'I feel out of this world'
Ecstatic Walker-Brown reflects on uphill climb to St Catherine FA presidencyWednesday, October 23, 2019
“ Strength of a woman ” were the lyrics which greeted Elaine Walker-Brown's 41-38 victory over Ricardo Valentine in the race for presidency of the St Catherine Football Association, at Arians Restaurant on Sunday.
Walker-Brown, the chairperson for Jamaica Football Federation's Women's Football Committee, thus became the first female to hold this position in the history of the St Catherine Football Association.
Walker-Brown, who managed only four nominations from clubs, was not deterred and refused to throw in the towel and retreat from the race, despite the whopping 28 nominations that Valentine received. She continued with her groundwork and it paid off well in the keenly contested, male-dominated football administration.
An elated President Walker-Brown told the Jamaica Observer that she was very proud to have won such a tough election, “but with God all things are possible”.
“I am elated; I feel out of this world. I cannot find the right words to describe my feelings today. It was an uphill task from the beginning, but I told myself I will not give up because the clubs were asking me to continue the journey to the end — and I knew that God was there with me,” she reflected.
“When the nomination time came I was only nominated by four clubs and my opponent Ricardo Valentine got 28, but I was doing my groundwork day and night and the clubs assured me not to pay any attention to that figure, as they needed the change and would be there for me on election day.
“This is not the parish association that I was familiar with in the past, and I knew if I got the chance to lead I will make a difference. Now that I have been appointed, me and my executive members will be hitting the ground running.”
Walker-Brown added that she and her team know that they will be faced with challenges, but they are over one hurdle and will be getting over the rest with hard work and the help of stakeholders in and around the parish.
“We will be meeting in short order to roll out our plans of putting the final touches to our strategies to make football alive again in the parish of St Catherine.”
She is a past student of Norman Manley Secondary School, St Andrew Technical High School, Fitz Henley School of Business, and The University of Technology where she completed a master's in sports management.
She is also a sports officer employed to the Institute of Sports for the past 24 years, a former referee, and a match commissioner employed by the Fifa, Concacaf, Caribbean Football Union, and the local governing body, the Jamaica Football Federation.
Her team of executive members are First Vice-President Curven Whyte; Second Vice-President Ventley Brown; Sophia Smith as general secretary; Raymond Brown as treasurer; Patrick Dunkley as assistant secretary/treasurer; with council members being Rodney McPherson, Andre Hinds, Marcia Pinnock, Beverly Melbourne, Donald Bailey, Norman Hudson, and Byron Cunningham.
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