The Barbados Football Association (BFA) has another reason to be proud as one of its female staff members, Patrina “Pixie” Brathwaite has gone down in history as the first Futsal coach in Barbados.
Braithwaite who is employed at the BFA as an administrator added another certificate to her coaching resume having successfully completed the Futsal868 Coaching Education Series for the basic and level one.
The five-day course was conducted by Sergio Gargelli of Futsal Solution and attracted 24 participants from around the Caribbean region.
Sharing what the experience was like as a first-time candidate, Brathwaite told Barbados TODAY, “The course was a different experience, because of the current situation in the world right now it was done online normally in a classroom setting.
“We did not get the opportunity to have physical activities or practice drills for the various topics. The examination was done one on one with the instructor explaining your coaching session. Participants were from different countries in the Caribbean.”
“I was always eager to get involved in Futsal after being one of the organizers for the Guinness Street Football Challenge.
The knowledge that I have taken away from this course, I will use as an introduction to young females to get involved in football.
“It’s a small-sided game, which allows for a lot of touches on the ball, good decision-making and showcasing skill in one versus one situation which is used on the outfield, also not only indoor,” she added.
Brathwaite’s journey in football has been a long one. She has represented the Barbados senior women’s team, is a qualified football referee, and now serves on the BFA administrative team alongside Khadijah Mars who recently made history when she became the first female to manage a senior men’s football team in this country.
As someone who is passionate about the game and wants to see every aspect of its development locally, Brathwaite said she would like more women to get involved in Futsal.
“I would like more women to get involved in Futsal so that the more coaches we have, we can use them in primary schools and secondary to get more females playing through this small-sided game.
“I think futsal is a very exciting game, it showcases a lot of dribbling skills, plenty of goals, good decision making from players and it’s good for developing younger players’ skills,”
Not only is she owning and charting her path to greater things, but Brathwaite has the credentials to match. She boasts of having a Sports Science and Coaching Degree (Hons), a Sports Management Diploma, D licence certificate (Women only), Level 1 Coaching Certificate, Futsal Basic and Level 1 Certificates, Match Analysis Certificate (England FA Course), and also a Child Protection certificate (UNICEF).
Brathwaite’s goal is to implement programs to grow the sport among females. She also wants to use whatever knowledge to assist players in achieving their football dreams.
“I really wanted to get into coaching but now I would rather become a women’s football coordinator or a female technical director to introduce programs to get more females playing and competing.
“I did not have much experience playing football at the national level because of hockey. And my dream was to become a professional football player but while playing there were not many pathways or opportunities. But now I am in a position to assist a player one day to become a professional player, to fulfill their dream (since) I did not have the opportunity,” Brathwaite stated.
The last futsal tournament was held in 2010 at the Wildey Gymnasium.
Braithwaite believes that the lack of accessibility to facilities prevents the BFA from hosting futsal tournaments steadily.
“BFA does not really promote Futsal because of lack of a facility, there are only two indoor courts in Barbados – BCC and the Wildey Gymnasium. We had a youth competition in 2015 or 2016.
“But if promoted it can be played at all age levels from youth right up to masters because of the nature of the game. It can also be used as a tool to attract more people to watch football,” she said. [email protected]