UPDATE: The team reached their $50,000 fundraising goal and will continue their run to be the first Caribbean women’s team to qualify for the World Cup.
Cedella Marley, the eldest daughter of reggae legend Bob Marley, is campaigning to make the Women’s Jamaican Soccer Team become the first female Caribbean footballers to play in the 2015 Women’s World Cup. The team has launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise $50,000 to pay for equipment, practices and travel expenses, and Marley and her family are offering up incentives for the various funding levels. At the time of this post, the team has raised more than $18,000 via the crowd-funding site.
Among them are a digital download of the team’s official anthem, “Strike Hard” – recorded by the Marleys (for $5) – and a Bob Marley T-shirt signed by Jamaican Olympic gold-medalist sprinter Usain Bolt (for $1,000). The campaign has already raised $1,000 for a Marley shirt signed by Brazilian soccer legend Pelé. The most expensive item is a spot on Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley’s five-night JamRock cruise, which travels between Miami and Jamaica, for $3,000.
The team, called the Reggae Girlz, recently ranked fourth in their region, but, as the Indiegogo campaign notes, the Jamaica Football Federation has never been able to secure funding to support its female teams. The money will go to getting the team to the next qualifying round in Trinidad in late August.
Earlier this year, the Jamaican Bobsled Team raised more than $50,000 via crowd-funding to send them to the Sochi Winter Olympics for the first time in 12 years. That team’s journey to its first appearance at the Olympics, in 1988, became the basis of the 1993 Cuba Gooding, Jr. movie Cool Runnings.