Sports

Reggae Girl Campbell using injury setback as motivation

BY SHERDON COWAN
Observer staff reporter
cowans@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

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Like any athlete, Sashana “Pete” Campbell's biggest fear is getting injured, particularly before a major competition, which in this case is the Fifa Women's World Cup in France.

Unfortunately for her, that fear was realised when she sustained a hamstring injury during the Reggae Girlz' second friendly game against Chile at Montego Bay Sports Complex recently.

Campbell, who entered the contest as a 46th-minute substitute, pulled up just over 20 minutes later when giving chase to a long pass from the back. And in a twist of fate, she was replaced by young Jody Brown, who scored the winner in the Girlz' 3-2 win.

The disappointment of the winger/defender at that point was so overwhelming that she became trapped in her own mind, much like an explorer lost in a dark cave.

However, once she got over the emotions, Campbell was in a better position to react to the situation and immediately took steps to exploit her setback as a means to improve, both physically and mentally.

“It was a really tough moment for me when I felt that twinge of a pulled hamstring. I kept hoping it's not too bad; unfortunately it was and I couldn't continue, and so I broke down in tears.

“If anyone knows me they know how disappointed I am when I am not able to play, and so I think it was very obvious how devastated I was at that point,” Campbell shared.

“But once I got over that I started to realise that it is my responsibility to ensure that I get back out there and train and keep fit. So I started my recovery process as soon as the game was finished, and I went for therapy when I got back to Israel,” she told the Jamaica Observer from her base in Hadera.

Since commencing her rehabilitation a few days ago, Campbell revealed that she has made significant improvement as the work continues to become stronger, fitter and faster, with a swift recovery in sight.

“The therapist said I should rest for two days before doing any physical work on my legs, so it was just rest, ice, and ultrasound and limited stretching. But as soon as the two days passed I started in the gym, and my first day back was great.

“So things are looking up so far and I am grateful to God that I am recovering fast. And I am confident that I will be back to my best soon enough as long as I don't take a time off. So I am taking all the necessary steps to not only ensure that I get back in time, but to also ensure I come back with a bang,” Campbell noted.

The 28-year-old Maccabi Kishronot Hadera FC centre back, who overcame Achilles tendinitis on her return to the Reggae Girlz set-up since 2014, is fully focused on breaking into the final 23-member squad for the global women's showpiece event from June 7 to July 7.

“Despite my injury, the camp was good. The two games provided an opportunity for us to see where we are at and as you could see, there are still a few things we need to keep working on as a unit. I believe for the next couple of months we will become more cohesive and we will get it together in time for the World Cup and continue to do our best.

“So I am just focusing on the positives and once I get a chance to represent my country, I will do so to the best of my ability — as the aim is always to improve my craft with every game,” the pacy player ended.

Meanwhile, Head Coach Hue Menzies also expressed delight at her impending return in time for the team's next camp, which could very well be in South Africa in April.

“Pete is one of the building blocks of this programme, so she has to evaluate herself and we have to sit down and talk, moving forward. We have another camp in April, so she will come back in and we will get a better assessment of her at that time because she is definitely one of the leaders in this group,” Menzies said.

Jamaica, ranked at 53, is scheduled to go up against Australia, Italy and Brazil in Group C on their historic bow as the first Caribbean team to compete at the World Cup.


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