Ba Coach Charlene Lockington is pleading with Fiji Football Association to increase the prize money of the inaugural 2023 Rooster Chicken/Scoop Ice Cream Women’s Battle of the Giants tournament which is currently underway at the HFC Bank Stadium in Suva.
Fiji FA confirmed the winner in the women’s category will receive $3,000 with a trophy but Lockington said this is not sufficient.
Lockington said districts like Ba spend more than $3,000 in preparing for tournaments as such and Fiji FA needs to reconsider rewarding them with reasonable prize money.
“We thank Fiji football for introducing the tournament for the women alongside the men’s competition.”
“In future I’d like to see bigger prize money because in order to prepare a team and deal with players who are students, the bus card time finishes at five. In order to have a long afternoon training, we have to pay fares. We spend a lot of money.”
“The winning price is just $3,000 and our preparation is more than that. We don’t mind and we just want to give our players game time and would like Fiji FA to get a bigger sponsor.”
“We plead with the sponsors and Fiji FA if they could make our prize money a little more bigger and equal to that of the men’s.”
Lockington said despite the financial assistance from the Ba Football Association, the women’s team heads forked out money from their pocket to pay for the bus fares of the youth players and those senior players who live far away from the Academy in Namosau.
“We would like to thank our men’s association for always supporting us. In future if our prize money is bigger, we might have money people in the stands and teams may prepare better if they know we are playing for bigger prizes.”
“Its quite costly to top up our bus card. We have a card that caters for the players bus fare. Some of them stay really far and bus fares have gone up. If we have to send our goalkeeper up to her home after daily training, it’s more than $25 and even where Cema Nasau lives it’s $25.”
“It’s actually expensive for us when it comes to afternoon training. I think all other women districts must be facing the same thing. In order to prepare for the tournament, we do a lot of preparation.”
“Just having a half an hour training session, that’s not good enough to prepare for a tournament. What we did do was that we went into camp and we had 15 students whom we provided lunch and that’s a lot of money. When we look at the expenses, it’s more than the prize money we receive.”