Never say Never-Bertholt Brecht’s Mother Courage &
To establish Women’s
football in Jamaica, we know we have first to overcome
these historical myths and sexual bias that mitigate
against our ladies being involved in this male sport.
We need you understanding and support to overcome this
”Barrier” and to bring our talented sportswomen into
this 20th century sport which has already created
female soccer stars in the developed countries- Jean
Nelson, Presidential Address to 1st Congress of
Jamaica Women’s Football Association, 10th May,1990.
Women’s World Cup
1992-the motive force
Jean Elaine Nelson is
credited with playing a leading role in the
establishment of KSAFA Confederation first women’s
football competition. It can also be said, that
because of her yeoman & indefatigable effort, KSAFA
gained the distinction of promoting the first full
fledged organized women’s football competition in the
history of Jamaica.
It all started in
1989 . The talk in the air was ‘time was running out
for Jamaica’ and the country would miss the boat to
China as that country was awarded host nation of
FIFA’s first Women’s World Cup 1992 . The fever had
caught on and all over the world there was an
explosion of female interest in football. It too
dawned on the then 31 year old Mutual Security bank
clerk that ‘nutten a gwaan a yard’ ,and further,
Jamaica had nothing in place for CONCACAF Women’s
Qualifying Tournament scheduled for Haiti April 1991 .
As far as Jean Nelson was concerned, there was no
formal competition nor constitutional structures in
place for Jamaican women to play a leading role and
mobilize a national team to respond to the challenge
of the two historic events. She was undaunted by
earlier thwarted organized efforts and token curtain
raisers experienced by pioneers such as her Boys’ Town
Wild Cat teammate, Andrea Lewis; and other veterans
such as Bernadatte Mairs of Concorde and Karlene’
Tyson’ Bonner of Rae Town’s Boogie Girls. Rather, She
saw the Beijing World Cup as a new dawn, a new
challenge for women to be galvanized into action
,overcome the social prejudices and take their
rightful place in the football sun.
Goal: Boogie Girls' left winger, Pauline Smith
(left) sends a hard right-footer towards goal.
Mico's Janet Mitchell at right can do little abot
the powerhouse. The game was the KSAFA Women's
League encounter last Saturday at Mona. Boogie
Girls won 6-0.
Jean Nelson set out
to build a strategic alliance in order to strengthen
her case for consideration by JFF. Encouraged by her
former coworker at Scotia data centre, Wayne Shaw, she
first approached national women’s coach designate,
Winston Chung Fah , and shortly thereafter, Maverly-
Hughenden’s Bradley Stewart. At the Collie Smith club
house both Carl Brown and Bob West came on board.
Andrea Lewis, also a former Jamaica Women’s Hockey
goal keeper, was able to be entice the hockey
fraternity under the umbrella of Women’s Hockey. As
the word spread, Boogie Girls, named after Jamaica
famous disc jock Barry G, as` well as Mico and Priory
came on board.
Armed with the above,
the persistent Jean Nelson approached JFF general
secretary’ Calvin Baker. Noting that the teams were
largely Kingston based, he suggested that she try
KSAFA. Here president David ‘Billy “ Marston was
receptive; and his Council (KSAFC) readily endorsed
the concept, because according to a spokesman,” the
first Women’s World Cup would be held in the Peoples
Republic of China in 1992 and to spur JFF into action
in this area”. Towards this end, the KSAFC established
and assigned oversight responsibility to a KSAFA
Women’s Football Committee involving all the
stakeholders as well as voted a budgetary allocation
to cover prize monies , trophies, match expenses and
other overheads. Members of the standing committee
Dougal Campbell-League Director and KSAFA rep; Karlene
Bonner-Boogie Girls rep; Grace Butterfield-secretary
and Wild Cats rep; Joa Thompson –Boogie Girls rep;
Yvonne Williams and Donovan Phillips.
It was agreed that
the historic competition be called KSAFA Women’s Major
–Inaugural year and Formation of Jamaica Women’s
The KSAFA Women’s
Major League kicked off on Saturday January 20,1990
at Priory with a double header involving the four
(4) participating teams – Priory vs Mico and Wild
Cats Vs Boogie Girls. Wray and Nephew and Women’s
Hockey had earlier withdrawn respectively due to
financial constraint and the clash with the Hockey
Federation’s local and international fixtures. The
first match ended nil all. Pauline Smith of Boogie
Girls scored the first goal of the competition and
when Winston Dirks Campbell blew the whistle to
signal the end of the feature match, Boogie Girls
emerged victorious 3-1.
‘Dirks’ Campbell ,Richard ’Roots’ Nathan and Ezra
Samms officiated free of cost for the most part
during the preliminary round.
