The Reggae Girlz are Jamaica’s National Women’s Soccer Program. All three national women’s teams- the U-17, U-20, and Senior squads- recently topped their groups at the Caribbean Football Union level as they compete for spots in the upcoming international competitions:
FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2016 (Jordan)
FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup 2016 (Papua New Guinea)
2016 Summer Olympics (Rio)
SENIOR REGGAE GIRLZ- ROAD TO RIO
In spring of 2014, Cedella Marley became Global Ambassador for the Jamaica Women’s Football Program. Recognizing that football can be a conduit to social change in Jamaica and other emerging countries by providing education and opportunity to its young women, Marley spearheaded an international fundraising campaign that got the team to the FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifers in the United States. After coming within a hairs-breath of making the FIFA women’s world cup last fall, the senior Reggae Girlz now train under the direction of a top-notch technical staff in Orlando headed by Hue Menzies. The comeback story continues as they compete for a spot in next year’s summer Olympics….but money is still the biggest opponent on the road to Rio.
Even after last year’s great return to competition (after a six-year hiatus caused by lack of funding) it has been a struggle to get sponsors for the national team. Most corporations in Jamaica are throwing their financial weight behind track and field because it’s a proven winner for the country. The others just continue to believe that female football is not a big enough marquee for them. Also, there is now the added expenses of the younger female teams that are currently in their world cup qualifiers.
Upcoming Tournament Dates:
U-17 Women’s CFU Finals (ConCaCaf/FIFA WWC Pre-Qualifier): Nov. 13-18 in Puerto Rico
Senior Women’s CFU Finals (Olympic Pre-qualifier): Nov. 16- 21 in Trinidad
U-20 Women’s ConCaCaf/ FIFA WWC Qualifier: Dec. 3-13 in Honduras
Because of financial constraints the players have not been able to train consistently in preparation for these important tournaments. One week of camp in Orlando costs approximately $50,000.00 for housing, transportation (including airfare), meals, and medical care. An itemized budget for camp that narrows it down to an exact figure, but is approximated here because the travel expenses fluctuate based on how far in advance flights can be booked.
This is your chance to support the Reggae Girlz training camps with either cash donations or by sponsoring a specific budget item (as in pay the hotel, restaurant, or travel agency/airline). The Mister Mister Foundation in Miami (a 501c3 non profit that helps at risk young men and women through sports and art, run by R&B icon Betty Wright) sponsors the camps by acting as a fiscal agent for all U.S. based donors. Any checks should be made payable to that foundation.