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Love of the game

The recently concluded Women's Premier League (WPL) was lauded for being the type of innovative idea that the local women's game so desperately needed. In many circles, including athletes and coaches, there was agreement that the WPL was a step in the right direction for women's football to develop in the country.

Not everyone was eager to make the transition however. Plying her trade in the Women's League Football (WoLF), Kia Rigsby, 29, decided to turn down the opportunity when people involved in the newly-formed WPL came knocking. She wasn't the only one who was offered a chance for a professional contract. Her teammate Melissa Woo Ling also was approached and she also declined.

"The WPL wasn't something that interested me because I don't play for money," said Rigsby, who away from the pitch is a laboratory analytical sales representative. "It's not something that I want at this point in time, I play for fun and development, so I stayed with QPCC."

Rigsby told the express that her preference was to play with a club that had the development of young players at their core.

"I chose QPCC because it was a new team," she said. "I prefer to be involved with something where we develop a programme for girls; a team where girls could come and play sports, and don’t have to study about who’s managing the teams and who’s doing the stuff with the uniforms."

During the inaugural WPL which finished a week ago, there was no point in time where Rigsby had any second thoughts. "No... no second thoughts, because the WPL is basically the same players I've been playing with over the years like national players for example," she said.

According to Rigsby it was a good competition on the pitch in comparison to the WoLF. However she saw it as a short-term programme where it's everybody's guess how long it would last. Conversely, she prefers to stay with a team that is trying to build a legacy.

The former St Francois Girls' player was always surrounded by football in her youth. Her father and brother played the game, which proved to be her inspiration. "I never actually saw a female play until I went to see my cousin play one day," she said. "It was that time I decided that I would start to play football."

Rigsby went on to play for the Trinidad and Tobago Under-19 women's team for six years, which helped her to get a scholarship to Florida International University from 2005-2009. She returned to Trinidad to play with the senior team, but decided shortly after to play exclusively in the local league instead.

Currently, Rigsby is having a successful season with the QPCC's women's team, who are currently in the quarter-finals of the WoLF Big Eight competition.

After winning several WoLF titles with Real Dimension, the current skipper of the QPCC hopes to write a new chapter in her successful local career.