SLFA Girls Fiesta-Another Exuberant Display!

Coaches, coordinators and players gather for a photo-opportunity at the Technical Centre during the Girls Football Fiesta program.
Coaches, coordinators and players gather for a photo-opportunity at the Technical Centre during the Girls Football Fiesta program.

More than 40 young and enthusiastic girls recently completed an enthralling Saint Lucia Football Association (SLFA) Inc. Girls Football Fiesta, at the Technical Centre, in Grand Riviere.

This latter development served as a follow up to a similar session undertaken by the SLFA- as part of last November’s Women Football Month activities; with the underlying theme and tagline ‘Let Them Play’.

Speaking on the outcome of the event, an SLFA official stated that, “following the talent showcase which was held last year,   one has seen quite a lot of improvement in the skill development of the young talent on display.”

The official added, “The SLFA Inc. is quite satisfied by the strides being taken in the development of girls football on the island and looks forward to the staging of the Girls Under-14 competition pretty soon.”

The participants were grouped into four respective teams – two emanating from the North, and one each from Roseau and the Southern region.

During the sessions, the teams got involved in nine-a-side games with roll on and roll off substitution that provided much fun and enjoyment to the young players.

Christopher Duncan, coordinator of the Northern Zone spoke to the media about the merits and objectives of the activity.

He explained that the Northern Zone consist of La Clery, Marchand and Castries. “We are in the second segment of an initiative to get young girls to play football – ‘Let Them Play’- the first part of this exercise took place …last year , at Marigot , and we are here at the Gold Project (Technical Centre) to culminate this aspect of it,” said Duncan.

The league coordinator said the young athletes were brought together to train and play some small-sided games, which were “filled with fun and excitement and a lot of talent came up …and the girls displayed some of the training that they got and all together it made for a good reflection but also a projection of where football for girls can go to.”

Duncan adds this is an initiative the SLFA is putting forward. He described the venture “as a precursor to inviting girls and demonstrating to them that it’s not only a boys’ game and that girls can play football also.”

Speaking in glowing terms on the nexus of this exercise between the coaches, coordinators and girls, he asserted: “It was a wonderful testament of how if we show the girls about what football is, they’ll get into it, they’ll love it and they will play football.”

Duncan also acknowledged the support from the parents and coaches, stating “that was the magnificent part of it”.

He continued, “The parents came out and the coaches from the different leagues came out to support the coordinators and it was well rounded, in terms of getting equipment and the children ready for the game and that went very well.

“So we are thankful for the support and we encourage even more parents to come forward and ‘Let Girls Play Football’… because girls can play football.”

Diana Emmanuel, coordinator of the Western Zone football team remarked that she was quite pleased with the venture, since “…it’s a very good initiative for the girls …since the opportunities are usually there for the males, so I am very excited to be part of the team assisting the girls. So, my wish for them is that they will end up on the national team and they would go as far as they can with the game of football.”

Describing the event as a most noteworthy venture, SLFA Grassroots and Youth Coordinator Denis Emmanuel said, the participating teams played a total of three games each and acknowledged the input of the coaches, coordinators and the SLFA “for bringing those kids out here.”

In the meantime, the SLFA Inc. recently held another “very successful” training session for its up and coming referees at the Technical Centre in Grande Riviere.

The day’s event commenced with the referees going through the paces in a daunting physical session. And following the first session, the referees were tasked to officiate at the Girls Fiesta as part of their practical assignment.

In the latter session, the referees participated in the theoretical exercise at the Grande Riviere Secondary School to conclude the day’s activity.

The SLFA’s Inc. Referees Education Officer, Kevin Antoine commented that he was satisfied with the Day’s activity as the drive continues to strengthen the Referees’ pool.

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