Bahamas elects its first woman to lead football

Published on 19 May 2023

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (May 19, 2023)—Anya James prevailed in elections on May 16, becoming the first woman president of the Bahamas Football Association (BFA). The victory placed James into a small circle as one of two female presidents in the Caribbean and one of four in Concacaf. The others are Sonia Fulford Missick (Turks and Caicos Islands); Charmaine Crooks (Canada); and Cindy Parlow-Cone (United States).

James comes to the helm having served for eight years as vice president in the Anton Sealey-led football association. Sealey, who was president for 27 years, did not seek reelection.

Another first for the BFA is having two female executives, with Daria Adderley winning a spot on the council. The other members are Dion Peterson, John Joseph, Gavin Christie, Frankie Edmond and André Moss. 

James told her hometown paper, The Nassau Guardian, she was at once elated and cognizant of the responsibilities.

“It is an awesome feeling,” the paper quoted her as saying. “It was something that I worked hard for. I was the first female executive and have been there for the past eight years. I felt as if I was prepared for the role as president.”

She added, “I feel like I now have a responsibility to encourage other females to step forward. A lot of times, we like to be in the background, but there are a lot of females who are capable of assuming leadership roles in whatever aspect, whether it is sports, business or any other area. I want to encourage ladies to take a chance. We are used to sacrificing our time in service, so the next step is leadership. They will be surprised as to how much people support you in your roles.”

James thanked the outgoing president, noting his commitment to the sport and the respect he has earned. She also thanked him for exposing her to the wider world of football.”

CFU President Randolph Harris congratulated James on her election and pledged the Caribbean Football Union’s continued support for the BFA.

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