SDF rescues women's league
The Sports Development Foundation (SDF) has come to the rescue of the Jamaica Football Federation's (JFF) Women's league with a one-year sponsorship agreement worth $9 million.
With Sherwin Williams Company pulling out after 14 years of sponsorship of the league and knockout competitions, the government stepped in to keep the league going, at least for another year.
Olivia 'Babsy' Grange, minister of culture, gender, entertainment and sports made the announcement at the press launch yesterday at the JFF's office in New Kingston.
"Women's sports should also attract support from sponsors, just like the men," Grange said.
"We are grateful to the media for highlighting women's football. However, the media can play a greater role in highlighting the disparity (between genders) that exists," she added.
"Sherwin Williams should be commended for their support of women's football in Jamaica. This year, SDF has come to the rescue of the league, but we are encouraging others to also give support.
"When government has to step in as sponsor, it does not look good, but we could not stand by and see the league not being played (due to lack of sponsorship)," the Minister said.
Michael Ricketts, a JFF board member , commended the SDF for coming on board.
"We have struggled to find a (new) sponsor for the women's league. We are excited that SDF is partnering with the JFF to continue the development of women's football in the country," Ricketts, who is also president of the Clarendon Football Association said.
Ian Kemble, JFF's head of competitions, announced that the Women's Premier League is set to kick off on Saturday, August 13 with eleven teams divided into two groups.
Last season's champions Barbican headline Group A alongside Los Perfectos, Olympic Gardens, Trelawny Women's and UWI Women. The teams in Group B are Waterhouse, GC Foster College, Real MoBay, Rangers and newcomers Central Lynx and St Ann Women's.
At the completion of the first round the top teams from each group will contest the mid-season final for a trophy and cash incentives.
The league winners will receive the trophy and $500,000 while the runner-up are guaranteed $300,000. The third and fourth place teams will collect $200,000 and $160,000, respectively.
In the Knockout competition scheduled to start on August 24, the breakdown reads: Champions - $150,000; second place - $100,000; third place - $75,000; and fourth place - $62,500.