The SKNFA hosted its first Grassroots Festival post-COVID at the Halfway Tree playing field on Saturday. The event was well supported by the various football clubs on the island and the parents and guardians of the participants. On the eve of the festival, SKNFA executive member in charge of the grassroots program and one of the chief organizers of the event, Phil Cooper, said this is the beginning of many more festivals, designed to boost the development of grassroots football in St. Kitts and Nevis.
Another SKNFA executive member assisting with the organizing of the festival Alleyne Morris said things went well for the festival on Saturday. “All in all, the enthusiasm is up, the participation is great and we have been going well…we are enjoying the children, the children are enjoying the environment,” Morris said.
Meanwhile, a parent of a participant expressed elation and gratitude to the SKNFA for hosting the festival. “I am excited for the children. They belong to various clubs and they do not necessarily get the opportunity to play competitively. They are enjoying the chance to play with other people and have fun at the same time, so I am happy they are given this opportunity from the SKNFA,” said Velda Irish-Browne, a parent of a participant.
SKNFA Grassroots alumni and current U-17 national team player, Darren Thomas, spoke to the participants at a short opening ceremony. He applauded the SKNFA for the initiative and said grassroots football developed him into the player he is today. “This is a positive idea from the SKNFA as it boosts the development of the children and makes the national team better,” Thomas said. “Grassroots for me was important because it boosts my confidence and my skills to play football and (gave me) a better knowledge of the game,” he added.