Monday 04 March 2019, 10:29

Festivities welcome the Trophy Tour in Jamaica

  • FIFA Women's World Cup Trophy Tour visited second location

  • Jamaica welcomed the trophy with football festival in Montego Bay

  • Reggae Girlz set for tournament debut at France 2019

FIFA Women’s World Cup debutants Jamaica were the hosts for the second stop of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Trophy Tour. 120 children from five parishes within the country took part in a football festival, which also allowed them to have their photo taken with the trophy.

The event in Montego Bay was part of a day of activity which culminated in a match between the Reggae Girlz and fellow World Cup debutants Chile at Catherine Hall Stadium. A vocal and energetic crowd witnessed an enthralling encounter that saw the home team win 3-2, with 16-year-old Jody Brown grabbing the winner after coming on as a second-half substitute.

Boys and girls aged 6-12 had earlier taken part in various training exercises over an hour session in the morning as part of the football festival. FIFA Legends Squad member and Reggae Girl Tashana Vincent got involved, sharing her footballing skills with the youngsters.

FIFA’s Chief Women’s Football Officer Sarai Bareman and CONCACAF Head of Women’s Football Karina LeBlanc also joined in with the training exercises. The aim was to encourage the young footballers to take a bigger interest in the sport, to support the Reggae Girlz, and to raise awareness of the Women’s World Cup this summer.

After the training sessions had been completed, Jamaica Football Federation Vice-President Bruce Gaynor officially launched a new development scheme that will see grassroots festivals rolled out throughout 2019. This will see a festival take place in every parish across Jamaica this year.

Fourteen parishes will benefit from the festivals, which will aim to help develop the next generation of young footballers in the country through the provision of new equipment – which has been supported by FIFA.

Jamaica Head Coach Hue Menzies welcomed the move by the Jamaican Football Federation and was enthusiastic about the impact they could have on the nation’s football. “The grass won’t grow if we don’t water it, and we need to water this programme,” he said.

“We take grassroots seriously because it’s the future of our game and the festivals will allow us to pick out some of the talent and make sure they come into our programme. We have seen a significant amount of support over the last few years from the public, so we hope that continues, because we need it.”

The global FIFA Women’s World Cup™ Trophy Tour will see various members of the FIFA Legends Squad join the trophy at a further 22 stops throughout the tour, which will last for more than two months and conclude in Paris on 2 May.

FIFA Legend Tashana Vincent described it as “a dream come true” for the team to have qualified for the World Cup, let alone have the trophy on the island. She hoped that the football festival held for the youngsters and the added buzz around Jamaica’s qualification, would inspire even more young girls to get involved in women’s football, and support the Reggae Girlz in France this summer.