That's what friends are for ... Stewart Industrial sponsors St Catherine FA youth programme
Stewart Industrial general manager James Lechler said his friendship with St Catherine Football Association president Peter Reid pushed him to rescue the association's youth programme with a $2.4 million sponsorship package.
"We made small financial contributions to the St Catherine FA, but this is the first time as sponsors," Lechler told STAR Sports not long after the St Catherine FA announced that their Under 20 programme had found a sponsor.
"I also have friends in Portmore and employees in Spanish Town, so we decided to sponsor the youth programmes. At the end we will do a review. We see football as a way to get the youth organised in order to turn away from negative things," Lechler added.
At least one team in the parish Portmore United, had requested permission to participate in another parish's league after the failure of the St Catherine FA to find a sponsor for their own.
Portmore was initially granted permission by the Kingston and St Andrew Football Association to participate out of their parish but decided to withdraw following strenuous objections from several Corporate Area clubs.
Now, Portmore along with 17 other clubs will get the chance to play in the SCFA Under-20 league. The Stewart Industrial/SCFA U-20 is set to start on April 28 and end on June 17.
The company's investment of $1.2 million per year will also go towards sponsorship of the Under-17, Under-15 and Under-13 leagues this year.
"This means we can do much more with our youth programme," Reid said.