Church committed to growth of women’s football in Grenada

(ABOVE) Grenada Football Association Acting General Secretary Malaika Church is a participant in the FIFA’s Female Leadership Development Programme.

ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada -- “The initial programme is really teaching me about myself; the values I possess, my strengths, my weaknesses,” said Malaika Church, Acting General Secretary of the Grenada Football Association.

The confident Church was speaking in Zurich at the end of the recent Module II workshop, a component of FIFA’s Female Leadership Development Programme.

She is part of a group of 35 promising female leaders from around the globe working towards the development of football for women at all all ages.

The initiative is aimed at improving the gender balance in football decision-making positions. On this occasion, the conference was focused on giving participants the tools they need to rise through the industry.

At the weeklong session, Ms. Church was able to identify and strengthen her leadership skills, as well as examine ways to work with stakeholders. The session also provided an opportunity for networking, individual coaching sessions and exchanging ideas with mentors.

Each participant was tasked with developing a project around a topic based on improving the state of women’s football in her member association.

Church’s personal project is based on using the FIFA Fair Play codes to develop positive affirmations in order to assist in changing the behavioral patterns of female players. These encouraging statements, which will be placed on writing materials, are aimed at fostering a greater feeling of self-worth.

To further enhance that undertaking, Church was paired with Sarai Bareman, who is presently the Operations Manager of Oceania Football Confederation (OFC). Bareman is also the only female member on the FIFA Reform Committee.

Armed with her own experience, she was able to support Church with practical ways to address challenges and formulate solutions.

The FIFA Female Leadership Development Programme -- launched in Vancouver during the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015 -- is an initiative that identifies, supports and develops strong female leaders in football.

It is part of FIFA’s commitment to its ten key development principles for women’s football and follows on from the inaugural FIFA Women’s Football and Leadership Conference held in March 2015.

The third and final workshop is set to take place in the first quarter of 2016.