T&T Women's Football Association president Sharon O'Brien is one of eight local women officials who have been selected by the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) to serve at the inaugural CFU Women's Caribbean Cup which kicks off this week.
O'Brien, along with match commissioners Jenise Hinkson, Shari Beharry, Boni Bishop and Cassie Moore, along with referee Cecil Hinds, assistant referee Cindy Mohammed and referee assessor Linda Bramble-Thompson will all serve.
The tournament features 20 nations: Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, St Vincent & the Grenadines, and the US Virgin Islands (Group 1); Puerto Rico, Barbados, Dominica, and Martinique (Group 2); Turks & Caicos Islands, Cayman Islands, and St Kitts/Nevis (Group 3); Haiti, Cuba, Guadeloupe, and Suriname (Group 4); Dominican Republic, Anguilla, Jamaica, and St Lucia (Group 5); and host of the final round T&T.
Hinkson and O'Brien will serve in Group One, hosted in Antigua & Barbuda; Hinds, Mohammed and Bramble-Thompson in Group Two, hosted in Puerto Rico; and Bishop in Group Three, hosted in Turks & Caicos Islands–all three groups to be contested from tomorrow until next Tuesday.
Beharry will serve in Group Four, hosted in Haiti from May 30-June 3; and Moore in Group Five, hosted in the Dominican Republic during June 18-22.
The winner of each group, as well as best second placed and second best second placed teams (from groups One, Two, Four and Five) will join T&T in the final round, which is divided into Groups A and B, to be contested in T&T, which will also host the third place playoff and Final.
The competition, which also serves as the qualifying Stage Two towards the Women's World Cup, will have, for the first time in the history of the CFU, a tournament officiated solely by female match officials.
"The opportunity is astonishing," said 28-year-old Hinkson, a young and vibrant female match commissioner that serves the T&T Pro League and Super League. History in the making (and) I think we are all delighted to be a part of that. I am elated, on a scale of 1 to 10 ... about 15," said the mother of two kids, five-year-old Jaheim and two-year-old Jayne.
Hinkson and her T&T colleagues will join a long list of female officials within Concacaf that will serve during the CFU Women's Caribbean Cup.
She thanked local senior match commissioner Wayne Caesar, TT Pro League CEO Dexter Skeene, the TTFF and O'Brien for their support over the years, and most recently the recommendation to be able to officiate at the CFU level.