MIRAMAR, Fla. – The Reggae Girlz of Jamaica are receiving a special send-off in South Florida as the soccer stars head to the World Cup in France.
The women are making history on the soccer field. The Jamaican National women's soccer team, aka the Reggae Girlz, are the first Caribbean team to qualify for the women's World Cup.
Marlo Sweatman grew up in Sunrise and played soccer for Florida State University. She said she can't believe she will represent her mom's home country on the world stage.
"We have created history," Sweatman said. "We have done so much for the local community. It means a lot."
For the Reggae Girlz, the game is important, but their overall goals are even more so.
The teammates said they want more support for young women athletes, more fans in the stands and more opportunities.
Jamaica Football Federation President Michael Ricketts said offering a female athlete new avenues helps them win in life.
"You provide them with an opportunity to get an education, to get a degree so after football they can support their livelihood," he said.
Left back Deneisha Blackwood grew up in Kingston, Jamaica, and has been playing soccer since she was 12. She wants her dream, like her dancing, to be contagious as well.
"This opens up the door for a lot of young girls, knowing that they can look up to us and be like, 'I want to be like them one day,'" Blackwood said. "And I think that motivates them, knowing that even though we don't have the resources, they have each other like how we use each other to be where we are."
The Reggae Girlz will play an exhibition game at 8 p.m. Thursday at the Ansin Sports complex in Miramar.
Click here to purchase tickets to the game or to learn more about the Reggae Girlz and how you can support them.
Their first game in France is June 9 against Brazil.