A Women’s Football Festival will be held on Virgin Gorda on Saturday, February 11th, between 9:30 a.m. and 3.00 p.m. with the aim of reviving the sport for women and eventually starting a league.
During the festival, women will be exposed to a number of activities besides the skills used in the game, including nutrition, blood sugar, blood pressure checks, communication, media, conditioning and physiotherapy. Sprinter Karene King, will be the guest speaker on both Virgin Gorda and Tortola.
“The focus of all the presentations in these two events will be solely by women, which I think is very important,” BVI Football Association Competitions Manager Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway, who’s driving the festival said. “The aim is to eventually see a Women’s League run entirely by women. Since taking up the position, I have come across a number of enthusiastic, dedicated, competent women with the requisite skills and they know what they want. I’m just the facilitator in the process.”
In November and early December, meetings with women were held on Virgin Gorda and Tortola, to get an understanding of their concerns and what they’d like to see for themselves. Their respective ideas were canvassed and having a Women’s Football Festival on both Virgin Gorda and Tortola, was seen as an important event in bringing women together, as building blocks for future development.
“There are a number of women in the process of obtaining their coaching license and at the end of January, several completed a referees course,” Greenaway noted. “Chandni Wattley and Shevorne “Sha Sha” Vanterpool for example, have been the first two women to work in men league games as assistant referees. Vanterpool and Keliene Smith—both from Virgin Gorda— worked a Feb 5 men’s game in Virgin Gorda, becoming the first two women from the island to do so, so the foundation for women’s development is being laid. They will also be part of the foundation for a women’s league.”
On Saturdays, Coach Cassandra “Coach Cass” has been working with a number of girls in Greenland and they’re joined by girls from Virgin Gorda. “Coach Cass has a goal of having 100 girls in the program by Dec 31 and we’re seeing the response of girls to this quest,” Greenaway said. “They will participate in the festival and help spread the seeds for getting their peers into the football program.”
A similar festival will be held on February 25 on Tortola, at the BVI Football Association stadium in Greenland.