Walker-Brown urges women’s clubs to get organised
Despite the hiccups the Jamaica Women’s Premier League (JWPL) has experienced since it returned from a three-year hiatus last November, chairperson of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) Women’s Committee, Elaine Walker-Brown, says the aim is to at least make the league semi-professional in the next two years.
As a result, she is imploring local women’s clubs to get themselves organised, not only so that they qualify structurally to participate in the league but so that they can go directly to the governing body, FIFA, for assistance.
Walker-Brown said FIFA has created openings for emerging women’s clubs to get support, and she wants local clubs to make the most of this opportunity.
“We have been out for a while and the clubs have had their ups and downs. In the next two to three years we want to move into a professional or a semi-professional league.
“We have some work to do as we have seen some hiccups with the start of the competition. But there are a lot of opportunities coming for women’s football, and the clubs do not have to come through the JFF. They themselves can make that contact to FIFA,” she told The Gleaner.
She said the federation has also put a lot of effort in ensuring that clubs are properly. structured.
“It is just to prepare and equip them so they can receive those funds. If they do not have the structure, they cannot get the funding,” she said.
She pointed out that through the women’s committee, they have made a request to FIFA for their female programmes, and one of the projects is to get the parish associations involved with the schools in their parish so that they can continue to develop and grow the talent pool locally.
“For our grass-roots programmes, we want the entire Jamaica on board. Things that have helped with the development of women’s football in one parish are the same things we are going to do in other parishes,” she said.
“So when the JFF decides to look for age-group teams, we will have a large pool around the island. When scouts and universities come, we will know where to find them. So we will be equipped and ready.”
She added that these are opportunities female football clubs did not have a decade ago, and she believes that it is a good chance to grow local women’s football despite the lack of corporate support.
“We do not always have to look to corporate support to get financing because the governing body has put things in place because they believe in women’s football,” she said.