Saturday 11 July, 2020

Canada's Women enjoyed playing Barbados, despite losing the big game

West Rouge Storm football team at the Usain Bolt Stadium on their visit to Barbados.

West Rouge Storm football team at the Usain Bolt Stadium on their visit to Barbados.

Despite a faint domestic interest in comparison to their male counterparts, female football in Barbados has attracted international attention and admiration.

Canadian soccer club West Rouge Storm who play in the Ontario Women’s Soccer League Provincial Division and Central Regional East Division, recently made their debut visit to the island and according to Head Coach Lou Cornacchia it was a worthy experience.

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Cornacchia told LOOP Sports that after his initial visit in 2016 with Barbadian-Canadian coach Mark Hoyte, he was impressed with the sporting and social component experienced that he was encouraged to bring his senior women’s squad to these beautiful shores.

The visitors, who are aged between 18 and 28 years old played Women’s Premier League clubs Eden stars and the University of the West Indies (UWI), and they won and drew respectively.

However, fatigue finally took its toll on West Rouge ladies as they were defeated by the national senior women’s squad.

Coach Cornacchia said the experience is beyond football for his club and the girls; “it’s a way of giving females worldly experience in the spirit of soccer but also in the spirit of community as well.

Sharing our good fortune and coming to see how they do things on the island and maybe taking some of that back home as well and incorporating it in what we do”.

One of the team captains who echoed her coach’s sentiments was forward Riann Grant. She said it was a beautiful experience to play outside of Canada and even though they were opponents, it felt good to have something in common with people from a different place with a different culture.

“It is a lot to take in and also a lot to be thankful for because you are connected all over the world (through soccer).  We are connected to the girls we just played because we share a passion for the sport”, said Grant.

Cornacchia said he is impressed with the direction the female game has taken in Barbados, particularly in the areas of grassroots implementation and coaches’ education; citing these as two necessary components if Barbados is to catch up with its regional and confederation counterparts.

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