayman, Curacao, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, St. Vincent & Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago and Turks & Caicos.  The players were also each accompanied by a parent or guardian and their coach.

They participated in a two-day skills session with one-on-one training with Manchester United Soccer School Coaches (MUSS), Head Coach Mike Neary and Billy Miller.   This is the second year of collaboration between Flow and MUSS.   Through the Flow Ultimate Football Experience, the two partners gave the young athletes a greater opportunity at success and brought the region closer to one of their favourite sports.

Ultimate WinnerRonaldo Flowers has been given the nickname ‘Flower Power’ on the field.   Originally from Jamaica but lives in Antigua, Flowers was named after the famous footballer. The youngster has been playing the game for the past four years and has in his vision to become a professional player. He plays central attack and midfield positions, which allow him to do what he likes best, score goals.

“It felt like a dream coming true,” Flowers said following the announcement. “The challenge was very difficult because there were other talented players but I played hard.”

Che Benny has been playing football since the age of five when his uncle took him to see St Ann’s Rangers – the team with which he still plays. Team coach Everett Williams, who was also present at the weekend challenge, says Benny was born with a natural talent. He was happy Benny received the exposure playing with other footballers in the Caribbean.

Mission Accomplished“I stepped up to the plate,” Benny said after winning the award.  He also hopes to meet his favourite footballer, the Red Devils’ midfielder Juan Mata when he visits Manchester.  Young Benny also said “football is my passion, I eat, sleep and dream about football and playing the sport professionally.”

Flowers and Benny, along with their coaches, will travel to the world-famous football stadium to see Manchester United’s final Premier League game of the season against Crystal Palace. This VIP experience will also include a visit to the Manchester United Museum and Tour, taking in the history of the club followed by a tour of the iconic stadium.

The two winners received their trophies from top officials present on the stage including Trinidad and Tobago Sports Ambassador and former Manchester United player, Dwight Yorke and Trinidad’s Minister of Sport, Hon. Daryll Williams.  Minister Williams thanked Flow in his remarks for providing this kind of opportunity for young footballers in the region.  Minister Williams reflected “I looked up to Dwight Yorke when I was a young footballer as being an inspiration for Caribbean players however there were no such opportunities like this one from Flow and Manchester United. Through this Flow Ultimate Football Experience you youngsters now have access to some of the best coaches and players in the world of football.”

“I am pleased for them both!” said a very proud Wendy McDonald, Flow’s Senior Director of Communications for the Caribbean, “This is a-once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and definitely the “ultimate football experience” that these two young footballers have been given through Flow’s partnership with Manchester United.  We will continue to follow their journey to Manchester and we hope this will encourage even more aspiring footballers from the Caribbean to be ready for opportunities like this.”

Press Release: Flow

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Caribbean News

No Room for Failure; Leaders report to UN Security Council on Haiti Stabilisation Mission

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Garfield Ekon

Staff Writer

 

July 19, 2024 – The new Haitian Government says its focus is on addressing gang violence and food insecurity, ensuring free elections through constitutional and political reform, and rebuilding public trust in the police.

Prime Minister Garry Conille told the United Nations (UN) Security Council recently  that the newly deployed Kenyan police will be crucial to helping control gangs, and moving toward democratic elections, as he described their initial days in the capital “extremely, extremely positive.

“More than ever Haiti must mobilise all the necessary and available resources to make this transition the last one, a transition that could set it on the path toward peace, security and sustainable development,” the PM told the Council.

With the help of the international police force, PM Conille is tasked with stabilising the country in preparation for democratic elections in February 2026. He said Haiti intends to “redefine our approaches” to build “strong and effective institutions” by the time the police leave Haiti.

In February, gangs launched coordinated attacks on government infrastructure, including roads, prisons, and the Port-au-Prince airport, eventually leading then Prime Minister Ariel Henry to resign in April.

Violence on the island has resulted in the displacement of 580,000 people, more than half of whom are children, according to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The World Food Program reports that more than four million Haitians face food insecurity.

The Prime Minister told the Council that the international police force will require “close coordination and constant communication between all the parties involved to ensure the mistakes of the past are not repeated.”

Meanwhile, head of the Kenya-led international force, tasked with curbing gang violence in Haiti, Godfrey Otunge said on Monday that “there’s no room for failure” and that the United Nations-backed police mission was committed to ensuring democratic elections in the Caribbean nation.

