Google ‘Omolyn Davis’ and a massive 386 hits are returned. Impressive? But not as impressive as the track record of achievements behind and planned ahead for this 25 year old professional football player hailing from garrison community of Kingston Gardens Allman Town, and started playing for Waterhouse, Kingston, Jamaica. Another low-income ghetto community with strong political affiliations.
Everyday we hear of near impossible success stories, like man born without arms and legs but is totally independent physically, emotionally and financially; the nobody becoming somebody despite extremely difficult circumstances. Well, Water House is definitely not the suburbs. It is a difficult place with all the trappings of a garrison community – poverty, high rates of unemployment and lack of opportunities, high incidences of teenage pregnancy, low school attendance, starved perhaps like many garrison communities, making them effective pawns in a political chess games. Despite that, Ms. Omolyn Davis has made it to the very top of women’s football, an already neglected sport which was actually abandoned near the end of 2010 by the Jamaica Football Federation. She started out representing her alma mater Excelsior High and played for Waterhouse, earning credits as lead scorer on quite a number of occasions, before leaving for college in George Mason University New York, where she majored in Sports Management, maintained top grades and blazed black, green and gold trails playing football for her university. Her college coach had this to say:
“Omolyn is one of the best dribblers on the ball I have ever coached or seen in the college game. She is fantastic about controlling pressure if a defender is tight on her. She has the ability to break by one to several defenders with tricky and cheeky moves. She is a threat to set up a goal at any time because of this. She has begun to score goals and spent the summer in the W league as one of the top goal scorers for the Washington Freedom.” – Mason head coach Diane Drake. (http://gomason.cstv.com/sports/w-soccer/mtt/davis_omolyn00.html)
Omolyn at 25, is now Jamaica’s FIRST international female football player and now represents the Russian club Energiya Voronezh, in women’s football. Internationally, a less supported sport, locally, short of totally ignored by corporate sponsors who often times prefer to support what and who is trending and can drive sales for their product and service. Women playing a traditionally male sport challenge the expectations and representations/expressions of gender roles and norms and is perhaps not the image you want beside the 1,2,3’s of Jamaican track Gods. Despite all of the above, Omolyn is doing great and doesn’t appear to be stopping anytime soon.
Everyday we are met with challenging situations that test and perfect our strength and resilience, where we have to be creative and agile. Tests that tear us down so that each time we are led to acknowledge that we will rise again and again and again. Once you have breath never give up, chance is in the air that we breathe, when feeling stressed, stop, take a deep breath sucking in and filling the lungs with the fresh possibilities that are created each day, with babies being born, plants shooting, fruit trees bearing…breathe
Omolyn…yuh ratings tun up…keep going stud 😉 We are all hoping to take a few pages from your book!!