KINGSTON, Jamaica – Main Event
Entertainment Group Limited is partnering with the Special Projects Team from
the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), in a show of support for the
Reggae Girlz. The Lapathon/Breakfast Party Fundraiser slated for Saturday, May 18 at
the Jamaica College – Ashenheim Stadium.
party is among one of the major activities to raise funds to support the
Reggae Girlz’ campaign as they continue to prepare for the June 7 –
July 7 Women’s World Cup.
While in Jamaica from
May 12 to 20, there will be a series of events on and off the field for the
A member of the
Special Projects Team, Pat Garel, says “the campaign to the World Cup will get
a boost in Jamaica this week and we want as much support as we can for the
Girlz. We are hoping Jamaicans at home will see the significance and support
where they can.”
Fans are required to
contribute a small fee of J$1,500 and the event will combine the walk/run/wheel
and will have entertainment for all from 6am – 9am.
Participants are being
asked to wear their best and most appropriate Jamaican outfit
to come celebrate the Reggae Girlz. The team will make a brief
stop to thank the participants at the venue.
Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz will
play Panama in Kingston on Sunday, May 19 at 6pm at the National Stadium. This
will be the final home match before they head out for stops in Florida (USA),
Glasgow (Scotland) and then off to France.
Panama was the team
the Reggae Girlz defeated 4-2 on penalties (October
2018) to seal their spot for the World Cup. The return match is expected
to provide a thrilling encounter for fans in Kingston.
Jamaica – Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz will play Scotland for the
first time ever on Tuesday, May 28 at the Hampden Park in Glasgow.
This match will the last official international
friendly prior to the start of the World Cup fixtures on June 9 against Brazil.
The make-up for the squad will be 23.
The Scotland/Jamaica encounter will serve as a prelude
to the Reggae Girlz camp which will be in France, May 29 to June 5; while the
team is scheduled to get into Grenoble on June 5 as part of FIFA’s regulations.
Scotland is ranked 20th and the Reggae
Girlz 53rd. Jamaica is drawn in Group C against Australia, Italy and
Brazil; while Scotland is in Group D to play England, Argentina and Japan.
The match is scheduled for 2:35 pm (Jamaica time).
Following from the last guide which advised you to “go somewhere you’ve never been”, this time I am encouraging you to do some sport travel.
When one thinks of sport travel in this context, there are so many events to choose from. You can start from the gigantic World Cup Football, scheduled to start in Russia in less than a month https://www.fifa.com/worldcup/
Football (Soccer) is the most watched sport in the world and I know some folks would have planned this from as far back as two years ago. Some tips in going to events of this kind:
Get the schedule of the event, early
Secure tickets (early) to matches you really want to see
Ensure you travel in a group of at least four
Book hotels/homes closest to the venues; you may choose to walk home sometimes, but it is just enough distance to catch a cab if necessary
On the off-day, try the attractions and the eateries – sample the culture and elegance of the location
The experts in travel would say “this is a way to enjoy Russia, while watching football.” May the best team win!
Now there are other major sporting global events one can choose from, for example, the Summer Olympic Games, the Winter Olympic Games, World Championships of every kind – Cricket, Track and Field, Volleyball and any other sport you desire.
There are some other bucket list events one may choose from and these are becoming more attractive to the discerning sport tourist than ever before. The television broadcasts with 23 cameras and replays won’t deter these folks from attending events like:
With Tiger Woods making a comeback, golf has again become exciting and since last November in Nassau for the Hero Challenge http://tigerwoods.com/schedule-stats/ he has single-handedly brought back old fans and some new fans to the sport. Tiger’s performances, specifically in Valspar, Arnold Palmer and the Masters were enough for you to want to see him up close and personal. The US Open, June 14 – 17 in New York could be a great time to go see him. Start planning, you still have time.
WINDIES Women are the defending world champions for the Twenty20. This year, at the first ever stand-alone ICC World T20 Championship, the West Indies will play hosts. St Lucia, Guyana and Antigua and Barbuda are the three countries designated.
Plan to be there from November 9 – 24. This Championship features ten of the world’s best women’s teams in cricket. The final schedule will be announced in June because there is a qualifier to select the last qualifier and so, while those fixtures aren’t quite ready, you can start looking around for tickets. It can even be a gift for you or for a friend.
In the meantime, plan for World Track and Field Championship 2019, Doha, Qatar, next September and the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020.
I could go on and on, but I won’t. That said, when you’re on your next sport trip, here’s some advice:
When you travel in a group, ensure you all stay together, set time limits for departure from hotel to matches and back (first safety tip)
Stay hydrated – there are always long walks involved
Leave all the expensive trinkets at home, some item you cherish always gets lost
Sport travel can be fun and exciting, but can also be stressful. Plan!
