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Charlotte Amalie
Sunday, July 21, 2024
HomeNewsLocal newsLady Rovers SC Presents 2024 Summer Kick-Off

Lady Rovers SC Presents 2024 Summer Kick-Off

Lady Rovers U11 Team group shot. (Photos courtesy Lady Rovers Soccer Club)

Girls’ soccer teams will battle it out this weekend as the Lady Rovers Soccer Club presents its third annual Summer Kick-Off. The tournament will take place from Thursday to Sunday at the St. Croix Renaissance Park, also known as VIALCO, and will feature Girls U6, U11, and U16 teams from St. Croix, St. Thomas, and the BVI.

The Lady Rovers Soccer Club is a branch of the male soccer team, “Rovers.” Coach Makiesh Taylor-Jones and Zauditu Kaza-Amlak affectionately known as “Coach Z” took on the women’s division in 2022.

“When we started, there really was nothing happening for women’s soccer outside of the national team, and even that pool was very small. Growing up Makiesh and I played together and there was a lot more happening for female soccer.  Not much, but more than we saw in 2021 and 2022,” said Coach Z.

After inquiring, they took it upon themselves to accept the offer to be the women’s development officers for the Lady Rovers and began recruiting. Coach Z reflected on their first day. “I think our first day we had like nine girls,” she said.

“We wanted to get it back to what we knew soccer to be when we were younger and even better than that,” she continued.

Today, the Lady Rovers have a total of 70 females registered to the club from U6 up to the women’s division. The U6 team is called the “Ladybugs,” with girls as young as 3 years old.

Little Ladybugs battle it out. (Photos courtesy Lady Rovers Soccer Club)

On Thursday, the first day of the tournament, there will be a welcome ceremony for the participating coaches and staff. This will also be an opportunity to discuss the weekend’s events and the rules and regulations for the tournament.

On Friday, there will be an opening ceremony at 10:00 a.m. with special performances, followed by the start of the games at 10:30 a.m.

On Saturday, the games will continue at 9:30 a.m.

Finally, on Sunday, the top four teams will compete to determine the winner of the tournament.

Lady Rover players try to gain control of the ball. (Photos courtesy Lady Rovers Soccer Club)

The Lady Rovers Soccer Club is no stranger to throwing a fantastic party for their players. After the tournament, the club will host their closing ceremony with the theme being “Tropical Bliss” at Fort Frederik Museum and will also take that opportunity to honor sponsors and recognize their coaches.

“We want to show them that the hard work that they put on the field and to develop these life skills does pay off. We want to keep their interest and show them that in this community we want to have fun and they do deserve celebrations like this,” Coach Z said about the youth soccer players.

In terms of the future for the Lady Rover Soccer Club, she said, “I see a bright future for the Lady Rovers. Our goal as long as it’s what they want is to foster these skills in them so that they can now take it to a national team, a college or wherever they want to go in life. In terms of the club, we want to make it a foundation for women’s soccer in the Virgin Islands, where you can come and play good soccer, build those relationships and just keep growing.”

Dejalys Delgado passes the ball out at last year’s tournament. (Photos courtesy Lady Rovers Soccer Club)

The Lady Rovers Club would like to expand the tournament every year to include more participating teams from other Caribbean islands, creating Inter-Caribbean camaraderie.

For a complete schedule of the tournament you can visit the Lady Rovers’ Facebook page.

Registration for their season begins in September.

Coach Z also expressed gratitude to the Soccer Federation, parents, and all their supporters. The Lady Rovers rely on public donations and sponsorships for funding. Some of their sponsors include Viya, St. Croix Renaissance Park, Salty Locs, Executive Tent Rentals, Aqua Mist, V.I. Lottery, USVI Public Library System, USVI Department of Planning and Natural Resources, VIFEMS, Alfio Pizza, WSTX Radio Stations, Cane Bay Cares, USVI Division of Festivals/Tourism, Guardians of Culture, International Private Bank, Ideal Moments, First Step Therapy, Kaza Farm and Quick Serve Gas Station.

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