Walker-Brown plans St Catherine FA overhaul
Elaine Walker-Brown is the new president of the St Catherine Football Association after her narrow victory over long-time vice-president Ricardo Valentine yesterday.
Walker-Brown, who has been serving football in the parish for more than 20 years, received 41 votes to Valentine’s 39. She told The Gleaner that her first order of business is to undertake a complete overhaul of the structure of competitions in the parish as she believes the current operations are turning youngsters away from the sport.
“The structure of the competitions is very poor,” Walker-Brown said. “At the senior level, we have a Division Two with six teams, no sponsors, a Division One with 13 teams; no sponsors; and a major League without a sponsor as well.”
Walker-Brown, who is the second woman to have ascended to the presidency of a parish football association, says teams will be streamlined into zones.
“The first thing we are going to do is merge D2 (Division 2) into D1 (Division 1), and we are going to zone them according to proximity so that we can get back the support of the communities, and also reduce the travelling of the teams which has become a burden because of the lack of funding. We are also going to try to assist the teams that are dormant to revive them, because this is a way to get more youngsters active,” she said.
Walker-Brown says she has already been networking for partnerships.
“Sponsors have approached us already, and we are looking to get additional sponsors because the overall objective is to give youngsters the platform to develop their talents,” she said.
Valentine, who was gracious in defeat, said that he hopes Walker-Brown does very well.
“I am naturally disappointed, but it was a close but fair election,” he said. “A vote here or there could have put it in my favour, but we accept it. She now has the responsibility to lead the association and the bar is set very high, and so she will have to hit the ground running.”