Castries, Saint Lucia: Saint Lucia Football Association announced numerous ways to increase the role of women in various sporting fields, especially in Football.
Read here: Full statement of Saint Lucia Football Association Women’s Task Force
I am happy to see so many of you. Your presence is testimony of your belief and commitment to local Football. You could have been home watching World Cup games Netherland vs. USA and later Argentine Vs. Australia.
Let me extend a warm welcome to all persons gathers here especially the female in our midst. It is indeed a privilege and honour, as I feel a sense of joy and satisfaction to welcome you to our 2022 Women in Football Conference being held under the theme, “LET THEM PLAY”
Today’s Women’s Football Conference is the second of its kind since SLFA designated November as Women in Football Month in 2021. Women have always had and will continue having a prominent place in the SLFA family. SLFA has afforded our girls and women opportunities to be true ambassadors. They have and enjoyed:
1. Scholarships: Scholarship holders including Krysan St Louis and Raquel John
2. National players status e.g. Ellaisia Marquis, Arnicka Louis, Shaniya Scott, and most of you seated here today
3. CONCACAF Match commissioner like Karassa Bellas and Mary Liz Campbell
4. Referees like Shantel John
These women have kept our football dreams alive. They remind us that nothing is impossible, however we must strive consistently for it. They face the same challenges as we all do, self-doubt, fear, limited resources etc. What makes the difference is their determination to excel, passion for Football and the heart of a lion. They are still working on achieving that football dream.
They still have a long way to go to get to the top, to become a household name, to get to a world cup and have the universal impact. Remember to reach the mountain top we must keep climbing. We must plan the climb. The Women’s conference is one strategy to reach the mountain top / pinnacle of football dream.
The Women’s Conference is an assembly of football policy makers, administrators, players, technical personnel, League representatives, students and enthusiasts to chart the agenda of women’s Football. It also creates a platform to inspire, reenergise, motivate and retool and ignite the passion of Football.
Igniting the passion of Football, is for both genders, as males and females must work together for the effective functioning of society. However, the focus on women is not to marginalize males, but rather a strategic move to advance and improve the quality of women’s football skills and maximize their potential. The goal is also to ensure opportunities are available for women and girls both on and off the field.
SLFA intends to get girls involved in Football from an earlier age as well as keep them longer in the beautiful game of Football.
This conference seeks to focus on five (5) key objectives, namely to:
1. Strengthen women’s leadership, administrative, professional skills and performance, and build capacity
2. Educate, enlighten and empower women and girls in Football
3. Inspire players so that they can nurture and grow their personal attributes which will rebound to a better display of their football skills and prowess on the field of play,
4. Raise the profile of players so they can better serve as football ambassadors at their schools, clubs, Leagues and national level
5. Create a forum where football lovers can dialogue and plan.
Let today be the educational playground where you come out to play. Grab your boots of attentive listening, participating, clarifying and engaging, and at the same time score goals of learning and coding for application of the knowledge and skills gained
Score the winning goal to embrace the ideals of Football. We are mindful that Football is a universal language, which fosters a spirit of togetherness, fair play, respect, and collaboration. So, let today be a commitment to uphold the ideal of Football both on and off the field
Let’s ensure that we afford girls and women to play.
Let Them Play!!!
Let Them Play to improve behaviour and performance including academic performance.
Let Them Play to harness and showcase their skills
Let Them Play to fight social ills
Let Them Play to forge partnership for the development of Football
Let Them Play to build and strengthen family tie and improve relationships
Let Them Play to take Saint Lucia to the world stage and a World Cup
Let Them Play to take Football to higher heights
Let Them Play to be ambassadors
Let Them Play to raise their voices against discrimination, violence and other prejudicial forms.
All our efforts should to geared to letting our girls and women play.
As we let them play, I trust that each of you will leave here with a desire to definitely remain in Football. And, I thank you in anticipation for that commitment to Football.
As I extend gratitude, at this juncture, I express profound gratitude to
1. the persons who made the conference happen, especially the members of the Women’s Task Force and coordinators at SLFA
2. Mr. Cooper, his executive and staff for their contribution to Women in Football Month activities.
3. The ladies who have attended our conference.
4. The men who have partnered with and grace us with their presence.
Remember always that we in Saint Lucia Football Association Inc (SLFA), are indeed proud of your invaluable on-field and off field contributions to Football. We thank you for making Football your number one (#1) sport of choice and in some cases the only choice. We admire your level of sportsmanship, team spirit and professionalism.