November 12 – Even before the 2017 version of the Manning, DaCosta, Ben Francis, Walker and Flow Super Cup competitions end, I would like to make some suggestions to the folks who manage football in Jamaica. This includes all the organizations with Prep, Primary, High, Club and Elite football under its purview.
The traditional competitions all together have brought us to the ultimate in 1998, when Jamaica participated in the World Cup of Football. That is what all countries dream of.
What has happened since? And what will happen now? I have suggested over and over that Jamaica needs the football program. It is the sport that will bring the best opportunity for investment and the sport that is likely to attract the greatest level of support in sponsorship, if shown to be well-organized and bearing fruit.
What does this mean?
Prepare a plan that speaks to the pathway to achieve the ultimate (another appearance in World Cup)
Invest in the technical development of all those involved – coaches, officials, strength and conditioning experts, academicians, analysts, other support teams
Improve the facilities – for competition, for training and preparation
ISSA and the JFF must sit together and figure out how the schools’ program feed into the professional/elite program, and what if any adjustments are required This system then has to match what our competitors are doing globally in this particular age group. We will match the outputs to see what adjustment may be necessary to ensure that the Under 17, Under 23 and Senior levels of football are on par. In the meantime, the academic development of the athletes must also be comparable. ISSA as a governing body for school sports require a research unit to assemble this information and put a strategic plan to share with its stakeholders for 1. Buy-in 2. Delivery and ultimately for results. Development takes time and we have to be prepared to do the work.
For Jamaica to get back to the World Cup, the timeframe for this cycle, 2017 – 2022, must be in planning stage now and I would hope that this planning in happening behind the scenes. Remember now, sport is judged (ultimately) by Olympic medals, appearances in World Cup/Championship and athletes being able to the among those with the biggest pay checks and endorsement packages.
Is our system ready to absorb this? If so, it is time. So whether the remedy is to reorganize school football, club football and senior program, then now is as good a time. We can acknowledge our traditions by maintaining names of competitions etc, but we must embrace a new way of thinking and approach the sport as a business to meet the goal as required.
The 17-year old in Germany, England, Australia and Brazil is on a path to World Cup…are our players at the same age at the same point? We can no longer depend on talent, as we have seen where that has placed us. We need strategy at all levels to compete.
Football, potentially the sport to bring biggest economic returns to Jamaica is searching for a new President. Since Jamaica’s qualification to the World Cup in 1998, successes have been intermittent.
Football is the richest sport globally. Football also has the biggest television audience globally. Outside of the National Basketball Association (NBA), USA-based, football players combined represent the highest paid athletes in the world. That says a lot; but doesn’t quite add up for Jamaica.
The search for a new President to lead Jamaica into the 2022 and 2026 World Cups (which should be the aim); must be based on a number of things. I will attempt to highlight some qualities, skill-sets and maybe even personality traits of who I think the leader should have most if not all.
The person should be
That leader should be a contemporary leader, one who can take us from vision to reality. There are some key success factors that this leader should be able to manage in the vision to reality road. He/She must be aware of the:
…impact the sport has to offer and therefore requires a team that can deliver with all this in mind. I know some of you are reading this and saying, but that is storybook type leadership. True, these things are written in books, but having worked in a few sporting organizations, I can tell you of the value of these factors.
In plain language though…it is important to have someone who knows the lay of the land; but should possess the pizzazz needed to transform national expectations to international goals, while attending to the needs of the boardroom.
The business of football is massive and with so many options to choose from in terms of income stream for athletes; income stream for countries via hosting of events and just the networking opportunities; Jamaica must seek to mobilize the best sporting mind to lead what could one of the biggest decisions we are due to take in Jamaica in a long time.
My suggestion is: go rational and not emotional; think with your head and not your heart. At the risk of sounding cold, pick the person who can transform the football in Jamaica into the most successful sporting bodies.
I won’t use this article to pick who I think is best to lead, but what I can say is the person exists in Jamaica.
What this means therefore is
Fix the schools’ programme (Manning and Dacosta Cups)
Fix the club system (make it more manageable and meaningful)
Prepare an international calendar
Host more matches at home (the office is a great location)
Negotiate good deals for broadcast
Expand your manager roles in your clubs. Have people who know the business manage players for the best results
Grow the business so experts/employees get paid competitive salaries
Nationally, we need to:
Improve playing facilities
Only use certified grounds
Review roster of officials
Have a better mix of experts at the top
Football globally has enough politics…so I say “stay away from the politicians.”
Jamaica needs a well-run football programme to sustain its stay as a sporting brand with all the returns necessary. Choose wisely!