The Sangachal Terminal Expansion Project (STEP) launched on June 22 the Third Azerbaijan School Football Tournament on behalf of the partners in the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG), Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC), Shah Deniz and South Caucasus Pipeline (SCP) projects.
The tournament is believed to be the biggest of this kind in the Caspian region as it has brought together 82 teams. The number of participants is about 820 children aged between 12 and 16 from all the 29 schools located in the Garadagh district. In addition, there are 82 school teachers involved as coaches and a large number of other people supporting the event as referees, doctors/nurses, catering services, coordinators who bring the total number of people involved to more than 1000.
Along with the partners of the projects operated by BP, 30 other sponsoring organizations and individuals are supporting the 82 teams.
The teams are divided into three age groups (under 12, 14 and 16), with the number of teams in each age group varying between 20 and 22. The teams in each age qualification are competing in four groups making the total number of games within the tournament 152.
The tournament started simultaneously in the sports facilities located in the Sahil, Umid and Gobustan settlements in the Garadagh district, as well as in the Sangachal Terminal’s two sports grounds. In addition, the terminal has arranged some repair works in preparation for the tournament and has supplied the participants with temporary offices, basic facilities and necessary materials. Altogether the tournament is using six sports facilities within the district.
Semi-finals and finals will be held in the Olympic Complex in Lokbatan from 9:00 to 15:00 on Monday June 26, 2006. This will be followed by an official award presentation ceremony.
The tournament is organized by the Sangachal Terminal in collaboration with the Garadagh Executive Power and a group of other companies/sponsors including AA Services, Azfen, Tekfen, BonAccordCaspian, Bos Shelf, Cape, Celtic Boys, Entrepose Contracting, ESS, Fircroft, Gocers, Glasgow Rangers, GSI, Guy Badger, KBR, Kentech, Moody International , Nano Farms, Petrochem Group, Project Services dept, R&M Caspian, Rider Hunt Internatioanl, RIGBLAST, Rolls Royce, Swift, Tractebel, TYCO Eng. Services.
Admission to all games is free.
Jacobus Nieuwenhuijze, Project Director for the Sangachal Terminal Expansion Programme (STEP), who personally leads this initiative, says: “The initiative, which we launched two years ago to bring the children of the entire Garadagh district together, has now turned into the biggest annual sporting event in the Caspian region - the number of participating teams and schools and sponsoring organizations and individuals is growing from year to year. The event is also gaining popularity, which shows that what you need is to help and provide an opportunity - the rest will be done by children themselves, their teachers and parents. Our role and that of other sponsors in this event is to provide an opportunity and we are glad that this opportunity has been taken by the communities with enthusiasm. We are hopeful that the initiative will continue to attract attention to the importance of sports activities in bringing up a morally and physically healthy generation for Azerbaijan.”
Tamam Bayatly at BP’s Press Office in Baku, telephone: 994 (0) 12 599 4557