Women’s football in the spotlight

The Barbados Football Association is creating endless opportunities for the development of women’s football.

This time they have introduced the first ever FIFA administration course.

A total of 31 participants inclusive of 27 females and four males attended yesterday’s opening ceremony held at the Barbados Olympic Association where FIFA instructor Ebru Koksal spoke, along with BFA general secretary Edwyn Wood and chairman of the Women’s Committee, Nicole Puckerin.

Participants of the Women’s Football Development FIFA Administration Course along with FIFA representative Ebru Koksal (center) and members of the BFA executive (from left) Neil Mathews, chairman of the BFA technical committee, Adrian Donovan, general secretary Edwyn Wood and chairwoman of the BFA Women’s Committee, Nicole Puckerin. (Picture by Morissa Lindsay)
Participants of the Women’s Football Development FIFA Administration Course along with FIFA representative Ebru Koksal (center) and members of the BFA executive (from left) Neil Mathews, chairman of the BFA technical committee, Adrian Donovan, general secretary Edwyn Wood and chairwoman of the BFA Women’s Committee, Nicole Puckerin. (Picture by Morissa Lindsay)

Koksal, one of the designers of the women’s administrative course and the brain behind the leadership module, said during her remarks that Barbados was a very important country in the region as demonstrated by FIFA president Giovanni Infantino who visited the island a couple months ago during his campaign for the top post of football’s governing body.

Over the next five days those attending the course will learn how to write a strategic plan, how to implement it, finance and budgeting, marketing and communication, and generally how to run an organization whether it be club or association.

Koksal went on further to explain: “We will be focusing on marketing a lot because one of the biggest constraints to advancing women’s football is to generate revenue for it. We will also try to improve the skills of the women and men who are attending the course because leadership is something that we believe should be learnt and practiced and we want to hopefully find the future leaders of the CONCACAF region from these courses.”

Speaking on behalf of the BFA, Wood explained that the association prided itself on developing better football for a better life which meant inspiring and transforming lives by creating opportunities for administrators and players through football.

He said this course was one aspect of the BFA’s women’s development programme for 2016 to 2018, while noting that the Live Your Goal campaign since its launch on May 21 of this year, had inspired many schools across the island including Springer Memorial to reactivate their girls’ team from next year.

“We have not only focused on introducing and retaining females in the playing side of the sport, but we also trained a number of coaches with the focus on female football in April [2016]…You would have seen or recently been involved in the Live Your Goal campaign and we are pleased to let you know that we are one of a small member association worldwide who were able to secure Live Your Goal development programmes this year. This programme is aiming at developing female players and providing a female programme for our clubs to further develop and strengthen their women’s programmes,” Wood said.

He took time to also publicly thank the women of United Nations for coming on board with the Live Your Goals campaign and giving BFA the support needed to empower females through sports especially football.

Each member of the participating group was asked to stand and share their reason for joining the course. Among them was 16-year-old Harrison College student Maiela Wall who was singled out by Koksal as perhaps the youngest in the world to ever take part in the programme.

Maiela, the daughter of the late Sherlock Wall, said she intended to use whatever knowledge she gained from the course to revive Harrison College’s girls team.

Most of the participants said they decided to do the course in order to have greater knowledge on how to properly and effectively manage their respective clubs. The women’s committee chairman Puckerin urged those in attendance to empower themselves and recognize that they had a privilege that many women around the world didn’t and that was to play a role in football.

“There are certain parts of the world where females cannot play football, they cannot go to watch football and we have that privilege. So let’s be empowered to continue the move to carry football further around Barbados,” Puckerin said during her brief remarks.

The course concludes on June 27.

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