National pride on display as Lady Gombey Warriors go back to school
Bermuda flags were flying high at Mount St Agnes Academy as the women’s national football team shared their personal experiences on and off the pitch during a special assembly yesterday.
Ahead of the crucial Concacaf Gold Cup qualifier at Flora Duffy Stadium today, coach Naquita Robinson, captain Eva Frazzoni, Taznae Fubler, Katherine Bean-Rosario, Symira Lowe-Darrell, Jaden Masters, Victoria Davis and Nia Christopher received a hero’s welcome from flag-waving elementary and middle school students as they entered the school’s auditorium.
“I’ve never been nervous walking into MSA but what a reception,” Robinson said.
“On behalf of the Bermuda senior women’s national team, I would love to thank you guys for allowing us to come and speak to you briefly before we partake in our final chapter of this round of the Women’s Gold Cup.
“All of these players have been with me since they were very, very young, maybe 11 or 12 and some are old now, but they have been on an empowering journey.
“Some are very resilient and have been through some battles that not many people, and not even sure that I could have even overcome. They are a very special group of young ladies.”
AFC Sudbury midfielder Frazzoni spoke about some of the obstacles she has been forced to overcome in her career and the benefits of playing football.
“Football has taken me around to live in four different countries,” she said. “It has got me a master's degree and has helped me to meet these amazing girls all around the world.”
Frazzoni also urged those in the audience to never give up on their dreams and to think responsibly about giving back to the community.
“I really encourage you, whether it’s football, whether it’s whatever sport because Bermuda is doing amazing things,” she said.
“Sport can literally take you out of Bermuda but also make you realise how special Bermuda is and come back and give back to it.”
“Even though I am not here right now, it is my goal and I am growing outside of Bermuda to be better for you guys.”
PHC defender Fubler spoke about the enormous sacrifice she has made to put her football career on hold in pursuit of becoming a lawyer and stressed the importance of education.
“I am very big on school before sports because school is what takes you through everything in life,” she said.
“When all else fails or goes wrong, it’s your education that you have to fall back on. It’s your education, your degrees and the things that you learn from your teachers that gets you through life.”
Saltus head girl Bean-Rosario spoke about some of the challenges she has encountered, such as the death of her father and sister, health issues, and how she uses sport to help overcome adversity.
“I suffered a severe concussion, I lost my sister and dad, and I did suffer from seizures due to a brain cyst,” she said.
“Soon after that I tore my ACL playing in a game that I was using to release stress in. All of these traumatic events obviously had impact me on mentally. To experience that was very difficult but I made it through.
“I now take my trauma and use it to thrive in school, on the pitch and just to better myself. I normally don’t speak about my story so I’m glad I have this opportunity to do so. I want to tell you all that a hard life is still a life worth sharing.”
Masters, a forward, spoke about her determination to continue playing football after tearing her ACL four times.
“My message is really just to keep going and never let anybody tell you that you can’t do something,” she said.
“I know after my first ACL that people told me hang up my boots and asked why I kept playing football? I said ‘no, I am going to do what you told me I can’t do’.
“So I think at the end of the day if you really want to do it, if it’s in your heart and that’s what you love, just put your head down, stay focused and do what you do but never let anybody tell you that you can’t do anything.”