Wednesday, 10 June 2009 10:12 AM

Women Foot it With the Men

While all eyes will be on the men's National Club Championships today, it will be the women who take centre stage at the Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF) tomorrow.

SIFF is staging the first ever National Day for Women's Football which will include live music, promotional stalls, guest speakers and plenty of football.

The event has been organised to coincide with the inaugural FIFA Women's Football Com-Unity Course which concludes at the Kitano Mendana Hotel today. Participants of the seminar are expected to take part in tomorrow's festivities.

SIFF General Secretary Eddie Ngava says it is a wonderful opportunity to showcase the women's game.

"We have organised this event to celebrate women's football and encourage the younger generation to get involved in the sport," said Ngava.

"It is also an opportunity to bring together Government officials, Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) community groups and other partners who are so vital in helping to support the women's game."

The event will get underway at 9:00am on Thursday 11 June with live music from Kekene and other well-known Honiara bands. Stalls will be set up by Government Ministries, NGOs, and SIFF partners Our Telekom and DJ Graphics who will be offering special offers.

Honiara Football Association women's teams Kossa and Marist will play the opening match followed by the Women's Disability Team. A drama aimed at raising public awareness about HIV/Aids will be shown at 11:30am followed by the official welcome at midday. Former New Zealand Internationals Michele Cox and Priscilla Duncan, who are involved in the FIFA Com-Unity Course, will then join Solomon Island national team players in a juggling competition.

In the afternoon, small sided games for U-10, U-12 and U-14 girls will be played as well as a feature match between the current Honiara League Champions Uncles and a select team.
SIFF Women's Development Officer Diane Justus has been instrumental in organising the event and hopes it will raise public awareness about women's football.

"Not everyone is aware that we have organised competitions for women and that there are some very talented female players here in the Solomon Islands," said Justus.

"Tomorrow is about raising interest and showing how women's football can build stronger, healthier communities."

Justus has spearheaded SIFF's Outreach Program aimed at encouraging girls to get involved in football and tomorrow's matches will feature 16 Honiara schools that have been involved in that project.

The National Day for Women's Football is an initiative that came out of the SIFF Women's Committee. It will be held in Honiara this year but from 2010 it will be held throughout the country.