The final ,Boogie
Girls vs Wild Cats was played as curtain riser to
the National Premier League final Reno vs Black
Lions on February 5, 1990 at the National Stadium.
The score was locked at 1-1 and Boogie Girls went on
to win 3-2 on penalty.
Ann Marie Collins of
Boogie Girls and Jean Cover of Wild Cats shared the
leading goal scorer award, each with 6 goals.
The Jamaica Women’s
Football Association(JWFA) was formed on May 10,
1990 President-Jean Nelson; Vice –President –Karlene
Bonner; Secretary-Janet Martin: Treasurer-Jean
Cover; Assistant Secretary- Grace Butterfield.
Andrea Lewis is
co-opted as Technical Adviser.
expanded to include a rural club but competition
The JWFA decided to
continue running the Women’s League under the aegis
Rural club, Concord of
Montego Bay is one of two new clubs entering, the
other being Campion . Barry Smith, rep of Concord
was appointed to the KSAFA Women’s Football
KSAFC voted to
increase the first place prize money to $2,500 and
proposed to have the Women’s final played as a
curtain raiser at its March 1991 final.
(6)participating clubs in the 1990/1991 competition
were: Wild Cats, Boogie Girls, Mico, Concorde,
Priory and Campion. The competition was kicked off
by Sports Minister, Hon Portia Simpson at Campion on
November 17,1990 with Boggie Girls clipping Concorde
Boogie Girls qualified
for the final which never took place following
Concord’s refusal to abide by KSAFC ruling that they
have a play off with Wild Cats. The1990/1991
competition was finally abandoned as most of the
players were called to national trials
30 players from across
the island and Canada were invited to national
trials under technical director Winston Chung Fah in
February 1991 .This in preparation for CONCACAF
Women’s Qualifying Tournament in Haiti.
in the CONCACAF Qualifying Tournament in Haiti in
April 1991 and lost all three opening matches:1-0 to
Haiti;8-0 to Canada and 2-1 to Costa Rica.
dropped out three new clubs added
Boogie Girls, Wild
Cats and Mico were joined by three new clubs –
Portland Women’s Strikers, Step Up of Westchester
and Maverley-Hughenden. Three clubs, Campion ,Priory
and Concord opted not to participate.
The opening ceremony
took place at Stadium West on Saturday, February
2,2002. Boogie Girls defeated Portland Strikers 3-1.
Boogie Girls emerged
champions, again defeating Wild Cats in the final.
Ann Marie Collins of
Boogie Girls won the leading goal scorer award with
13 goals Christine Petal’ Mundle of Boogie Girls was
voted MVP. Later that same year ,Mundle was cited as
the first Jamaican female recipient of a football
scholarship to Mobile University ,Alabama where she
pursued a degree in physical education.
defected from Boys’ Town Wild Cats to forma new John
Barnes United Club
6 clubs participated
:Boogie Girls, Wild Cats, Portland Women’s Strikers,
Maverley/Hughenden, Mico and newcomers John Barnes
United which comprised largely of players who had
defected from Boy’s Town Wild Cats.
was secured for the first time as Esso came on board
as lead sponsor.
Boogie Girls and Mico
battled to an exciting 1-1 draw as the league kicked
off at Stadium West on February 22,1993. A parade of
all teams preceded the game.
Johns Barnes defeated
Boogie Girls 3-1 in the final to gain their first of
three liens on the Esso trophy.
1993/ 1994 John
Barnes United retained title
Barnes United retained title
1995- 2008 JWFA
new leadership re-branded the competition ; JFF takes
full charge following dissolution of JWFA.
a new leadership led by Elaine Walker- Brown, the JWFA
ran its Women’s League independent of the KSAFA. The
anomaly of designating a rapidly expanding island-wide
league as KSAFA Women’s Major League was therefore
discontinued and the competition re-branded as Jamaica
Women’s Football League. The JWFA was finally
dissolved in keeping with FIFA requirement and women’
football fell under the aegis of JFF with a women’s
sub-committee assigned oversight responsibility. The
women’s football competition was henceforth designated
JFF Women’s National Premier League, a second tier as
A League and a KO competition.
Re-establishment of Women’s football in KSAFA
In fulfillment of a
campaign pledge to re-establish women’s football in
KSAFA, the new Rudolph Speid led administration
appointed a women’s football committee headed by 2nd
vice president Jacqueline Cowan which opted for a
Claro sponsored Women’s Under 20 Futsal (Five a-side)
with a long term prospect for the gradual phase in
introduction of a senior women’s football league.
The U-20 Futsal kicked off on the 44th anniversary of
KSAFA, Sunday April 26,2009.
A dress parade will
precede the kick-off