The St. Lucia Football Association (SLFA) has responded positively to calls for involvement in school football.
Recently, The SLFA launched an Adopt-A-School Programme which involves and includes secondary schools from across the island. The programme now forms a major part of the youth development programme of the SLFA going forward.
The SLFA has made $16,000 available for schools participating in the programme specifically for football development, monies that are critical especially considering the financial strain these institutions face with executing their sports programmes.
For some time now calls have been coming in for the SLFA’s involvement in schools’ football and President Lyndon Cooper says it is an opportune time to rekindle interest in the sport at the secondary school level. He is particularly confident that this initiative will serve to positively affect football at the senior level in the coming years. The island is currently engaged in a football competition amongst secondary schools across the island after a long hiatus spanning some three years.
This year’s tournament is being played at five venues across the island namely The Sab, Dennery Technical Center, Dennery Astro Turf, Soufriere Mini Stadium and the Phillip Marcellin Ground. The tournament is expected to conclude during the second week of December 2022.
Secondary Schools officials have lauded the involvement of the SLFA’s governing body. They believe that support of this nature and the involvement of local businesses and the community generally will make all the difference in realizing the national goal, both at the junior and senior levels. While they welcomed financial support, school officials are hoping that this initiative will remain, especially after the support the schools received during this year’s tournament.
The President of the local football association, speaking on upcoming initiatives, has refused to rule out involvement in a primary school component to the annual calendar of events.
President Cooper, who is hosting San Marino in the latest round of senior friendly matches, believes football must be introduced to kids at the earliest to ensure proper development of junior football and to secure proper technical personnel for the senior divisions. San Marino is scheduled to play two games while on island, Thursday November 17th, and Sunday November 20th where crowd support is expected to be better than in recent times.