FIFA Women's Symposium launchedTuesday, September 20, 2011
BY DANIA BOGLE Observer staff reporter
PUTTING the development of the female sport at the forefront is the goal of this week's FIFA Women's Football Com-Unity Seminar which began yesterday and ends on Thursday at the Courtleigh Auditorium in New Kingston.
"We have seen how our (female) athletes in other sports have performed and we expect that we have the potential to do the same for football," first vice-president of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), Dale Spencer, said.
Several leading figures in FIFA's women programme including Women's Football Development Manager Mayi Turner-Kerr, former Italian national team player and former coach of the Canadian women's team Carolina Morace were on hand and made presentations at yesterday's opening.
Over 60 participants from the 13 JFF parish associations, women's clubs, community groups, media and sponsors will participate in the four-day seminar.
The objectives, Spencer said, were among other things, getting more girls playing football in Jamaica; getting more awareness of the sport in the island; getting more women involved in the technical aspect of the sport, including coaching, administration and refereeing, and building sponsorship support from entities including the government.
The Cuban-born Turner-Kerr, who is now based in Zurich, Switzerland, spoke of the growth of the women's sport over the years and the intent of the sports world governing body to help it grow even more.
"We would from FIFA like that every woman and girl out there wishing to participate has the chance to do so," Turner-Kerr said.
"We need the whole community to come together to support football and support women's football," she added. "We are here to back the future of women's football here in Jamaica."
Among the topics to be tackled over the four days are current status and potential of women's football, activities organised by the government focusing on women's sports, women's football strategy and development, grassroots football development programmes, national teams, coaches, players and referees, and the impact of women's football on social and educational development programmes.
Today's agenda includes the role of the media in women's football and creating a positive image of the women's game; the role of the football association, football clubs and players in promoting women's football, and communication strategy.