Girls’ Grassroots program concludes in Antigua

(ABOVE) Participants in the first-ever CONCACAF Girls' 7v7 Tournament, held April 11-12, 2015, pose for a group photo at the Antigua Recreation Grounds in St. John's, Antigua & Barbuda.

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua & Barbuda – As part of a pilot project designed to advance women’s football in Antigua & Barbuda, the first-ever CONCACAF Girls’ 7v7 Grassroots Tournament concluded successfully Sunday at the Antigua Recreation Grounds (ARG). 

The four-day program -- led by the Confederation’s Development Division and instructor Heather Dyche, in partnership with the Antigua & Barbuda Football Association (ABFA) -- included a variety of events that engaged and encouraged approximately 300 participants.

On Thursday and Friday, 25 coaches and administrators attended educational sessions, which covered the following topics:

  • Empowering young girls through football
  • Strategies for coaching girls and women
  • Small-sided games
  • Pre-match, in-match, and post-match coaching strategies and training session planning
  • How to organize a grassroots tournament

The tournament’s opening ceremony took place on Friday evening with coaches, parents, administrators, government officials and guests in attendance.

Play kicked off the next morning in two age groups: Under-13 (110 total players on 10 teams) and Open Age (107 total players from nine teams).

Green Bay Primary School captured first place in the U-13 competition with Liberta placing second, while Big Up Yourself topped Tigress for the open title.

“The first-ever CONCACAF Girls Grassroots Tournament in Antigua was a resounding success,” said Dyche.  “The candidates that participated in the course did an excellent job of running the tournament, and we were pleased to be able to assist them in learning how to run an efficient event tailored towards coaching girls.

“All the players that participated had a wonderful experience thanks to the ABFA’s staff and coaches.”

In conjunction with the activities, a Leeward Islands Women’s Football meeting was also conducted with representatives from the region in order to discuss ideas and opportunities for collaboration in women’s football.

With the knowledge gained from this initial experience, CONCACAF will continue working to refine the program and looks forward to adding it to the portfolio of development courses offered to all Member Associations.