The Department of Constituency Empowerment and the St. Kitts and Nevis Football Association (SKNFA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Thursday, November 03, 2022, signalling a commitment to partnering for community development and empowerment programmes through sports empowerment ambassadorship.
Minister responsible for Constituency Empowerment, the Honourable Senator Dr. Joyelle Clarke signed the MOU with the President of SKNFA, Atiba Harris and the Presidents/representatives of the 2022 Super Six Teams, namely Conaree FC; St. Paul’s FC; Garden Hotspurs; Village Superstars; St. Peter’s FC and Cayon Rockets FC.
“We are thankful that the SKNFA have willingly decided to support us and to provide that channel or that bridge between the clubs and Constituency Empowerment. Essentially we are going to provide development brands through the SKNFA and then through the clubs, first with the Super Six Teams and then, of course, with all 12 teams in the Premier Division,” said Minister Dr. Clarke. “The Prime Minister [the Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew] expressed his desire to have partnership for empowerment with the sports, in particular with football because of the number of young persons who play football and, of course, because youth could be useful ambassadors for some of the empowerment programmes that we have.”
Dr. Clarke noted that the department will focus on eight (8) empowerment areas including energy; water; food security; youth activism; education; climate action; culture and sports development.
“We do have a focus on energy, water, youth activism… and we are happy that the teams in the Super Six would be able to have a very general memorandum of understanding with us to be ambassadors for one of the empowerment areas,” said Minister Dr. Clarke.
Teams will be able to access grants in the amount of EC $10,000 among other assistance. Senator Dr. Clarke said that the grants will be used to support club development. Grants will also be made available for the empowerment agenda. There is also a “small grant” that will be provided for community activists to host events such as impromptu football festivals, or to support a community event by past footballers or a party to name a few.
The grants will be accessible through the Premier League Football Teams and then Constituency Empowerment will provide the sponsorship.
“I think that the final grant approach is very critical because usually, individuals can’t access project funding through Constituency Empowerment, but if the individual can partner with the community to access the funds, it would be good,” said the Minister.
President Harris described the initiative as extremely timely, adding that SKNFA “appreciates” the government’s “contribution.” He said that clubs have a “social responsibility and it is timely in [the sense] that we are about to take the games back to the communities.”