Regional football fans will get a chance to witness top-class skills next month, when Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz takes on its Costa Rican counterpart in an exhibition match at the Fort Lauderdale’s DRV PNK Stadium on October 24th. The game is a promotional event as part of a major football initiative by Cedella Marley for the women’s game.
Now in her seventh year as Global Ambassador for Jamaica’s Women’s football program, her new initiative dubbed Football is Freedom (FIF), will be used to “provide tools and resources for the development and growth of women’s football throughout the Caribbean and Latin America, as well as diaspora communities in the United States.”
The core objectives of FIF are:
- Support the development of women’s football at the grass-roots level in the region by funding existing programs/academies in the islands AND in diaspora communities in Canada and the United States.
- Supporting the growth and development of national teams by staging an annual exhibition match/mini tournament to provide a quality training experience and raise funds that will go directly into the women’s programs of the participating federations.
- Invest in the holistic wellness of the players by funding scholarships and programs that assist players with skillsets and tools to help them succeed outside of football once that time comes.
Marley sees her new initiative as an opportunity to empower women, and was inspired by firsthand experiences of the Costa Rican Federation’s investment in the women’s program. “In the process of my role as ambassador, I have taken note of the crucial role that football can play in empowering young women; through opportunities for education and professional advancement (both on and off the pitch). Through the Football is Freedom Initiative we can expand our efforts to other countries in the region and eventually beyond.”
Both the Reggae Girlz and Las Sele will arrive in South Florida October 18th for a week of training before the two-game series. The first match will be a closed-door scrimmage on Saturday October 23rd, and the finale will be opened to the public the following day at 5 pm.
The festivities will also include a pre-game party, entertainment, food trucks, a community marketplace, and a musical half-time show. Tickets will go on sale starting October 6 from Ticketmaster.