'Don't give up'
'Bunny' Shaw credits Brazilian Marta after signing Powerade deal
Jamaica women's football striker Khadija "Bunny" Shaw (right) speaks to Wisynco Group Chief Executive Officer Andrew Mahfood during the Power Ade endorsement signing at ROK Hotel in Kingston on Wednesday. (Photo: Joseph Wellington)

JAMAICA Reggae Girlz star striker Khadija "Bunny" Shaw was beaming from ear to ear as she put pen to paper to sign yet another deal, this time a two-year contract with Power Ade.

The 26-year-old Manchester City player is living her dream, having just been nominated for the Ballon d'Or for the top players in the world — the first by a Jamaican. Now here she was at ROK Hotel in downtown Kingston having being chosen by Wysinco to be their Power Ade brand ambassador.

Shaw, who told the Jamaica Observer she was encouraged by arguably the greatest female player of all time — Brazi's Marta — to lift the profile of the sport in Jamaica, said she believes the deal with Power Ade will do just that.

Shaw and Marta hugged and exchanged words after the 0-0 result between Jamaica and Brazil at the recent Women's Fifa World Cup.

Brazil great Marta (left) embraces Jamaica's Khadija Shaw at the end of the 2023 Fifa Women's World Cup match.

"When I was a young girl I used to look up to her playing each and every game and the way how she carries herself, and I was relaying the message to her and she was saying to me she has seen our progress and the issues. And she was poking me, saying 'You will have to change it because when I started in 2003 people looked at me like I am crazy and look at where women's football is at [today]. You will have to change it, the way they look at female football in Jamaica. Don't give up,' " revealed Shaw.

Shaw said that was a wonderful moment, and on Wednesday it was another wonderful moment for her to be signed as Power Ade ambassador.

"For me, personally, as I continue to grow and evolve as a human being I want to always bring awareness as well as motivate and inspire young girls and young boys to believe in themselves and their dreams and know that with hard work anything is possible," Shaw said.

"I think… me partnering with Power Ade, I truly believe that with a structured and organised plan we can definitely help to inspire and motivate young boys and girls," she added.

Shaw, who is Jamaica's all-time top scorer for both males and females, with 55 goals from 39 games, netted a record 32 goals for her club Manchester City and was shortlisted for this year's women's Ballon d'Or — football's most prestigious individual award. She is the first Jamaican — man or woman — ever to be nominated for the prize.

Meanwhile Andrew Mahfood, CEO of Power Ade distributor Wisynco Group, said the company has had an eye on Shaw since she was in high school.

"At Wysynco we have been following Bunny for years... and it is unbelievable to see Bunny's dream unfold right before our eyes," Mahfood said.

"We are so excited to welcome Bunny to Wisynco through our partnership with Coca-Cola," he continued.

"Bunny, we look forward to continue watching your impressive growth and stand ready to partner with you in any event you can think of to help our country, Jamaica, advance," he added.

Power Ade Brand Manager Chantelle McDonald said Shaw is a role model who transcends the boundaries of the sport.

"Power Ade has always stood for sportsmanship, performance, wellness and balance, and we believe Bunny embodies these values in every sense. As a born and raised Jamaican, Bunny is not just a footballer, she is a symbol of dedication, perseverance, unmatched skill, and an inspiration for women and little girls in the sport," McDonald noted.

"From humble beginnings to top scorer, she plays an integral part in the rise and significance of women's football in Jamaica. We are proud to have her represent Powerade," she added.

BY HOWARD WALKER Observer writer

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