Kingston 19 December 2018 – The national celebrations in honour of the historic qualification of the Jamaican team to the FIFA Women’s World Cup were a huge success, according to the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange.
The Minister said, the four-day celebrations, organised by the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, had achieved the objectives of introducing the Reggae Girlz to the people of Jamaica, presenting them as role models for women across the country and set the stage for increased tangible support for the team ahead of the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
The Minister appealed for more resources for the Girlz:
“I want to use the opportunity to encourage the private sector to come on board. So far a few have come on board, but we need more. We want them to put their money where their mouth is. We don’t want after we come back with the World Cup they all coming on the wagon. We want it up front. We want the financial support to make sure that the Girlz have all they need to ensure that they are well prepared for France.”
The four days of activities which began on Saturday ended on Tuesday with the Girlz being presented with the keys to Spanish Town and St Ann’s Bay by the respective mayors.
His Worship Councillor Norman Scott, presented the Key to Spanish Town at a civic ceremony held in Emancipation Square while His Worship Councillor Michael Belnavis presented the Key to St Ann’s Bay at a civic ceremony held at Sandals Ochi Beach Club in Ocho Rios.
The Reggae Girlz captain, Konya Plummer, who accepted the Keys on behalf of her teammates said they were “deeply humbled and appreciative” of the honour bestowed upon them.
In between the presentations, the members of the national team enjoyed the attractions at Mystic Mountain and at Dunn’s River Falls and Park, where the Girlz were welcomed with singing and the waving of flags by craft vendors and members of the public.
Minister Grange reflected on the significance of the Reggae Girlz being presented with keys to Spanish Town and St Ann’s Bay — two towns whose impact on Jamaican history has been immense.
It is believed that Christopher Columbus first landed in St Ann’s Bay in 1494 with New Seville becoming the first Spanish capital of Jamaica in 1509.
Spanish Town became the second capital of Jamaica in 1534 after the Spanish abandoned New Seville. Spanish Town is the oldest continuously inhabited town in Jamaica.
The Reggae Girlz were also presented with Keys to Kingston and Montego Bay and hosted by the Prime Minister during the celebrations.