Reggae Girlz need our long-term support

Saturday, May 18, 2019

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We note the pledge by Miss Khadija Shaw that the Reggae Girlz will make Jamaica proud at the FIFA Women's World Cup next month.

We take her at her word, for in truth Jamaica's national women's team has been an inspiration.

When their backs were against the wall and the adversities seemed insurmountable they stood strong, battled hard, and did what they had to do.

Miss Shaw feelingly recalls her team's struggles during the qualifiers: “We played in Haiti, we were two goals down and we needed at least a draw, and we managed to get those two goals back, and we tied the game and we moved on.”

Said she: “We dealt with a lot of adversities, but, nevertheless, we had to suck it up because we know as a team what we really wanted, and we really wanted to go to the World Cup.”

It seems to us especially appropriate that the Reggae Girlz send-off game to the World Cup, set for tomorrow at the National Stadium, will be against Panama.

Football followers will recall that tough, talented Panama were the opponents when the Jamaicans made their historic qualification last October.

With the game tied at 2-2 after regulation and extra time, the Reggae Girlz dug deep to beat the Central Americans 4-2 on penalties, triggering widespread celebrations for Jamaicans.

We fully expect that, wearing the black, green and gold, Jamaicans will honour their national team by packing into National Stadium tomorrow.

Just as they did for the Reggae Boyz on their historic qualification to the men's World Cup 21 years ago, Jamaicans need to make sure their football ambassadors know that the nation is behind them.

We think it appropriate to voice appreciation to all those who, in one way or another, have contributed, big and small, to the Reggae Girlz's achievement.

We are at one with Head Coach Mr Hue Menzies, who has thanked the various sponsors for their support to the team.

Crucially, he has also urged continued support even after the World Cup is over; for as everyone knows sport suffers when sponsors stay away.

Said Mr Menzies: “Obviously the federation (Jamaica Football Federation) alone cannot support us the way we need to be supported, and we understand that, so we have to look outside the box for corporate sponsors, and they are the ones who are putting out the extra effort.

“But what we really want to see is a commitment from these companies beyond the World Cup in France, because we have the U-17s and U-20s… We are thankful for the sponsors, but we are hoping that they prolong their support beyond the 23 young ladies heading off to France and to keep those partnerships going...”

We couldn't say it any better.

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