By Neto Baptiste
Whenever one thinks of sports and sports administration at any level in Antigua, the roles are normally associated with a male figure.
However quite a few women have, over the years, broken the glass ceiling where sports administration is concerned. One such female figure is Ruby Williams, a former national netballer, coach and football administrator who hails from the village of Old Road.
Williams, who has played pivotal roles in the success of the Old Road Football Club, the Young Lions Football Club and is currently an executive member of the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association (ABFA) professed her love for sports and community while speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show.
“I love sports in Old Road and I love to see my village move to different levels and I attend every single sport in Old Road, every single team in Old Road. I was with the big team for a lot of years and I and Chesley Browne alone were running Old Road’s football team and then we decided to form a club. After that we had some hiccups after we had won back-to-back championships with [the coach] Derrick Edwards, and so I decided not to run in Old Road executive anymore,” she said.
“I sat at my home with some other guys who were interested and wanted to play for Old Road because they couldn’t play for the big team and we formed that Second Division team,” she added.
The outspoken former netballer, who turned out for Old Road and Eagles in the national netball league, recounted how she first became involved in sports.
“I was at Old Road School with Dr. Alister Francis [former principal], May his soul rest in peace, he was a pioneer in all the sports in Old Road and everything you could think about we had it in Old Road school. He started to teach us, my sister [Ruth] and I and from that we represented Old Road school and then we move onto the higher level,” Williams said.
“No, I have no regrets at all. The only thing I have is some injuries with my knees, but netball was my pride and joy in terms of playing it and it is a sport that I love and if I could do it again, I would go back to play some more netball,” she added.
Asked to describe her most memorable moment in sports, Williams pointed to back-to-back Premier Division titles for Old Road in 2011/12 and 20012/13.
“I remember we were just going up [promoted] and going down [demoted] and when we laid that foundation of that team with people like Molvin James and Mitch, Zaccheus Polius, Donavan Pert and others, and won those championships, that was the best memory of football or sports, when we won those back to back championships. It was a joy for me to be part of that team,” she said.
Williams featured as wing attack, goal attack, goal shoot and even wing defense during her days in competitive netball. She has also coached the game at the national level and has been employed with the country’s sports ministry as a coach for 36 unbroken years.