Antigua and Barbuda – Concacaf will launch its first coaching program for women in Antigua and Barbuda on Monday, May 6. The training, focused on providing Member Associations with a D License, is part of the efforts of the Confederation to increase access for women to the game.
Concacaf Head of Women’s Football Karina LeBlanc speaks with excitement about the four-day course, as it contributes to building sustainable foundations for the growth of the game.
"We need to increase the number of women playing the game. At Concacaf we want to create sustainable pathways for former players and coaches, and by doing so, this will increase the number of women coaching in the region. “This course has been designed for women, by women," said LeBlanc, adding that this is a main goal of Concacaf W, a platform that the Confederation is building to drive growth and sustainability in the women’s game.
Concacaf W’s objectives also include changing perception and growing participation in the women’s game by collaborating with Member Associations, players and coaches across the region.
The 25 participating coaches from 12 of 41 Member Associations include one former player and one current female coach. Participants include representatives of English-speaking Member Associations from The Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Dominica, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands and hosts Antigua and Barbuda.
The coaching program covers a wide range of topics in addition to the Concacaf D License curriculum, focused on safeguarding, empowerment, accountability, as well as specific characteristics for women coaching.
"It's important in the women's game to empower women to have voices and tools to be the decision-makers on the field. It's good for young girls to see them coaching because it influences them to dream that dream," said LeBlanc.
This revamped course will feature five Concacaf coaching instructors who are active and experienced within the Member Associations, allholding advanced coaching licenses such as the USSF National A License and the UEFA Pro License.
These five Concacaf coaches include University of New Mexico Head Coach Heather Dyche, Former Canadian International Coach Carmelina Moscato, University of Washington Head Coach Lesle Gallimore, Former Canadian International Coach Candace Chapman, and Former Mexican International and University of Manitoba Head Coach Vanessa Martinez-Lagunas.
“Our goal is that the participating Member Associations later nominate one of these coaches to be at our Concacaf Girls’ Under-15 Championship next year," added LeBlanc.
The plan is to create a comprehensive mentorship program with the collaboration of UEFA and grow the women's game within the Concacaf region by forming a "pyramid-effect" as LeBlanc calls it, of mentors and mentees between the five Concacaf coaching instructors and the 25 participants to help grow participation, while also inspiring the future generations of female coaches.