May 24, 2022
Females continue to shine at the football pitch after a slice of history was created at the Opening Round of the 2022 Digicel Fiji FACT on Sunday, where for the first time, the Under 16 girls team took the role of 'ball girls'.
Ball kid manager Rohini Chand said they wanted to break the barrier in a tournament where male counterparts are only involved as ball kids.
Chand said young males are always given the role of ball boys during league games and tournaments but this time, with the support from the Fiji Football Association young women took up the role.
"Well every time it's the boys who are the ball boys but this time we tried something new."
"Girls have already stepped on the field as footballers but this time we wanted to involve them in something new. Women never got the opportunity to perform this role and this was the first time we arranged that females also get the opportunity to play the roles of ball girls."
"At first, the girls were a bit scared that they might get negative comments from the spectators because this is the job which boys normally do but then Fiji football stepped in and we all gave them a thorough three days of training."
"They are aware of the field because all of them are part of the Suva women’s under 16 teams so, after the games, they realised that it’s not a hard role but they just need to be careful that the ball does not hit them."
"Absolutely, they were very fast at collecting the ball out of the line mark. They also made sure that if the ball has gone out of the field of play, there is a replacement ball so that there is no distraction in the match."
Chand is hopeful that more such opportunities are given to the females in the upcoming football matches.
By Romeka Romena