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TCIFA Partners With Concacaf To Launch Historic W C License/ W Girls Grassroots Progrmme

Jason Roberts, Director of Development for Concacaf addresses the launch of the Concacaf W C Licensing Pathway and the launch of the Concacaf W Grassroots Girls Programmes.

The Turks and Caicos Islands Football Association has scored another history-making milestone with the launch of the Concacaf W C Licensing Pathway Programme, coupled with the launch of the Concacaf W Grassroots Girls Programme.

The launch of both events took place at the TCIFA Headquarters off Venetian Road in Providenciales on Saturday, November 26. The course itself, began on Thursday, November 24, and ended on Sunday, November 27.

The W Grassroots Girls Programme took the form of a football festival, which teaches girls to love the game of football.

Jason Roberts, Director of Development for Concacaf was present at the launch. Roberts said he was overly impressed with what the TCIFA, led by President Sonia Fulford-Missick, was doing for football development within these islands.

“This is a project which provides access to a C License for women only. Turks and Caicos is one of 11 countries which will get access to this programme, and the hopes are that we would have 300 coaches given access to this education, as well as the opportunity to become future leaders, to become future volunteers and game-changers within the region,” Roberts said.

Participants in the Grassroots Programme

Roberts added: “We are also very excited, because alongside that here in Turks and Caicos Islands in association with the Football Association, we are launching the Concacaf W Grassroots Girls Programme.

“This is an opportunity for 100 girls today to be coached by those very same coaches that are going for that C License content. So, again it is about capacity-building, investing in our member associations and also finding a way to make sure that these coaches, these gamechangers and these leaders are becoming mentors for the future players of the game.”

Roberts pointed out that part of the agenda is to, by 2030, ensure that all 41 Concacaf member associations can deliver at the Concacaf level.

“We have launched a Concacaf convention, and we are working with countries like Turks and Caicos Islands not only to ensure that they have access to this education, but they have people from the islands that can deliver the education.

“We are very happy here to have TD (Technical Director) Dane (Ritchie), to have a great team of people who can deliver our content, and they are really leading the charge in coaching education throughout the region,” Roberts added.

Roberts told the media that some of the candidates had already undergone the D licensing course, and if successful at the C Licensing level, would, in the near future, get to sit the B Licensing course.

“We start this programme sometime ago with the D license specifically for women. A lot of these women are now part of the C License.

Sonia Fulford-Missick addresses the launch

“So, you could imagine that the next step would be a B License into the A License and into the Pro, and given more access to people from our region, but especially women because you have to recognize that it has been more of a challenge for women in our region to get access to the education, getting access to the game.

“Part of what we want to do is to break down those barriers. But of course, this is more than about football, this is education, and this is about employment. This is about people investing in themselves.

“And what we have seen with the Football Association here in Turks and Caicos, they understand that to improve football means to improve coaches, it means investing in facilities, the environment and the human capital that you have here,” Roberts said.

Roberts also showered praises on Fulford-Missick for her vision to develop the sport in the islands.

“It was important for us to launch this programme in the Turks and Caicos Islands, because when we talk about leaders, when we talk about people who are moving the dial in women’s football across the region, then you have to look at President (Sonia) Fulford (Missick).

“What she has been able to achieve as part of the Concacaf Council and FIFA Council is really highlighting how we can continue to develop football, not just for men but women, and she is an inspiration behind our W strategy and the project that you see today,” Roberts noted.

For her part, Fulford-Missick, while happy with the large turnout of the young females, said she was not astonished.

“Even though I am super excited to see all of them, I am not surprised, because in our programme, whenever there is a girls’ event, everyone is so enthusiastic to come out, so this is expected,” Fulford Missick said.

“We would have had much more girls out here today, but it is age restricted (which excluded higher age groups). I think the word is spreading that something great is happening here. I think they also understand that there is actually growth here for them.

“I believe that everyone who signed up for the coaching course wants to be a part of the development here and they want to be part of the change…the progressing for the players and women’s development and everything,”Fulford-Missick added.

She said the sport of football does not only offer development of talent and administration, but also fosters a healthier society.

“If we could get football and other sports in the community, I think we would have a healthier nation, basically,” she said.



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