David Blankendal and Samara Darrell recipients of BFA sponsorship awards
The Bermuda Football Association has announced the recipients of two separate sponsorship awards.
The first, the Kenneth “Smokey” Thompson Sponsorship Award has been given to David Blankendal of Dandy Town. The award, which was created in 2017 in partnership with Partner Re – to honour Thompson’s legacy and passion for football by giving back to the community — is presented to a national academy player to aid their football development.
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank Partner Re for their continued support through this award,” said Maurice Lowe, Technical Director of the BFA. “It helps us to create positive ripples in our environment. We would also like to congratulate David as this year’s recipient.”
Meanwhile, the BFA also announced that Samara Darrell of Bascome Football Leadership Academy was the recipient of the Lesley Cherry White Award.
White, a BFA Legend, created the award in 2019 to be able to send a female national academy player overseas for elite level training.
Darrell recently travelled with the Bermuda Women’s Under-20 team to participate in the Concacaf Women’s Under-20 Championship Qualifiers in Curaçao, in which Bermuda won both qualifiers to top their group.
“Lesley Cherry White continues her personal commitment to our young ladies through this award in her name,” said Mark Wade, president of the BFA. “The opportunity to train at a higher level, adding to her experience of football outside of Bermuda, will also be invaluable for Samara.”
Lesley Cherry White said, “Samara possesses all of these attributes. According to coach Naquita Robinson she is a player who is committed, coachable and a student of the game. She is a fast learner and is fearless."
Coach Robinson, who reflected on the similarities between herself and Darrell, spoke of the importance of continuing to develop the women’s game in Bermuda through initiatives such as the Lesley Cherry White Award
“Samara plays very similar to the way I played as a centre back,” said Robinson. “I was fortunate enough to help coach her when she was in middle school, as part of the West All-Star team, and she was humble, confident, and was a solid defender.
“It is important to develop girls' football in Bermuda, to allow us to compete on the international stage. We need to encourage girls to play at the club level.
“Bermuda is doing a great job of this at the moment, as more and more girls are playing these days. We have to thank all of the volunteers and coaches for helping to make this happen.”