In a letter to the BVIFA, Mr Steven Martens, FIFA Technical Director, expressed his gratitude for the commitment, hard work and creativity shown by the coaches and demonstrated by the players as local football looks to overcome the many issues thrown up by the pandemic.
“Most recently, following the VI Governments protocols which have allowed training and practice to resume, under official guidelines, the FA and it’s Coaches were able to get youth programmes back up and running on Tortola, Virgin Gorda and Anegada,” a BVIFA press release stated.
According to Dan Neville, the BVIFA’s Technical Director, Jost van Dyke will soon follow and plans for a Youth Academy League can now also continue.
“We are delighted to be recognised for hard work in getting our programmes up and running. The equipment FIFA has so kindly donated will have a huge impact on all players. A massive well done to all the BVIFA staff and a big thank you to Lenny, Jason, Andre and Gareth for their incredible ongoing support,” Neville stated.
Apart from a supply of clothing, the shipment from FIFA includes balls, boots, bibs and shin guards.
Football’s world governing body, FIFA, has provided a large number of clothing and equipment to the BVI Football Association (BVIFA), in recognition for the work put in by the coaches and players to keep the game going throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Noting that now is the time for everyone to come together and live the FIFA values of fair play, team spirit, transparency and innovation, Martens said he hopes the token of appreciation will go a long way to helping the BVIFA to continue its development programmes.
It is a hope shared by Neville, who confirmed the aim of the BVIFA is “to put the equipment to good use and further enhance every aspect of football, youth, senior, male or female, in the islands.”
The youth programmes are especially important to the BVIFA, as well as the clubs, since plans are progressing to launch Youth Academy Leagues by November 1, 2020.
Each of the Association’s member clubs have been approached to put together U17 and U13 squads of both boys and girls and appoint a qualified coach to run the teams that will then participate in a 5-a-side or 7-a-side League on Fridays and Saturdays.
So far six clubs have accepted the invitation; Wolues, Panthers, Sugar Boys, Sea Argo, Old Madrid, VG United, Lion Heart, One Caribbean and Rebels.
Schools programmes will also be rolled out once Government gives approval.
Politicians are people who, when they see light at the end of the tunnel, go out and buy some more tunnel.