JFF launches welfare programme at Drax Hall today
The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) will launch its welfare programme today as it looks to help former players who brought pride and joy to the nation, but have now fallen on hard times.
The programme will be launched at Drax Hall in St Ann where three national teams will be on show to raise money for the 12-year programme.
President of the federation, Michael Ricketts, said his administration felt compelled to create a system to generate funds for these players who have fallen on hard times, as an increasing number of them visit the JFF headquarters each year seeking assistance to cover medical expenses.
"There are instances where past players have had tests to be done, and they have approached the JFF for help, and some have several medical issues and avoid taking care of them, because they can't afford it, and they often approach the JFF," Ricketts explained. "Some of these players were playing in very tough conditions and we just want to render as much assistance to them as possible."
The senior Reggae Girlz team, who will be playing in the FIFA Women's World Cup next year in France, will take on a women's premier league All-Stars team at 3 p.m. Two hours later, the national masters team will play against a media select masters team, before the national Under-23 team faces a Mount Pleasant FC All-Stars team.
"I am pretty sure that a number of persons will show up to see what the (Reggae) Girlz have to offer, plus we will be using these games to highlight the conditions of some of our players and, of course, to raise money for the cause," Ricketts told The Sunday Gleaner. "I have asked Peter Moses (a banker) and Marva Bernard (former Netball Jamaica president) to be the signatories to the (welfare fund) account, because I want to make it independent of the JFF."
Ricketts said that a committee for the welfare programme will be formed, and that committee will determine the level of assistance that can be rendered to the former players.
"Persons who need assistance will make an application to the JFF and then it will be handed over to the committee, and they will take it from there," he said.