Barbados FA, UWI agree to partnership

(L-R) BFA President Mr. Randy Harris, UWI Pro Vice Chancellor Sir Hilary Beckles, Head of Coaching Mr. Roland Butcher.  (Photo courtesy of the Barbados Football Association)

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados - The Barbados Football Association (BFA) and the University of the West Indies (UWI) on Tuesday officially signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that addresses a variety of items that promise to benefit both organizations.

Present for the signing was the Randy Harris, BFA President; Sir Hilary Beckles, Pro Vice Chancellor; Amanda Reifer, Head of the Academy of Sports Cave Hill; and Roland Butcher, Head of Coaches in the Academy of Sports.

In what is to be a long term mutual partnership for developing football in Barbados, Reifer said, “This agreement speaks to hosting of workshops and conferences, FIFA certified coaching courses, staging of tournaments at the Usain Bolt Sporting Complex, access to our sports labs in biomechanics and exercise physiology for testing and research.”

Sir Hilary Beckles was more than elated to sign the MoU with the Barbados Football Association for a number of reasons.

“The BFA is deserving of the resources from the universities,” he remarked.  “I hope that the University can lift the standard of football in Barbados because for a long time we are unable to sustain what we achieve in sports, though we have produced some of the best sports men and women per capita out of all of the regions in the world.”

Moreover, the university facilities will be used for tournaments, training, education, policy, community and citizenship programs.

“The University of the West Indies sees it as part of its long term strategic plan to be the sporting university of the Caribbean,” Beckles proudly noted.  “We are building an institution of learning to give respect for the science and art of sports.”

The UWI Blackbirds will be competing in the Barbados top flight for the first time this year and the BFA has been making major strides in the reorganization of its administration and the development of football.

Most recently, UWI hosted a regional certification course for coaches and two friendly matches for the senior women’s national team.

Harris welcomed the union between the BFA and the university.  He indicated that the MOU would allow for Barbados’ national teams to use the University of the West Indies facility for international games and premier league fixtures.