Reggae Girls Sashana Campbell and Ashleigh Shim selected for Football for Good Event, Festival23

By Sports Desk August 09, 2023
(l-r) Ashleigh Shim and Sashana Campbell (l-r) Ashleigh Shim and Sashana Campbell

 Amidst the excitement of the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023 in Australia, the spotlight has shifted to two exceptional Jamaican footballers, Sashana Campbell and Ashleigh Shim.

These dynamic athletes have been selected to participate in Festival23, an inspiring Football for Good event taking place during the tournament.

With a gathering of approximately 70 female delegates from over 40 countries, Festival23 celebrates the transformative power of football on a global scale.

The remarkable journey of Sashana Campbell and Ashleigh Shim is a testament to the core mission of Football is Freedom, an organization established by none other than Cedella Marley.

The daughter of Reggae icons Bob Marley and Rita Marley, Cedella Marley holds the mantle of CEO of the Bob Marley Group and serves as a global ambassador for Jamaica's women's national team. Her vision for Football is Freedom revolves around empowering women and nurturing young leaders across the region. Since its inception in 2021, the organization has been steadfast in driving awareness for women's football, advocating for its growth and recognition.

Both Campbell and Shim have assumed vital roles within the Football is Freedom family, serving as assistant coaches and mentors in grassroots staff mentorship programs.

Sashana Campbell, an accomplished Reggae Girlz defender, has been a stalwart presence in the senior squad since 2014. With her recent appearance in Australia for her second consecutive World Cup with the team, she embodies unwavering leadership qualities that continue to inspire her teammates and fans alike.

Ashleigh Shim, a former Reggae Girlz forward, made her mark on the world stage as a member of Jamaica's 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup squad.

Beyond her on-field prowess, Shim stands as a fervent advocate for women's football, instilling empowerment and strength in young girls worldwide both on and off the field.

Cedella Marley emphasized, "This is part of Football is Freedom's plan to develop a proper ecosystem that the players can relate to and to support the growth and development of our Reggae Girlz through exposure to opportunities such as Festival23. This also helps our former players by providing a pathway to other careers in football. Football is Freedom is more than certain that our women will make an impact in the conference."

Festival23, hosted collaboratively by Football United, Creating Chances, and Common Goal, has unfolded in the vibrant city of Sydney. The event commenced with an official opening ceremony on August 6, extending its influence until August 13. The overarching theme, 'Inspiring the Next Generation to Embrace Equity, Driven by the Inclusive Spirit of Women's Football,' encapsulates the essence of Festival23.

The event's program spans a spectrum of activities, engaging young leaders from the global football community and beyond. From the Young Leader Fairplay Tournament on August 9 to the Football Coaching Education and Football for Good Forum on August 11 and 12, respectively, participants are immersed in enriching workshops and cultural experiences. Over 2,500 youths in Australia have seized the opportunity to participate, amplifying the potential for positive social change across communities, both locally and globally.

As the world tunes into the FIFA Women's World Cup games, Football is Freedom shines on 'OCEAUNZ TV,' a brand-new YouTube content series by the adidas Football Collective. In episode one, Cedella Marley presents the captivating essence of Football is Freedom, sharing intriguing anecdotes about her father's deep connection to the sport and providing insights into the talented players she mentors.

With their indomitable spirit, Campbell and Shim embody the essence of Football is Freedom's mission. Their participation in Festival23 signifies not only their exceptional talent but also the strides being taken to empower women and promote the holistic wellness of athletes within the realm of football. As the event unfolds in the backdrop of the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023, the Reggae Girls' presence continues to inspire and uplift, leaving an indelible mark on the global football community.





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