GFF embraces #BalanceForBetter Campaign
A message by President of the Guyana Football Federation, Wayne Forde, on the occasion of International Women’s Day, celebrated on March 8 every year.
“International Women’s Day is not just another day to celebrate women, a day where the world stops to honour the social, economic and political contributions of women, but it is a day when radical and sustainable change is often birthed.
This year, the world is accelerating the call for gender balance in all spheres of life through the #BalanceForBetter Campaign and, in football, it is no different.
This is an achievable goal and, we at the Guyana Football Federation, have been deliberately engaging a process to create balance at all levels of football; ensuring both equity and equality are emphasised.
Over the last year, we have steadfastly and deliberately re-engaged girls and women across the spectrum of the beautiful game – from grassroots to seniors – including, but not limited to, the Lady Jags’ favourable participation in the CFU Women’s Challenge Series; the U-15 girls’ participation in the Concacaf U-15 Girls Championship, a feat accomplished after a protracted period; the GFF-Always Women’s Development League, capacity building for female coaches, female medical personnel and other technical personnel in both Concacaf and FIFA-facilitated programmes, grassroots football sessions; honouring women and girls at the GFF Awards ceremony and cash and kind contributions made to various women’s teams and initiatives, both on the coast and in the hinterland region.
Noting the importance of education to the overall achievement of #BalanceForBetter, the GFF has contributed to the academic pursuits of one of our national senior women’s Goalkeeper, Natalie Nedd, who has been awarded a scholarship to Graceland University in the USA.
Nedd’s scholarship was done in partnership with the GFF’s International Support Group, led by Paul Beresford. She is the first female football player in Guyana’s history to be signed to a scholarship at an American University.
Additionally, for the third consecutive year, the GFF has recognised the inextricable link between sport and health, especially for women, and has partnered with the Guyana Cancer Foundation to promote breast cancer awareness.
For the first time in our history, we had a successful month-long observance – from the tree-wrapping on Camp Street, participating in the ‘Wear It Pink’ Day and the awareness walk to the sensitisation session held with staff and representatives of Regional Member Associations on the importance of preventative and curative measures to ensure they’re not only cancer-free but strong and healthy.
These initiatives underscore not only the Executive Committee’s commitment to this year’s theme of #BalanceForBetter, but also its overall commitment to the conscious engagement and development of women in all aspects of their life – socially, economically, culturally etc.
In fact, women’s football development is enshrined in every component of our Strategic Plan 2017 – 2021.
Is everything perfect or as progressive as we would like them to be? Absolutely not, but we will continue to be deliberate in our efforts to ensure that a space for women in football in secured and preserved, both on and off the field, not merely because they are women but because they have earned it and deserving of same.
Like last year, the GFF will engage in a month-long observance of honouring women in football through mass and social media features and the restart of the GFF-Always Women’s Development League.
These are meant to showcase the strength, determination and courage of the women involved in the beautiful game. Happy International Women’s Day to all women especially the strong, hard-working and committed women in football.”