More and more women in Vanuatu are getting involved in football thanks to a new women’s development plan introduced by the Vanuatu Football Federation (VFF) this year.
The development plan aims to expand football opportunities for women beyond the capital Port Vila and into the provinces and towns of rural Vanuatu.
As part of this plan, a competition has been established between the two municipal associations of Port Vila and Luganville called Fresh Cargo Challenge Shield. Fresh Cargo, a national passenger ship service, came onboard as naming sponsor after they were approached earlier in 2009
The inaugural Fresh Cargo Challenge Shield opened at Luganville’s Chapius Stadium on 24 August this year and is the culmination of the newly opened VFF Women’s Development Office in Luganville and a tight group of workers in the Local Organising Committee. Port Vila FC were crowned the eventual winners of the inaugural tournament.
The competition saw selection teams from the two areas playing in a home and away tournament. Matches were played according to FIFA regulations which is a step up from recent national tournaments that have included nine-a-side games of one hour duration.
The teams were encouraged to utilise female coaches, managers and referees in the preparation and participation of the tournament, giving experience and exposure for all involved. School teams were also able to participate in opening matches to showcase local talent and to encourage younger girls to watch the matches between the country’s best female footballers.
As a first time event, the main purpose of the tournament was to provide women footballers in Vanuatu with an opportunity to play competitively in a well organised tournament environment.
With recent visits to Vanuatu by FIFA Women’s Football Consultant Monika Stabbs and FIFA Coaching Instructor Mrs Shuk-Chi Chan, the development of women’s football in Vanuatu has been raised as a priority objective for VFF.
Story courtesy of VFF Media