Reggae Girlz, hottest component of Brand Jamaica - Menzies
Declaring the senior Reggae Girlz the hottest component of Brand Jamaica at the moment, head coach Hue Menzies is calling on corporate Jamaica to throw its full support behind the programme.
"When you travel, you better understand Jamaica as a brand, and we feel that right now, at this moment, we're at the top of the heap. So, we need the support, we need the sponsorship," said Menzies, moments after the Girlz and the coaching staff paid a courtesy call on Governor General Sir Patrick Allen and Lady Allen at King's House yesterday.
Bob Marley Foundation, Alacran Foundation, Supreme Ventures Limited and, more recently, Caribbean Airlines are the primary sponsors of the women's senior programme.
"This is not just for the World Cup, it's beyond that, as we have to make the programme sustainable," Menzies added.
The senior Reggae Girlz secured their place in next year's FIFA Women's World Cup in October via a penalty shoot-out win over Costa Rica, taking third spot in the CONCACAF Women's Championship and the last available spot from the confederation for the World Cup.
As a result, Jamaica became the first Caribbean country to qualify for the Women's World Cup and the first to send teams to both the male and female World Cup tournaments, after the Reggae Boyz's memorable qualification to the 1998 World Cup, which also took place in France.
To acknowledge the historic feat, the Jamaican Government opted to honour the senior Girlz with four days of festivities, beginning last Saturday and ending today.
In his remarks, Sir Patrick said that the country was filled with pride and passion as a result of the achievement.
Lady Allen said she was particularly delighted as a woman, noting that the Girlz were already winners, regardless of what happens at the tournament.
Meanwhile, captain Konya Plummer told The Gleaner that the celebrations would only serve as added motivation for the members of the team who were already confident and in high spirits.
"All the pressure went once we qualified for the World Cup, so our job is to go there and do our best and make the country even more proud," she said.