Solomon Islands’ inaugural Solrais Women’s Premier League is set to kick off at Honiara’s DC Park on Saturday.

The competition, which consists of eight teams including Koloale FC, Wansol Frigates, Naha FC, Solright FC, Royal Police FC, Haura FC, Marist FC and Renbel Ibis, received a major boost last weekend after the Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF) secured a one-year sponsorship deal worth SBD$100,000 with the county’s largest rice company, Solrais, to become the major sponsor for the 2020 season.

Other co-sponsors such as leading architectural and engineering firm Kramer Ausenco and Coral Sea Resort & Casino have also thrown their support behind the country’s top women’s league.

At last weekend’s official launch, SIFF President and Chairman of the league board William Lai said their partners’ support would go a long way to help deliver a quality competition.

“This is a new era for Solomon Islands women’s football and I would like to wish everybody all the best as we start the inaugural women’s premier league,” he said.

“I would like to sincerely thank Solrais for accepting our proposal and to finally become our major sponsor.

“I can assure you that we will deliver a successful tournament with the support of all our other co-sponsors such as the Coral Sea Resort & Casino, Kramer Ausenco and others.”

Siff President William Lai, left, with Solrais Country Manager James Bradford. Photo Credit: SIFF Media

Saturday’s opening round will see four back-to-back matches with Koloale FC and Frigates United kicking off proceedings at 10am local time, followed by Marist FC’s clash with RSIPF FC.

The day’s third match will pair Solright FC with Naha FC followed by the final encounter between Haura FC and Renbel Ibis FC from 4pm.

With football being the only active sport currently being played in the Solomon Islands, the Solrais Women’s Premier League will follow the men’s Telekom S-League which began last weekend.

Youth leagues for U-16s and U-19s are scheduled to start later this year for schools and clubs who have teams in the senior league.

OFC Women’s Football Development Officer Emma Evans said the new league in the Solomon Islands was a step in the right direction for the women’s game.

“It is great to see women’s football expanding across Oceania. With the increase in domestic leagues across the region we will no doubt see women’s football continue to progress,” Evans said.

“The launch of the Women’s Premier League in the Solomon Islands shows how committed SIFF are to providing equal opportunities for female players in the build up to the next Pacific Games and FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023. This will no doubt be the catalyst for other OFC Member Associations to follow suit.”