Each year we look forward to the staging of another Schoolboy Football season. Not only is football one of the most popular team sports in the world, it is a sport that Jamaicans from every community across the island have played and enjoyed in some form or the other.

I reflect for example on the days of corner league football and stuffed drink boxes for footballs. As we reflect on the advances we have made, let us remember that there is so much more to be accomplished. The reality is that sport continues to evolve across the globe from mere play to professional engagement for those who excel to elite levels.

Our High Schools bear the brunt of sport development in Jamaica. This is why so many of us cherish our High School alma maters in much the same way others cherish their Universities. Therefore, as we begin to implement the High School Sport Infrastructure Improvement Project (HSSIIP), I am certain that many of you will in due course begin to compete on better surfaces in your schools.
The pursuit of the Olivier Shield by our young footballers is a remarkable opportunity for us to identify and nurture talent at an early age. It behoves us therefore to continue to marshal the progress of that talent into our national programs.
I congratulate ISSA, the many volunteers, coaches, teachers and all the sponsors who continue to support sport development. I challenge the student athletes to be the best that you can on the field of play. Represent your schools and your families with excellence. Have fun, play well, play fair and dream big dreams.