Basseterre, St. Kitts, 3rd May 2015 (MiyVue.com) – Young girls interested in football participated in the first CONCACAF All Girls Football Festival held in St. Kitts and Nevis, at the Warner Park Football Stadium, on May 2, and gained constructive insight into how the game is played.
Just over 100 girls, aged 4 to 14, participated in the festival, along with 20 female coaches.
The event was part of a developmental initiative of the Confederation for North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF), held in collaboration with the St. Kitts and Nevis Football Association.
CONCACAF Coach Heather Dyche said the coaches and young players were very receptive to the information, with good participation in fieldwork.
“The skills level was mixed. Some have been playing football before, while others have recently started. The interest in football among girls is growing. This is the fifth All Girls Festival held in the region, as CONCACAF strengthens women’s football,” said Coach Byche.
According to Dyche, the skills of football for men and women are the same, but generally, there is another important factor for women.
Festival-Field-Activities“In the coaching training, we looked at how to train girls in football. For girls, the interest in football involves a social element, and we must ensure that quite apart from skills training, we provide an enriching social component,” Byche explained.
According to SKNFA General Secretary Stanley Jacobs, the All Girls Football Festival will help to build confidence among the girls playing the game, and enhance the guidelines that help female coaches achieve their objectives.
Jacobs emphasized that development is at the core of SKNFA’s vision for football, and the festival fitted into that framework.
“We have seen tremendous growth in the number of girls now playing the sport in St. Kitts and Nevis and that is encouraging for the sport,” Jacobs pointed out.
The GS said that SKNFA wants to see more grassroots football programs starting in communities around the island.
“SKNFA will continue to invest in capacity building; training more women coaches to run the programs. We hope that one of the outcomes of this Girls Football Course and Festival would be the emergence of more grassroots programs around the country every weekend,” Jacobs said.
SKNFA has been running a grassroots football program in Warner Park, every weekend, for the past 10 years. According to Jacobs, “It is a really good opportunity to get our girls, and boys, involved in the sport from an early age.”