The Grenada Football Association’s Acting General Secretary Malaika Church is leading the process for the FA in preparation for the CONCACAF U17 Women’s Championship.
Church was chosen among 35 women worldwide for FIFA’s Female Leadership Development Programme aimed at increasing the number of female leaders in football.
The programme is a 9-month intensive course done in partnership with the THNK School of Creative Leadership. Ms Church has travelled to Vancouver, Canada and Zurich, Switzerland for the first two legs of the programme.
The third and final leg of the journey was the end of February in Amsterdam. While Ms Church would have liked to be there physically, she has made the sacrifice of months of hard work to remain in Grenada to ensure that the U17 Tournament is executed at the highest level.
She says the training she received in the FIFA Women’s Leadership Programme has paid off. “The Programme has definitely been beneficial to me. Activities taught in the programme have contributed to me being calm and focused during the demands of the preparation. I’m more decisive with my decisions, and also more proactive as opposed to being reactive to situations. I must thank my mentor Sarai Bareman who has been readily available in providing constructive feedback and advice” said Church.
As part of the course, Ms Church has developed a programme which seeks to use positive messages displayed by the Association’s mascots ‘Spice’ and ‘Spicy’ to uplift the self-esteem of young girls. Still in the pilot stage, the programme is set to be implemented directly following the tournament in 3 of the nation’s secondary schools.
Grenada is the first country in the OECS region to host a CONCACAF tournament of this magnitude. The CONCACAF U-17 Women’s Championship Grenada 2016 is carded for the 3 to 13 March.