The 13th edition of the David “Wagga” Hunt (DWH) Football Classic will take place Saturday August 12, 2023, starting at 2:00 p.m., with an exciting triple-header at the Mona Bowl, UWI, located in St. Andrew Jamaica. The featured game of the afternoon for the DWH trophy, will be the anticipated annual match-up between the Manning Cup teams of Kingston College (KC) and Calabar High School (C’bar). The game will be preceded by the always competitive masters’ and KSAFA league face-offs. In the first game, Shortwood United FC (2023 KSAFA Major League Semi-Finalist) will play JDF (2023 KSAFA Major League Winner) in what should be a scintillating game followed by the masters’ game with Pelicans FC against the Kingston Commissioners.
The MVP of the Manning Cup game will be presented with the Paulette C. Rhoden trophy. The late Mrs. Rhoden was the former patron of the event. This year’s patron is Ambassador Stewart Stephenson, Past-President of KSAFA.
A special tribute to honour the life of the late Bancroft “Banky” Gordon who passed suddenly, in Jamaica recently, will be part of the afternoon’s proceedings. Gordon was a former Excelsior High School Manning Cup player who went on to national duties and eventually on scholarship to Howard University where he excelled academically and on the field. A Harvard trained Lawyer by profession, Gordon was also known as a great humanitarian and passionate mentor to many. A plaque in his honour will be presented to Shortwood United FC for which he was a standout player. His family will be presented with a plaque from the foundation to honour his exemplary life.
The football classic is a commemorative event and fundraiser put on by the David “Wagga” Hunt Scholarship Foundation which provides scholarships to deserving students at both schools. It was established in 2009 to honour Hunt’s legacy; a KC alumnus who is credited with reviving the sport at C’bar, coaching them in 2005 to achieve their first Manning Cup title in 28 years and going on to win the coveted Olivier Shield title. The Classic has positively impacted the relationship of two rival schools through the promotion of friendly rivalry and a culture of respect. Hunt’s mantra for the KC/C’bar rivalry was, “we can be rivals but not enemies.” His immeasurable impact spans several sporting disciplines, including track and field. He pioneered the Champs Preview Magazine; an annual publication considered the “local bible” which chronicled the exploits of the hundreds of athletes competing at the annual ISSA High School Boys & Girls Championships.
“This coming school year, 2023-2024 will mark the 15th year of the DWH Scholarship Foundation and I am extremely pleased with our accomplishments and progress we have made since inception,” said Christopher Hunt, the younger brother of David and Co-Chair of the Washington, DC, based foundation. “Selfishly, I would want my brother to be alive, however, I am truly proud of his legacy and the positive impact of his life on our scholarship recipients.” He disclosed that the annual disbursement per recipient will be increased from J$100,000 to J$150,000 starting this coming school year, 2023-2024. Additionally, each school will receive a grant of J$500,000 towards a project of their choice.
Jamaica-based, Co-Chair Arnold “Dullo” McDonald and Chair of the Organizing Committee of the Wagga Hunt Football Classic expressed thanks to the faithful supporters over the years. “We are delighted that we can present the full event after being impacted by Covid over the past three years,” he said. “We look forward to a wonderful turnout, as we host an entertaining and enjoyable afternoon of football in memory of a great Jamaican and for the worthy cause of supporting our deserving scholarship recipients who strive to better themselves for a successful future.”
Corporate donors that have supported the foundation include, VM Group (on board since DWH Foundation’s inception), Supreme Ventures Limited, Proven Wealth, and the Gibson McCook Relay and overseas sponsors, GraceKennedy Foods (USA), Steuart Foundation, Kaiser Permanente, and Spencer Financial.
The public is being invited to come out for an afternoon of fun and camaraderie. Contribution is J$1,000 for adults and J$500 for students with ID.
About the David “Wagga” Hunt Football Classic & Foundation
The David “Wagga” Hunt Football Classic was established in 2009 to honour the legacy of football coach and sport administrator extraordinaire David “Wagga” Hunt. Hunt, an alumnus of Kingston College, coached Calabar High School to its first Manning Cup Victory in 28 years in 2005, resurrecting its ailing football program. He was coach of Meadhaven United FC and the National U17 Team. Following Hunt’s untimely passing in 2007 his family and a group of friends established The David “Wagga” Hunt Scholarship Foundation in his name to provide scholarships for deserving students of both schools who need financial assistance. The David “Wagga” Hunt Football Classic is one of its fundraising events.
Photo Credit, Dwayne Richards, Yardie Sports