The "Reggae Girlz" are Jamaica's national senior women's football team and they need your help. They have the opportunity to make the FIFA 2015 World Cup Finals in Canada if they can get the funding to help with their chances of qualification. The CONCACAF(Confederation Of North, Central American And Caribbean Association Football), have ranked the team 4th in their division for the upcoming season.Qualifying Campaign
The CFU(Caribbean Football Union) Women's Caribbean Cup finals will be held in Trinidad and Tobago from August 17-27. As part of the qualification for this cup, the Reggae Girlz have been placed in a group with Anguilla, St Lucia and Dominican Republic. Three nations will advance to the CONCACAF finals that will take place in Cancun and Playa del Carmen, Mexico between 16-26 October 2014. It serves as the continent's 2015 World Cup qualifying, with the top three teams qualifying directly. The fourth placed team will play the third placed team of the 2014 South American Women's Football Championship.
The team have raised $142,920 out of their target $750,000 so far through the online donation website GoFundMe. The money raised will go towards training, travel, accomodation, nutrition and marketing fees that will aid them in their quest to become the first Caribbean team to reach the World Cup Finals. The Reggae Girlz Facebook page states: The Jamaican programs are wholly dependant upon sponsorship and unlike the US where 'Title 9' assures equal funding, the female athletes often struggle for support.
Cedalla Marley, oldest daughter of Jamaican musician-Bob Marley, has recently become the Reggae Girlz ambassador. In an interview with Complex Sports, she explains how she got involved with the team:
My youngest son, his coach has a daughter who is part of the [under] 17 team. He sent me a flyer one day and was like, 'You know, Cedella, I don't know why I didn't reach out to you. The girls need someone who can come in and do fundraisers.' So I said, 'Let me make a call and ask how I can help.'
She further explains the need for funding and the challenges that face the team: "If you're at No. 4 in the region without anyone backing you, imagine if you had the proper infrastructure, proper housing, proper training, proper nutrition......They've (Jamaican Football Federation) just been concentrating on the men's program. So the girls have always been left to fend for themselves."
Cedella is also a co-producer of 'Strike Hard', a docu-series which will premier summer 2014, following the lives of the Reggae Girlz as they tackle challenges both on and off the football field. With her father's legacy to help sell merchandise and match public donations, Cedella is certainly doing as much as she can to help drive the team forward. She needs football fans, men and women across the world to join in too. If you love football, check out the campaign and spread the word.
Youtube: I am Reggae Girlz