Prince Harry’s visit proves a ‘royal’ occasion for Grenada football

Grenada Football Association Cheney Joseph (far left) and members of the Grenada under-17 women's national team present a framed jersey to Prince Henry of Wales (center, back) during his visit to the island on November 28, 2016. (Photo courtesy of the Grenada Football Association and Kensington Palace)

SAINT GEORGE’S, Grenada – For the Grenada under-17 women’s national team, a memorable 2016 was capped last week by Prince Harry of Wales’ visit to the Spice Island.

As well as playing as host of the CONCACAF Under-17 Women’s Championship in March, most of the squad’s members competed at the CONCACAF Under-15 Girls’ Championship in Orlando, Florida, during the summer.

The opportunity to meet royalty, however, elicited equally high levels of excitement.

“Football can take you anywhere,” enthused team captain Aaliyah Jackson, after meeting the Prince.

The stop was part of a 15-day Caribbean tour, which concluded Sunday in Guyana.

Grenada Football Association President Cheney Joseph presented Prince Harry with a framed Grenada national team shirt at the Queen’s Park playing field, where a sporting and cultural event featuring football, cricket and netball was organized.

Said Joseph: “Though a short visit and somewhat brief time together, we will always remember his words to the girls encouraging them to balance education with sports and life will be better as you grow older."

GFA technical director Trevor McIntosh was delighted that the U17 team had an active part to play in the unique opportunity.

“I hope this is one experience that motivates them to keep playing football,” he remarked, adding that Prince Harry said he would “hang the gift on his wall.”