Eyes on Goal
THE BARBADOS FOOTBALL Association took the Live Your Goals Programme to Bay Primary School yesterday with a girls grassroots clinic.
National players Tiffany White and Shanice Stevenson, who are ambassadors for the programme, were joined by FIFA referee Gillian Martindale and FIFA assistant referee Tonia Deane in an attempt to inspire more girls to attend the remaining workshops, especially since over 200 girls attended last weekend’s launch at the Wildey AstroTurf.
The programme, which has been designed by soccer’s governing body FIFA for the development of women in the sport, will continue on June 11 at Glebe Playing Field in St George.
Afterwards, it will switch to the Speightstown Playing Field on July 15, followed by a session at Hilda Skeene School in Ruby, St Philip, on August 20, before concluding at the Wildey AstroTurf on September 10.
Yesterday, the group interacted with the students, briefing them on the basics of the game, sportsmanship, self-control and teamwork, which was also enforced by teacher Alanna King, who participated in the Women’s Football Programme carried out by FIFA at the Barbados Olympic Association last month.
In urging more girls to participate, Stevenson said they woud not only learn a new sport but one which could assist them through various aspects of life.
“It can help them with their schoolwork. It relieves stress and it’s a way to get away from the stresses at home. In countries like the USA, girls usually start playing at five [years old], which means their national teams and their club teams invest in their players, so that is why you see their teams making it to the World Cup every year.
Stevenson said with Live Your Goals girls are involved at a young age and would have more years in the sport, which means the national team would have a better quality of player.
“Then we can make it further to the World Cup or maybe Olympics. Things like passing and shooting would be second nature to them . . . ,” she said.
White said more females becoming involved in football could lead to a better local women’s league tournament.
“There is a Banks [youth] tournament [and] if there were more girls we could have a female version of that. There is a ranking for FIFA, so the more girls rising to that level we would be able to build on that ranking.”