Northern Mariana Islands Football Association has one of the most successful and active development sports programs in the CNMI. Thanks to NMIFA’s hardworking officials, including vice president Vickie Izuka, the sport has seen continued grown since the group’s inception in 2005.
Izuka, the 2017 NMSA Sports Administrator of the Year, has been with NMIFA since Day 1, getting involved with the association’s activities, particularly with its youth development program.
Last year, she served as chair of the NMIFA Youth Committee, which oversees the group’s spring and fall season leagues that serve as breeding ground for the island’s future national players. Izuka also helped NMIFA strengthen its interscholastic soccer program, which provides training and tournaments for students in the elementary, middle school, and high school levels both in public and private schools.
With Izuka at the helm of NMIFA Youth Committee, the group also managed to introduce other soccer programs for athletes/students in the 18 and below age group. These programs include the National Elite Academy, Physical Education Support Program, 3v3 tournaments, Spring and Fall Youth Festivals, and Challenge Cup tournaments. These programs have attracted close to 1,000 students, bringing NMIFA halfway to its target of 2,000 in the next five years.
Besides servings as NMIFA VP and chair of the NMIFA Youth Committee, Izuka is the long-time MP United Club president. Under her leadership, MP United has been successful in various local leagues and tournaments and has also made a good impression in off-island competitions.
Izuka, during the awards presentation, said she was surprised with the recognition, but very honored and shared the award with all NMIFA officials and those who have been part of the organization.
“We are all working together to make sure we provide opportunities for our young players. That’s the most rewarding part of being with NMIFA. We are here to continue the development of soccer in the CNMI and help our players get opportunities not only to develop their skills in the sport, but also in life,” Izuka said.