Kingston, December 18, 2018 (JIS):
Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Minister, Hon. Olivia Grange, has lauded a decision by the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) to establish a welfare fund to support five former football players who have fallen on hard times.
A former netballer will also benefit from the support.
“We have to find a way to ensure that those who have contributed to the development of Jamaica… when they get older and are no longer seen as the current stars, that they are taken care of and that something is in place to help them,” Ms. Grange noted.
She was speaking at a ceremony to present the national women’s football team, the Reggae Girlz, with the Key to Spanish Town, during a ceremony in the old capital on December 18.
Making the announcement on the welfare fund, President of the JFF, Michael Ricketts, disclosed that the last Sunday in every year will be reserved for a fundraising game, with the proceeds going towards assisting the former players.
“So, on the 30th (of December) the JFF has decided to have a fundraising game at Drax Hall (in St. Ann) and we’ve named a team comprised of all national masters. All of these players would have played for the national team in the World Cup qualifying era... We will have the national team, who will play against the Olympic squad,” he said.
A welfare committee has also been established and will be chaired by former President of Netball Jamaica, Marva Bernard.
Meanwhile, Minister Grange is urging the girls to prepare themselves for the future “so that when all the glory is over, you would have ensured that you are well prepared for it in your older years”.
Ms. Grange called for additional assistance from the private sector, especially the St. Catherine Chamber of Commerce, to assist the women’s football team in their World Cup journey to France next year, which received support from the JFF President.
The Sport Minister also announced plans for the phased development of the multi-use stadium, Prison Oval in Spanish Town, which is to commence in 2019.
Spanish Town Mayor, Councillor Norman Scott, in his remarks, expressed pride in the Reggae Girlz and congratulated them for continuing to make Jamaica proud.
The women’s football team Captain, Konya Plummer, thanked the Spanish Town Mayor for the honour bestowed on the squad.
The team has already received keys from the Mayors of Montego Bay and Kingston, and is scheduled to be similarly honoured by the Mayor of St. Ann’s Bay later today.