PHILIPSBURG:--- FC Soualiga women's soccer team, established in April 2013 under the St. Maarten Soccer Educational Foundation, hosted a successful International Women's Soccer Tournament over the weekend of Saturday the 19th of October and Sunday the 20th of October. Five regional teams participated in the tournament, namely Sint Maarten's very own FC Soualiga teams Blue and White, Step by Step Football Academy from Trinidad, Les Diablesses Rouges from St. Barth's and the Victory Queens from Curaçao.
The tournament attracted many spectators that were treated to excellent play from all the teams participating. Spectacular play was shown by first place team Step by Step Football Academy from Trinidad, whom brought along four of their national players which have recently beat Arsenal and Tottenham in the United Kingdom. Their skills, endurance, sportsmanship and technique were a pleasure to watch for the entire crowd and many of the other participating teams learnt a lot from their team and their players. A well-deserved second place went to the Victory Queens from Curaçao. The FC Soualiga Blue ladies finished third. The team scored a total of 15 goals in the three games played. Considering the team has only been in existence for approximately six months this was a great feat to be celebrated. All other teams have been together for many years and have had much more experience of participating in tournaments of a higher level. In addition, the FC Soualiga Blue's goalie Odessa Solomon received a prize for being the best goalie of the tournament. The prize for most goals went to Trinidad's Maylee Johnson. All prizes were presented by the FC Soualiga Management Team together with the support of the Honorable Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunications (TEZVT) Mr. Ted Richardson and the Honorable Prime Minister Mrs. Sarah Wescot-Williams.
FC Soualiga's management team and their coach Mr. David Forsythe are extremely happy with the outcome of the tournament and deem it a great success. Together they are very thankful for all the support from the community at large and the support provided by the local businesses for this event and women's soccer on the island as a whole. The event would not have been successful if it weren't for the many donations and assistance received from the sponsors. FC Soualiga would therefore like to thank their corporate sponsor Princess Juliana International Airport, the Ministry of TEZVT, the Department of Tourism, Divi Little Bay Beach Resort, Bel Air Beach Hotel, Oyster Bay Beach Resort, Cost U Less, Heavenly Water, International Liquor and Tobacco Trading, Domino's Pizza, Looking Good, Sports Gallery, Vanity First, Ballerina Jewelers, the SHTA and Taloula Mango's for their generous donations and contributions. A special thank you also goes out to the volunteers Jules de Vries, Maarten van Rooij, Damien Voges, Nathaly Pieters, Bas van den Bosch, Rita Aikman and Ruth Hooi as well as to the Honorable Prime Minister Mrs. Sarah Wescot-Williams, the Honorable Minister of TEZVT Mr. Ted Richardson, Honorable Chairlady of Parliament drs. Gracita Arrindell, Honorable Member of Parliament Romain Laville, Mrs. Claudette Forsythe-Labega, the Belvedere Community and the board of the St. Maarten Soccer Educational Foundation for their continuous support and contributions.
The success of the tournament has further encouraged FC Soualiga to attain its goal to encourage fun and energetic women to participate in the sport of soccer, thereby living a healthy and active lifestyle, as well as contributing to the community when and wherever they can. They deem to further stimulate the sport of soccer locally, to get acquainted with other women's soccer teams in the region, as well as stimulate the important role of women in sports. With tournaments such as these, FC Soualiga also hopes to stimulate sports tourism for Sint Maarten and its establishments, thereby reiterating the need for such events and proper sports facilities to have the community become a more active and healthy one.