The Barbados Secondary Schools Football League (BSSFL) executive and the Barbados Football Association have yet to reach a mutual agreement on the way forward for schools football.
But president of the BSSFL, Wren Ramsey, said he was hopeful this will change going into 2021, as they seek to build a fruitful relationship with the Randy Harris-led Barbados Football Association administration.
“We would have liaised with the BFA over the last two to three years as it relates to the possibility of them lending some assistance,” Ramsey told Barbados TODAY.
“But we have not been able to come to a hard and fast agreement as to the way forward. As it currently stands, there is no set assistance coming from the FA.
“They allow us to run our competitions, they provide us with referees which we pay for. So the only real assistance I would have to say would be in terms of a venue.
“We have been allowed to use their facility at Wildey to host some of our events, especially as it relates to the female tournaments.
“The last female tournament we did was done in three zones and we used the BFA as the base for one of those zones.”
Recently, Ramsey and his executive met with members of the Emmerson Boyce Foundation to discuss women’s football within the schools programme.
Boyce, who recently formed the organisation to spearhead especially the development of women’s football on the island, is a former national captain and England professional who won the FA Cup with Wigan Athletic in 2013.
“We would have met with the Emmerson Boyce Foundation while they were here on the island,” Ramsay said.
“This was after they had signed the MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) with the BFA. So we would have had some discussion as to how the schools league would be able to benefit from what they are looking to do as it relates to female football.
“It was just an initial meeting to say the way our programme is run, the vision we have for our programme going forward and I guess the two kind of align at some point.
“So it is just a matter of waiting until they are ready to implement that programme.”
He added: “We have already started to implement some of the groundwork that they have asked us to do. This as it relates to statistics on the number of girls who would have participated in the last female competition we had.
“Basically we have to provide data for those girls so that when programs are ready to roll out, we would have that information at hand for them.
“Outside of that we would have discussed the possibility of some coaching assistance coming through their foundation and the BFA. We just have to wait and see if it comes to fruition.”
Before the emergence of the Emmerson Boyce Foundation, Ramsey said the BSSFL had worked tirelessly on developing the boys programme (Under-14, 16, 18) along with the girls.
However, he said they were often faced with the challenge of limited resources as it related to coaches.
“We have always been doing the most we can with the limited resources we had as it relates to female football,” he explained.
“One of the biggest challenges for us as it relates to the female aspect of the game is coaching staff. We have to appreciate that we run three male competitions as well as a female competition. And in some schools that is one coach stretched across four teams.
“As it relates to boosting the female game, we are constantly promoting the female game within the schools. We would have promoted the Live Your Goals campaign in the schools when the BFA was promoting that campaign.
“We have a female competition every year. We send our coaches to the female training workshops when they have them.”
Heading into the new year, Ramsey revealed that the current executive had been working on a strategic plan for the way forward.
However, those plans are put on pause at the moment because the BSSFL elections are due some time early in 2021.
“Elections were postponed due to the pandemic so we will be having those elections early in the new year,” he said.
“So we have to wait and see what members of the committee remain and depending on who remains if any changes would be made to the strategic plan.”