BVI celebrates 40 years

CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb (left) makes a presentation to British Virgin Islands Football Association (BVIFA) President Andrew Bickerton during the BVIFA's 40th anniversary celebration on September 13, 2014.

TORTOLA, British Virgin Islands – The British Virgin Islands Football Association (BVIFA) celebrated its 40th Anniversary with a myriad of events leading up to its Awards Ceremony on Saturday.  Guest speaker FIFA Vice President and CONCACAF President, Jeffrey Webb, congratulated the BVIFA on its solid foundation and further motivated them to focus on the value and power of football on the Island.

“Congratulations to the BVIFA for an executing an exciting line up of events, focusing on youth, women’s and men’s tournaments during the month of September,” said Webb.  “This is of great value to you as an established footballing island, encouraging increased participation and visibility within the community.”

The awards ceremony, which honored 12 individuals for their services to football, was held at the A.O. Shirley Ground Multi-Purpose Sports Complex.  The facility is home to the BVIFA until completion of its new technical center made possible through a FIFA Goal Project.

Addressing an audience of more than 200 stakeholders and key players in the BVI community, Webb referenced the benefits of sport, especially football, to the Island.

“With such diverse demographics, there are so many talented athletes that have limitless potential,” expressed Webb, who highlighted BVI’s current talent.  “For such a small island, there are three national team players competing in the U.S. – this great foundation was built by honorary members who were recognized for their dedication to the sport.”

BVIFA President Andrew Bickerton, commented on the Association’s progress over the last 40 years.

"Our 40th Anniversary comes at a very significant time in the development of football in the BVI, as through the support of our first FIFA GOAL Project we are in the process of developing our own administration and technical facilities,” Bickerton said.  “Allied with the ongoing success of our grassroots program the future looks very bright."

As new members of FIFA’s Goal Program, the BVIFA will be able to improve technical capabilities and enhance overall development initiatives, steadily progressing under CONCACAF’s mandate to achieve regional excellence in football.

“With a notable increase in its Grassroots Program, which now has almost 1,000 registered kids, I am confident that the BVIFA, with the support of Government and its partners, will continue to empower its community through football,” concluded Webb.