“We have a job that we are committed to do, and we intend to achieve this by working closely with Haitian authorities and local and international partners dedicated to a new Haiti.”

The U.N.-backed mission, to which the United States has pledged over $300 million in support, will have 1000 police officers from Kenya, and will be joined by police from the Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Benin, Chad, and Jamaica.

The force will total 2,500 personnel.

Haitian police chief Normil Rameau also addressed the nation on Monday, saying the U.N.-backed mission is focused on reclaiming all areas from gang control, reinstating police presence in regions lacking authority and assisting Haitians displaced by the gangs to return home.

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Caribbean News

Hurricane Help; Money donated to Jamaica, Barbados, St Vincent & the Grenadines, St Lucia and Grenada

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Garfield Ekon

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, July 19, 2024 – The relief efforts in countries affected by Hurricane Beryl have been bolstered by a donation of US$800,000, from the CAF-Development Bank of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Executive President of the financial institution, Sergio Diaz-Granados said it is hoped that the funds will assist needs during the “critical period” in the immediate aftermath of a “very powerful and destructive Hurricane. The grant serves to address this emergency, through the designated Ministries and official Governmental channels,” in the five countries, he said.

Barbados and Jamaica will each receive $250,000, Grenada, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines will all receive $100,000. The Bank said it is essential that global awareness be elevated about the vulnerability to Climate Change in the Caribbean.

It said “decisive action” needs to be taken to tackle the effects of Climate Change, with emphasis on policies and investments in adaptation, as well as risk management tools, and it will continue to work closely with international partners, to gather data, produce specialised knowledge, innovate, and offer financial solutions to strengthen resilience in the region.

In early July, Hurricane Beryl ripped across the Caribbean, with winds of 150mph tearing roofs from buildings, uprooting trees, and devastating the islands in its path. At least three islands reported that more than 90% of the homes and buildings either destroyed or severely damaged, the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency reported. All three are within the chain of Grenadine Islands, where the hurricane roared into the Caribbean on the southern end of the Windwards, between St. Vincent and Grenada.

Since the devastation, the United Nations (UN) and its partners have launched a US$9 million response plan to provide urgent humanitarian aid to 43,000 people in Grenada and Sanit Vincent and the Grenadines.

UN Resident Coordinator for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Simon Springett said “swift action” is imperative to meet the “pressing needs” of people whose homes and livelihoods have vanished overnight, he said.

Mr. Springett, who visited Grenada and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, after they were struck by Hurricane Beryl, said that the devastation is “immense and heartbreaking,” and he spoke to many families, and It is likely that utilities will take a long time to be restored,” the Resident Coordinator stated.

The response plan will help to both support immediate life-saving and early recovery efforts. The UN and its partners, who are supporting the Governments’ response, have identified shelter, food and health care as being among the top priorities.

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Caribbean News

RBC donates $175,000 to Hurricane Beryl relief efforts

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PORT OF SPAIN — In the wake of Hurricane Beryl, RBC Royal Bank (RY on TSX and NYSE) (“RBC”) and RBC Foundation USA announced a donation of C$175,000 to the Canadian Red Cross and the American Red Cross in support of Caribbean and U.S. relief efforts.

The devastating hurricane impacted several Caribbean and U.S. communities where RBC operates, including Barbados, the Cayman Islands, and Tobago.

RBC’s contribution will support emergency relief efforts, including shelters, hygiene kits, and social assistance to those in the affected communities.

“The intensity of Hurricane Beryl this early in the season is concerning and our thoughts are with the individuals affected in the Caribbean communities as well as in the U.S.,” said Chris Duggan, Head of RBC Caribbean Banking.

“At RBC, we believe it is our responsibility to support our communities in times of need. Our donation to the Red Cross, will provide immediate assistance to those impacted, ensuring they receive the necessary resources to recover and rebuild.”

Commenting on the Caribbean generosity as well as that of our larger RBC community, Duggan added: “The response of the RBC Caribbean Banking employees, as well as that of our larger RBC community has been generous and unhesitating. In response to the disaster, our colleagues are coming together in many unique and incredible ways and donating personally to help those affected.”

Those that would like to support the relief efforts can donate to the Canadian Red Cross at www.redcross.ca or the American Red Cross at www.redcross.org.

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