U15 girls at centre of Women’s Football Day

U15 girls participate in 2017 Women's Football Day at the CIFA Centre of Excellence.

More than 30 young ladies from across the Cayman Islands gathered at the CIFA Centre of Excellence Field on Saturday, 18 November, to take part in local activities associated with the 3rd Annual CONCACAF Women’s Football Day.

The focus across the region this year was on the development of U15 national girls’ teams ahead of the 2018 CONCACAF U15 Girls Championships next August.

“It’s a step for the ladies that they realise it’s no longer about club but about country. The girls are learning about the pride of playing for country,” explained Shakeina Bush, an assistant coach of the Cayman Islands national U15 girls’ team.

Shakeina Bush and Wendy Fisher at 2017 Women’s Football Day activities in the Cayman Islands.

On hand was CIFA Deputy General Secretary/Acting General Secretary, Wendy Fisher. “It is exciting to see the girls wanting to play football. For women, we’re seeing a decline but we’re seeing a growth where girls are eager to play the sport,” she said.

Fisher, who was returned to her executive post unopposed earlier in the day, said it is important to keep girls playing sports, especially football. “It helps them mentally, physically and emotionally. Sometimes we have young ladies who struggle in other areas but don’t know how to vent and by playing the sport, they use it sometimes to express their emotions.”

2017 Women’s Football Day participants with new CIFA President Alfredo Whittaker.

Bush, herself a former player, was elated to witness the joy shown by the young ladies on the pitch. “I know the enthusiasm is through the ceiling. The girls are coming out and training, making new connections,” she said.

“The leaders are starting to emerge. That’s the beautiful thing about sports, it brings out about the leaders among us,” Bush added.

Among those out there was 12-year-old Alexia Bromfield. “I love the sport,” she said of the game she has been playing for about three years. “The most important part is bonding with teammates and making a better connection with people around you.”

Whittaker has a chat with the young ladies.

Ahead of the activities across CONCACAF’s 41 member countries, CONCACAF and FIFA Council member, Sonia Bien-Aime said it is critical that the world and regional governing bodies create ready opportunities for the younger generation of females to play the game.

“Encouraging free play at the earliest opportunity with young females, will cast a welcome net over these eager players who will not only learn to love the game, but will be the ones to grow football from the early stages to the highest level of competition,” said Bien-Aime.

U15 player Arthemis Deslandes-Hydes.


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