A girls’ football tournament took centre stage over the weekend and it was a tremendous success.
The Department of Sports Honouring Women’s Month Football Showcase on Saturday at the TE McField Annex was a great advert for the progress in the sport here.
Organiser Merta Day of the Department of Sport said: “It was wonderful so see so many girls showcasing their talents and some simply getting a chance to play for the first time. These are the types of opportunities and events our girls need to inspire them; fun and nurturing but at the same time competitive. Tournaments where they get a chance to play often to honed their skills and gain more confidence and experience allowing those good enough to take it to the next level and the others to play locally in the leagues keeping healthy and fit.
“If women’s football is to continue grow in Cayman then the Cayman Islands Football Association and the entire community needs to work together and put in place, leagues targeting young girls this will in turn support the further development of the national women’s league. We have to start at the primary age group and build the programme just like the boys; once the interest is there, girls deserves that chance too.”
Saturday’s showcase saw age 11 and under teams from the Eastern District, Central District, George Town/Brac and the Western District. Teams were made up of a combination of players from pretty much all Government Primary Schools on the Islands.
Day said: “For the 14 and under age group only two teams turned up but that didn’t stop enthusiastic play by the girls in that age group. It turned out to be a success nonetheless. Players spectating from the national players Under-20 who happened to have their football boots on them were integrated into team Scholars and Elite team so we had a match. All of the teams were decked out in HWM T-shirts, a lovely array of bright coloured shirts which added a punch of energy to the event.”
In the 11 and under age group Western District won, coached by Amanda Henry and the Central District placed second. They were coached by Cherry-Ann Whittaker and Molly-Ann Moore.
Other coaches were Bobeth O’Garro for the GT/Brac team, Scimone Campbell/Lanie McLaughlin/Ronnie Roach for Eastern District and Martha Godet for Elite and Chris Douglas Scholars.
Scholars won the 14 and under match on penalties with Elite second. The Scholars keeper Erisha Burke was voted outstanding by the coaches. She was moved up from the U11 Western District team to play in the older age group and saved two penalties in the finals.
Day said: “She shows much promise as do many of the others. Only 10, Erisha also played in goal for the JACP B Team who made it to the finals of the 2012 Boys Primary School league. Many of the primary school girls played on their school’s boys team in this year’s Primary School League. It is wonderful that they have been included and welcomed.”
The MVP for the district teams and the age group finals received gift certificates courtesy of Department of Sports from various sports shops on island also medals and a team trophy were awarded to the winners and runners up in each age group.
Minister of Sports Mark Scotland and Collin Anglin, the Director of Sports, were amongst the dignitaries that attended. The MVP for the 14 and Under Teams were: Chelsea Greene (Elite) and Kayleigh McLaughlin (Scholars). The MVP for the 11 and under age group final match was Chyanai Tibbetts of the Western District. The MVP for the various District 11 and under teams: Tomoy Philips-Eastern Districts, Shayla Connor – GT/BRAC District, Thia Powell- Western District and Alyaha Copeland-Central District.