Dreaming the improbable
NATIONAL Reggae Girlz goalkeeper Olivia Reid says her biggest footballing dream is to win the 2015 Women's World Cup for her country.
Her lofty ambition in the scheme of things may more promptly provide fodder for those who love to jeer at 'pie in the sky' remarks, because in their book, her desire is a gigantic improbability. An impossibility, even.
A Jamaican women's football team winning a World Cup is an unforeseen achievement at this time for a country that has never even qualified for such a tournament at any level.
So if the jester may laugh at Reid's dream it would be understandable, but he would be doing so at a bit of risk: after all, the ball is still round and the bounce could favour the underdogs on any given day.
"It is everybody's dream to win the World Cup, and it is no different with me as that is my main aim to win the World Cup for my country," Reid told the Jamaica Observer.
There was no hint of cynicism in her tone. By all indications, this is a young woman who believes in herself and her teammates. If nothing else, her sense of ambition and confidence should be a source of inspiration for her team to at least give of their best every time they venture into battle.
"I know that it will take a lot of hard work, but that is what I am doing right now," the 22-year-old goalkeeper said.
Reid, who is a full-time student at GC Foster College, believes that a key to success in the pursuit of her footballing dreams lies in academia.
"The key to achieving all goals in life is education. I am planning on getting a degree in Physical Education at GC Foster College of Physical Education and Sports. Once I have the education and the knowledge, I will understand the game more and so I
can represent my country well,"
For her to be
at her best, experiences gained from outside of Jamaica will be invaluable on the road to success.
"At this point, apart from local football, I would love to have hands-on experience of how football is played at another level.
"I really want to work hard in football; I also want to get a scholarship to go to a school in the States so that I could further my education in sports medicine, and even if I don't get a chance to get a hands on experience, I don't mind the travelling and getting the exposure," Reid said.
She believes that for her to stay ahead of the game, she must develop a rigid training schedule of her own outside of those set by her club (GC Foster College) and country.
"I have taken the decision to train on my own. As a goalkeeper you have to ensure that everything is technically right. The moment I break from camp, I would go over what was done at training and do some background work with the male team, so the other week of training I would be ready for the test again. It is a lot of hard work as I have to jog a lot to stay fit, but my mother always says that if you want good, yuh nose haffi run," said Reid with a look of determination.
Reid, who first represented the national team at age 17 while attending the St James High School, praised her mother (Luzanne Bent) and coach (Clive 'Spider' Wedderburn) for the assistance they have given to her in her quest to further her career in football.
"My mother and coach are the reason for my accomplishment as a football player, but my mother influenced my football career the most. She shows a lot more interest in football than I do, she is always optimistic... she would always highlight the good from my bad game and I have always loved her for that," she summed.
— Ruddy Allen