Prime Minister Congratulates St. Maarten Soccer Educational Foundation on Twentieth Anniversary

St. Maarten Soccer Educational Foundation Twentieth Anniversary of Hosting School TournamentsPromotes Gender Equity in soccer with First All-Female Soccer Team and Female Board Members

The Prime Minister of St. Maarten the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams joined with football players, enthusiasts, parents, friends and teachers in opening the St. Maarten Soccer Educational Foundation School Tournament and Exhibition Match on Saturday morning at the Johan Cruyf Field in Belvedere. The St. Maarten Soccer Educational Foundation (SSEF) also celebrated their twenty-year anniversary on Saturday. The Prime Minister stated that despite having been to many tournament openings it felt good to once again be there for their twentieth year. "If you were to ask me I never could have imagine that you are at your twentieth anniversary this morning," commented the Prime Minister.

Spectators at the event were also treated to an exhibition match by the all female senior Oualichi Soccer Team; the first of its kind for St. Maarten. The exhibition match is part of the SSEF’s goal of realizing gender equity in sports in general and in soccer more specifically. "We are happy to see that the Board of the St. Maarten Soccer Educational Foundation has now accepted the need to address Gender Equity amongst all levels of society, including sports. It is my belief, as it is the belief of so many others, that girls and women can and should do the same activities and be open to the same opportunities boys and men have," continued the PM.

The Prime Minister also congratulated the Oualichi soccer team in becoming the first all female senior soccer team for St. Maarten and for allowing older girls and women the opportunity to play soccer.

‘You deserve to be congratulated and I am excited to see today’s matches and those in the weeks to come and I wish you a wonderful tournament," concluded the Prime Minister.