Photo: Pok-Ta-Pok press conference
by Charles Gladden
BELIZE CITY, Fri. Jan. 27, 2023
The Association of Pok-Ta-Pok of Central America and the Caribbean held a press conference at the Marion Jones Sports Complex in Belize City on Friday, January 27 to announce that Belize will be hosting the fifth annual Pok-Ta-Pok World Cup tournament with its opening ceremonies at the Orange Walk Multipurpose Sporting Complex on December 8.
The tournament will see the participation of seven countries within the region bringing in two male teams each and also, for the first time, a female team from Belize, Mexico, and Guatemala with six to eight members.
“It’s the time for Belizeans to share the glory and continue our winning ways on our home soil. Belize, we must step forward to give us all the support to fund this magnificent effort,” said Felicita Cantun, spokesperson for Pok-Ta-Pok Belize.
“I am excited, at last, we can get the support from the Ministries. It’s going to be history [in the making], and we hope the teams represent the country well. My team, Ek’ Balam, the champions, they are preparing to win four world cups,” said the Manager of Ek’ Balam, Menalio Novelo.
“… I know it’s not going to be easy, but they are training three times a week and we will try to bring the colors of Belize up again,” he added.
The tournament is getting support from the Ministry of Sports, the National Sports Council, and the Deputy Director of the National Sports Council, Marvin Ottley, as it is aligned with the goals of the council to move the country forward in sports.
“From the get-go, we got on board, and we are trying to see how best we could not only provide facility space, but what we will do in regards to financial support to the games itself. You know sports have two components; it is not only the sporting aspect, but it is sports and tourism. Just from our recent symposium, that was one of [the] main pillars that we said we were going to move sports forward in Belize, and so this does bring a new light of sports and tourism into the country,” he said.
Trophies will be distributed to first, second and third-place teams.
The estimated cost for the tournament is $88,000.