By: Roselyn Monroyo (Author,Saipan Tribune)
Northern Mariana Islands Football Association and D&Q Saipan have reached an agreement recently for the sponsorship of NMIFA women’s league and its other related programs for female soccer players in the CNMI.
D&Q Saipan through one of its suppliers, Unilever, has committed $30,000 for NMIFA’s women’s program for three years. D&Q Saipan resident manager Max P. Kretzers turned in part of the sponsorship money to NMIFA president Jerry Tan in a brief ceremony yesterday at the Oleai Sports Complex Field. Representatives of various football clubs and several female players were present to witness the turnover ceremony.
As part of the agreement, NMIFA’s women’s league will now be called Dove Women’s Football League. Dove is one of the Unilever products D&Q distributes here and in Guam.
“We are happy to be part of this women’s league as we want to help make the sport stronger in the CNMI and encourage more female players to come out and join soccer,” Kretzers said. “Our supplier, Unilever, has some available funds and they are glad to help. Our previous business development manager encourages as to get into sports and connect our products with the sports community so this partnership really fits.”
Tan said the sponsorship money will be used to defray the cost of running the league and other programs for women’s football, such as clinics and more tournaments.
“We are very grateful to D&Q and its supplier, Unilever for their support. As you know, NMIFA is a non-profit group and it’s really costly to run a program, such as the women’s league, yearound. As much as possible we want to minimize the charges and fees that we have to impose to teams, players, and club, so this sponsorship will really help realize that goal,” Tan said.
“It’s (sponsorship) great news to our female players because usually it’s our men’s teams that get help from sponsors. On behalf of NMIFA and its executive and women’s committee, I would like to say thank you to D&Q and Unilever. Their sponsorship just made it more affordable for teams and players to join the league. Also, the sponsorship is very timely because more young female players are into the program,” Tan added.
Seven teams are competing in the Dove Women’s Football League and majority of them are U18 players. Several players in the women’s league are also suiting up for various clubs that are participating in NMIFA’s spring and fall youth leagues.