Alacran Foundation stands firm behind the Reggae Girlz
In continuation of their major support beyond the Reggae Girlz’ journey to the recent 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup campaign, the Alacran Foundation has pledged long-term support for the development of women’s football in Jamaica by providing funding to facilitate the team’s preparations for Pan American Games in Lima, Peru from July 26 to August 11 and beyond.
The philanthropic organisation recently collaborated with the Bob Marley Foundation and other sponsors to fund the completion of an intensive three-day training camp from July 20 to 22 in Kingston, Jamaica, staged as part of the team’s preparation for the Pan American Games.
After years without significant sponsorship, women’s football in Jamaica received a well-needed kick start at the national level from the team’s Global Ambassador, Cedella Marley, of the Bob Marley Foundation, who initiated the partnership with the Alacran Foundation. Focusing on women’s empowerment, the partnership facilitated funding for logistics and access to proper training facilities.
Alessandra Lo Savio, founder of the Alacran Foundation said the entity remains committed to the Reggae Girlz.
“Preparation is a key factor for success, so it was very important for us to help facilitate adequate training camps to ensure our Girlz have a fighting chance,” Lo Savio said.
“I look forward to the future as they’ve set the bar high on a global level. I believe the accomplishments of the Reggae Girlz so far is only the beginning for women’s football in Jamaica, Lo Savio further added.
During a press conference held on Monday at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel ahead of the Girlz’ departure for the for Peru, Head Coach Hugh Menzies said that “the team is as ready as they can get right now.” He also said: “I just want to make sure that people understand that we are here to compete for our country, but it’s not only that, it’s more about women’s empowerment, and we have to continue that call because we have to change the mindset of people in our country and our culture. This is an opportunity to be on the global platform and show that women can play football too.”
The Pan American Games is a major sporting event held every four years in the Americas featuring summer sports, in which thousands of athletes from nations of the Americas participate in a variety of competitions ahead of the Summer Olympic Games in 2020.
The Reggae Girlz will, for the first time, join the Reggae Boyz to compete in the Pan Am Games. The Reggae Girlz’ matches will take place on Sunday, July 28 against Mexico; Wednesday, July 31 against Colombia and on Saturday, August 3 against Paraguay.
Sydney Schneider, stand-in team captain of the Reggae Girlz for the 2019 Pan Am Games, hopes to continue on the high after the Girlz’ landmark participation at the recent World Cup competition in France.
She said: “Going to the World Cup, the one word I have for it that I say consistently is just ‘crazy’; just something you can’t really put into words. It’s just such an experience that you can’t really describe, you have to experience it for yourself. If it weren’t for all the support financially and just the support of having people behind us and cheering us on, we wouldn’t have been able to do it, so thank you.”