COVID-19 blessing

COVID-19 blessing

Reggae Girl Mireya Grey using lockdown to recover from ACL tear and get closer to God

BY SHERDON COWAN
Observer staff reporter
cowans@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, May 21, 2020

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While many athletes have faulted the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic for disrupting their livelihood, Reggae Girl Mireya Grey views the crippling effects of the virus as a blessing on her part for more reasons than one.

The speedy Seattle-born player pointed out that the COVID-19-induced break has allowed her time to recover from an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear without missing much competitive action, and also to strengthen her relationship with the “Most High”.

“The virus has actually been more of a blessing than a curse for me because I have been able to spend a lot more time with my family after I tore my ACL in October, so it has been a journey since then. I have been recovering, doing rehab for my knee, and being more resourceful in my exercises to make up for not having equipment to help strengthen my leg.

“I have also been getting a lot closer to God, too. Faith is really important to me so I have a lot more alone time to reflect and really focus on my relationship with God, which has probably been the most impactful thing of this quarantine for me,” Grey, whose dazzling abilities as a striker won her the nickname “Sugar Rey”, told the Jamaica Observer.

“I run a Bible study group and do some other team activities, so I don't have any issues passing the time. It's more like how to manage my time is the biggest struggle right now,” the daughter of former Montego Bay Cricket Club and Wadadah Football Club stalwart Heron “Sheriff” Grey, added.

Prior to the injury, the nippy University of Washington senior, who worked her way through the national youth ranks, was enjoying life at the top with the senior Reggae Girlz team.

After giving Jamaicans a glimpse of her slick passing and nifty footwork during her debut performance for the senior Reggae Girlz in their send-off game against Panama prior to the Fifa Women's World Cup Finals in France, she was a late addition to the group, joining up as a replacement for the then injured Kayla McKoy.

Grey, only 20 at the time, confidently paraded her skills against Italy and Australia despite the Reggae Girlz losing both Group C games 0-5 and 1-4, respectively.

With that experience under her belt, Grey's form rolled over into the Pan American Games where she found the all important goal for the Reggae Girlz in a 1-0 win over Peru in the seventh-place match in Lima.

“After leaving France, I flew to Peru and I got to study indigenous and black history there for a month after which I played with the Jamaican team in the Pan Am Games. That was another crazy experience on my journey with the senior Reggae Girlz so far, but I know I worked hard enough for it and it's a privilege and blessing to represent my country,” Grey noted.

While she intends to be part of Reggae Girlz' future, Grey, 21, says she is in no real rush to branch out into the professional arena despite being approached by a few agents after the World Cup.

Instead, Grey underscored that her main focus is on full recovery, which would enable her to end the Washington chapter of her career on a high.

“My biggest thing is making sure my knee is 100 per cent and making sure that coming back I will be stronger than I was before. So I am working on both legs in strength and focusing on individual skills and technique, vision, and IQ.

“I really want to be able to just hit everything that I didn't before to really make an impact for my team at the college level when I go back,” Grey shared.

“I definitely hope to play professionally after university, in terms of where, I am not sure as yet. But for now, I am just taking my time and allowing God to administer that area of my life.”


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