The VMBS Group delivered on their promise to provide Harbour View FC with a “sweet surprise” should they win the final of the Jamaica Premier League with a hand full of treats on Thursday evening.

At a function held at the company’s head office on Half-Way-Tree Road, president and CEO Courtney Campbell disclosed the gifts that the champions would receive.

For winning the championship final against Dunbeholden FC 6-5 on penalties after a 1-1 full- and extra-time draw, the Stars of the East received a bonus cheque of $700,000.

Additionally, the players will each be receiving a pension fund account that will be set up for them.

On top of those two monetary gifts, the players are set to benefit from a trip overseas to play as guests in a football tournament next month.

“A VM Fun Day [will] be held in the Bronx in New York on August 27. It will involve a six-a-side competition as well as the champions of Jamaica playing an all-star New York team. So, start to pack your bags and ensure that you are ready…because you will be representing overseas in August,” Campbell announced to loud cheers.

Head coach of Harbour View Ludlow Bernard spoke on behalf of the club and the players and expressed gratitude on being rewarded so handsomely for their performance this season.

“We express our sincerest gratitude and satisfaction to the Victoria Mutual Group for coming onboard in our time of need during the course of the season and for sticking with us.”

He also lauded VM for remaining committed when the chips were down during the mid-part of the season.

“Although being in sixth position for a prolonged period, you were still ever so present and ever so faithful to our cause and at the end you truly deserved to be there on the victor’s podium with us and I want to thank Victoria Mutual for, in a true way, coming onboard.”

Bernard believes that the players can benefit significantly from the pension fund being provided for them and thanked VM for that gesture in particular.

“Also, I want to say thanks for the opportunities that were provided, namely, the pension fund which I think is a very, very significant project.”

Conroy Rose, CEO of VM Pensions, the brain behind providing the players with the pension fund, explained why he thought it was important, drawing on previous experiences with a retired national football player.

“I used to play football and I genuinely care about the footballers. I had an experience where a national player, I can recall, came to me and the player never had a cent, after national life. The player didn’t even think about pension, and it was really a sad state.

“Because of that, when we got involved with Harbour View, I said that I want to help to transform lives. Less than 13 per cent of the Jamaica working population contribute, so it’s a national problem. That is why we decided that we are going to give each player a start in terms of pensions.”

Bernard who won his first title as a premier league coach, which he added to the two schoolboy football titles won earlier this year, believes that the trip overseas will be vital to both the club and the players.

“In terms of providing exposure for the Harbour View Football Club, to travel to North America to play…this certainly will provide a source of exposure and travel experience for our young group, something I know they will really look forward to.”

In the end, he thanked VM for their generosity towards the players and the club who were winning the league for the first time since 2013.

“We have been the recipients of some very good rewards and for that we are truly grateful,” he concluded.

Source: Jamaica Observer