MoBay welcomes history-making Reggae Girlz

Sunday, December 16, 2018

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — It is important that the FIFA World Cup-bound Jamaican women's team be recognised for the heroes that they are, achieving much from very little, says Minister of Sports Olivia 'Babsy” Grange.

The minister was speaking at yesterday's ceremony in Sam Sharpe Square, Montego Bay where the team, members of the coaching staff and support staff were presented with the keys to the city by Mayor Homer Davis.

“Our ReggaeGirlz have achieved much with very little... this is the story of many of our sportsmen and sportswomen, but through it all you continue to represent Jamaica well. It is important that we recognise you for the heroes that you are and I will continue to be your greatest advocate and your main cheerleader,” said Grange.

The reception kicked off what is to be four days of celebrations for the team that created history in October when they became the first Caribbean team to qualify for the senior FIFA Women's World Cup, beating Panama on penalty kicks in the third-place play-off in the Concacaf Women's Championships in Texas.

The sports minister said that following the Montego Bay reception, the team would be taken on a motorcade to the Anthony Spalding Sports Complex in Kingston, stopping along the way at GC Foster Sports College, Spanish Town, Half-Way-Tree and Cross Roads.

There will also be a praise and worship concert at Emancipation Park today, as well as a special reception hosted by the prime minister in the girls' honour, it was said.

“We want to ensure that as many Jamaicans as possible can see you girls and express their congratulations, admiration and love... the activities were designed to make you feel the love of the Jamaican, possible as we prepare for France 2019,” Grange continued.

The minister thanked the Mayor of Montego Bay for his support in making the event a success.

“We had a very short window in which to put everything in place and was important to come to western Jamaica.

“I believe that everything that we have planned to celebrate these extraordinary women is well deserved and quite appropriate... how can we forget the glorious day in October when we defeated Panama in the Concacaf Women's Championship to become the first Caribbean country to qualify for the Women's World Cup, it was happy reward for years of blood, sweat and tears, it was a happy outcome after many hours of training, gruelling games, tough tackles and stunning goals,” Grange went on.

— Paul Reid

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