THE Rupununi Football Association (RFA) through its executive committee member Rayan Farias will, for the first time, participate in the XXIII CONCACAF Extraordinary Congress scheduled for December 10, 2016 in Miami, Florida.Farias, who is also an executive committee member of the Guyana Football Federation Inc. (GFF) said he was elated at the opportunity afforded him by the GFF. “I’m happy to be participating in this Congress; it is the first time that the hinterland will be at this forum and it demonstrates that the RFA is now being recognised as a fast, steady and growing organisation; it’s history in the making.”According to a GFF release, Farias said he will use the opportunity to highlight the work of his Association while exchanging knowledge and best practices among his CONCACAF colleagues.“Basically I would like to listen to the other members of CONCACAF, learn from their best practices and impart that knowledge to football both in the Rupununi and Guyana in general. Additionally, I would like to highlight the work of the Rupununi Football Association and football development (that is) taking place in that region.”The Executive, who has been involved in football for approximately twenty-six years, is also a football coach and schoolteacher by profession.“I’ve been involved in football as a player at St Ignatius Football Club (1985-2006); represented them at Kashif and Shanghai for two years (one year as a player and the other as a coach) and have been an Executive Member of my association for about a year. I was also the coach of the St Ignatius Male Football team in the 2004 – 2016 period.”In his Association, he serves as the competitions coordinator, having managed the five (5) competitions executed by his association thus far including the RFA Tournament (February – June 2016), U-13 Male tournament (June 2016), U-15 Female tournament (October 2016), GFF-NAMILCO Thunderbolt Flour Power U-17 tournament and GFF’s Women’s Development League.Speaking about the challenges experienced by the RFA, Farias said, “One of the biggest challenges is transportation. The geographic landscape of the Rupununi is vast. More focus should be on addressing the issue of transportation so more football can be played throughout the region.”The pitches in the Rupununi leave much to be desired.”However, he is optimistic about a change and is encouraged by the positive movement in the approach of the children to football in his region. “Going back to two-and-a-half years ago, at the school level, most children appeared to have been interested in activities other than football but a few colleagues and I decided to spend some time in football to counter-attack this move and it’s working; so it’s about winning young people back through football.”The RFA has a total of fifteen clubs as members under the Association – an increase from six at its establishment. “We just want to see football grow,” Farias added.