CONCACAF officials and Sint Maarten Soccer Association President visit the newly remodeled national football field, Raul IIidge Sports Complex.
PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – At the IV Sint Maarten Soccer Association (SMSA) General Membership Meeting on Saturday, CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb and General Secretary Enrique Sanz voiced their pleasure with the progress the federation has made over the last few months.
“I want to congratulate President Nickie, Vice President Jones and their administration for all the great progress made since my last visit early this year,” said Webb, before announcing that CONCACAF will bring referee and coaching training courses to the island in the near future. “We will continue supporting the federation in fulfilling its goals of development. We must never forget that we are here to assist our youth and provide education at a grassroots level.”
The SMSA membership assembled at the Great Bay Beach Hotel for the meeting and reiterated its commitment to the game by re-electing the incumbent leadership -- President Owen Nickie, Vice President Elton Jones and General Secretary Terry Woods -- to another term in office.
“I want to thank our members for the opportunity of continuing our work to develop football in Sint Maarten,” expressed Nickie after the election. “I would also like to thank CONCACAF for its constant support and my special gratitude to President Webb for his treasured advice.”
After the gathering, the CONCACAF delegation was escorted to the Raul IIidge Sports Complex, the recently renovated national football stadium. The venue has received more than US$5 million in government investment for improvements, including the installation of artificial turf and the construction of new locker rooms, as well as other enhancements.
In January, Webb conveyed his unease with the state of the declining facility. SMSA officials and the former Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports, Silveria Jacobs, shared with him their vision for upgrading football’s infrastructure and the development of youth players. During their meeting, Jacobs expressed her support in integrating efforts and assisting football to move forward on the island. Final renovations to the stadium are scheduled to be completed by December.
“I am extremely proud of the partnership between the SMSA and the government for the advancement of sports in the island,” expressed Webb. “This is a perfect example of how government and federations can collaborate in order to make a difference in the lives of our youth.”
Founded in 1986, the SMSA became an Associate Member of CONCACAF in 2002 and, given its strong resolve and Webb’s intervention, gained full membership during the XXVIII CONCACAF Ordinary Congress on April 2013 in Panama City, Panama.
From left to right: CONCACAF General Secretary, Enrique Sanz; CONCACAF President, Jeffrey Webb; Sint Maarten Soccer Association President, Nickie Owen; General Secretary, Terry Woods; and Vice President, Elton Jones.