The Solomon Islands Football Federation is launching a new national women's premier football league in preparation for the 2023 Pacific Games.
Acting Women's Development Officer, Antoinette Miniti, said while they were focused on developing the women's game, the 2023 Pacific Games and an opportunity to be the first-ever Pacific Island women's team to qualify for the 2023 World Cup had been a major drive behind the new competition.
"The executives are really getting behind developing the women's game in the country," she said.
"For the past five or so years we haven't really put a lot of effort into the women's game and we see now that opportunity, so we'd like to focus on women's football and trying to develop it and raising it to another level."
"In 2023 we'll be hosting the Pacific Games so that has been our target but then of course with the World Cup after that, it's something for us to look forward to as well and see if we can have that opportunity to go further than the Pacific Games."
Miniti hoped the events would boost interest in women wanting to give football a go.
"We haven't been able to have sustainable leagues over the years so we've missed out on organising league for the women," she said.
"Also, a lot of players don't have the opportunity to play until they're older - about 16 or 17 years old - and that's a bit late but we haven't given them that avenue to start at a younger age so, the problem is, when they get to 16, 17 a lot of them don't have any interest in the game."
"This is an opportunity and one we can make use of if only we put in the hard work now and hopefully in three years time we're set for the Pacific Games and maybe the World Cup."
Earlier this month SIFF held a pre-season tournament to encourage players to get back on the field again following Covid-19 restrictions.
Over 100 women and girls turned up with 12 teams registering to compete and Miniti said it was a good indication of what to expect for the national women's league.
"Our aim was to get the girls and the women playing again because of Covid-19. A lot of players have gone home to their provinces, some of them are still in town, but a lot of them haven't been able to play and practice in a long time," she said.
"When we organised it we just wanted to see if the girls were still interested in playing and what the numbers were like and if the league was to go ahead what numbers we'd get."
SIFF President, William Lai, said the turn-out was an indication that it was a new era for women's football in the Solomon Islands.
"Women's football has encountered many challenges over the years but this competition has shown that we can grow our women's game to a higher level," he said.
"It is encouraging to see players of various races and backgrounds showing interest and passion for football."
But Miniti admitted the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions have been a major hurdle in getting the competition underway.
"This is the first time we planned to set it up this way...we are hoping for 10 clubs. So far we have eight clubs but we've opened it up for other interested clubs who want to join the league as well."
"Just because of Covid-19, there are teams still looking for players because a lot of them have gone home to their provinces so it's a bit challenging, but hopefully we can get them back in town and have a full competition.
"The approach we're taking is that it's different from the competitions that we've held perviously. I think clubs are excited about getting the league underway and they realise we are getting more serious about growing the game for women in the country."
The national women's football league is set to kick-off on 15 August and will follow the same pathway of the Telekom S-League as the country's premier club competition for women.