As part of a thrust to re-energize her once fading community of Crawle River in Clarendon, Carol Robinson helped to resurrect a football team, and has been providing top notch leadership that forces even men to take note.
“We realized that the community was going under; we realized that we could reach somewhere by building a football team,” she told The Beacon.
The former grocery shop operator, better known as Gene, is among a small group of female football managers in Clarendon. She is among an even smaller group that can outrightly claim success.
Her squad, Crawle River Football Club, after its resurrection three years ago, secured victory in the Northern Clarendon Football League last year, and in the Insport Horace Dalley Football League in Croft’s Hill this month – June 2.
Mrs Robinson said the matches and wins mean a lot not only to the team, but also to the community. “On a Sunday evening when we are going to a match, this community is almost empty,” she noted.
She further told The Beacon: “A community without young people is a dying community; young people bring the life in everything. If there is nothing here for them to do, they are gonna graduate from school and move out.
“But when there is something that they can look forward to, some will remain here and help to build the community,” added Mrs Robinson, who also dabbles in cricket.
She stated that she wants to launch a netball programme to get more women involved in sports. However, the community does not have a netball court, and funding generally has been a challenge.
Mrs Robinson, therefore, made an appeal for parliamentarians Horace Dalley and Pearnel Charles Snr to intervene, adding that Crawle River is located in the two constituencies represented by those parliamentarians.
“We are trying to see which of them is willing to help us; we really need it,” she emphasized.
Mrs Robinson, in the meantime, told The Beacon that she developed an interest in football some 30 years ago when she met the man she now calls husband, Devon Robinson.
They went to a lot of matches together, considering that Mr Robinson once played for Crawle River. “We went up and down to matches and, from then, I developed a love for football and can’t put it down. I eat it; I dream it; I just live it; I just enjoy it.”
Mrs Robinson stated that her husband recently joined the Crawle River football management team; so too did another female – Karen Burrell.
The team’s other manager, Wayne Maduro, who once played for Crawle River, is the one who initially helped Mrs Robinson to breathe new life into the community’s football programme.
Two other residents, Kizzy-Ann Williamson and Nicola Pennant, have been offering significant help although they are not on the management team.
Mrs Robinson, in the meantime, said discipline is among the factors that have made Crawle River a standout. “We go around and display a level of discipline; we have to do what we do so that others can see the good in it,” she told The Beacon.
Her emphasis on discipline has not gone unnoticed.
Organizer of the Insport Horace Dalley Football League, Sheldon Douglas, said he admires Mrs Robinson especially because she is well organized and disciplined.
Romaine Rowe, who manages the One Connection football team in Clarendon, said Mrs Robinson, has became a friend and inspiration over the past two years. He further told The Beacon that, having seen how well organized she has been, he was inspired to add a female to the One Connection team.
By Horace Mills, Journalist
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