Fifteen women from across the Solomon Islands took the time to learn about leadership development at the inaugural OFC Women’s Football Capacity Building Workshop, held between September 19-21 in Honiara.

The workshop, which is part of the OFC Women’s Football Capacity Building Programme, aims to build the foundations for women working in or aspiring to work in women’s football which contributes to the pillars of the ALL IN: OFC Women’s Football Strategy 2027.

Facilitated by Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF) Women’s Development Officer Antoinette Miniti and SIFF Social Responsibility Manager Maria Rufinahe, the group undertook theoretical sessions indoors before applying what they learned at a girls’ festival on the final day.

A highlight of the event was the attendance of guest speakers Millicent Barty, an Obama Foundation Scholar and 2018 Queens Young Leader recipient, and Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF) Executive Committee Member Angelline Vave.

Group shot at the SIFF women’s capacity building workshop. Credit: SIFF Media via AHG Media Productions.

While it provided opportunities for the participants to learn about leadership themselves, it was an opportunity of growth for Miniti as it was her first time taking control of a workshop alike.

“I found the workshop enjoyable and fulfilling,” Miniti said.

“It was good to connect with the participants and build on the existing relationships we already have – an important aspect for the growth of women’s football.

“The women showed a good understanding of the topics presented and participated in activities wholeheartedly.

“As a facilitator I learned how important it was to create a positive learning environment where participants can think, act and share freely.

“Overall it was a positive experience, I am happy to finally get these series of workshops up and running and am looking forward to future workshops.”

Following the workshop, participants gained a better understanding of each other’s personal lives and experiences and grew confidence when dealing with and overcoming challenges, acquired leadership skills and established a mutual connection and trust.

The next women’s football capacity building workshops in the Solomon Islands will be held between October 10-12 in Honiara and October 25-27 in Gizo, Western Province.