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by Sheree-Anita Shearer | Associate Writer
I’m pretty sure you already know some of the Jamaican women in sports, especially through our Jamaican female sprinters. But our female athletes are not just great sprinters. We have talented athletes in other sports as well.
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If you are a follower of cricket, then you would know Stephanie Taylor. Born in Spanish Town in 1991, Taylor is just 31 years old but Taylor has been making history in the sport since her teenage years. Stefanie’s talent transcends sports and she had the option to choose between football and cricket. Her reason for choosing cricket was really simple. She thought she would be able to see more of the world by participating in the sport.
And that she did. This started in Ireland, in 2008 when Taylor was just 17. She blasted onto the scene in her T20 debut where she made 90 runs from 49 balls.
In 2013 she became the only player in the history of cricket to ever achieve the number one ODI ranking in batting and bowling simultaneously, for both men and women.
At 17 years old, Taylor hit a 49-ball 90 on her T20I debut against Ireland in 2008. In 2013 she became the only player in history, male or female, to ever achieve the number one ODI ranking in both batting and bowling simultaneously.
At the end of her teenage years, the 19-year-old became the youngest woman in cricket to reach 1000 ODI runs. In 2013, she made 171 against Sri Lanka at the World Cup, the third highest total in the women’s ODIs.
But the future was even brighter for Taylor; she became the captain of the West Indies women’s cricket team in 2015, a position she held until 2022.
During her time as captain, she saw her team to the finals of the 2016 T20 World Cup and ultimately the title becoming champions after beating then reigning three-time champions, Australia.
In 2022, she led the team to a semi-final departure from the ODI World Cup in New Zealand.
Here is something to shout about, she has scored 5298 runs in her 145 ODIs appearances. The magic number for T20s is 3121 runs in her 111 T20Is caps but when you toss in her 152 ODIs wickets and 98 inT20Is, you have a super all-around. Taylor captained West Indies to 25 wins in 62 ODIs and 33 wins in 55 T20Is.
In addition to being part of the Caribbean team, West Indies, she also plays for the Guyana Amazon Warriors in the CPL T20 league.
At 6’ 6” tall you have to stand out, but if you’re international netball sensation Jhaniele Fowler you’ll be noticed for your skills in a sport in which you are one of the most respected in the world.
She has been playing netball since 11, but it wasn’t until her early adulthood stages that she would really pursue a career in the sport.
This turned out to be a huge success for her as Fowler has now played for the best leagues in the world for both Australian and New Zealand-based teams.
The netball star has also been named MVP of the sport for 4 consecutive years straight. She was the first athlete in the history of the netball league to win multiple MVP awards consecutively.
For international competitions, Fowler captains the Sunshine Girls a team she has been part of since 2010. Now 12 years later, she is the captain of the team and the leading goal scorer as well.
She has competed at three World Netball Series tournaments with the Jamaican national team and was a part of the bronze medal team in 2010. The team also contested the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi and the 2011 World Netball Championships in Singapore.
In 2022, the Sunshine Girls historically defeated the Australian team at the Commonwealth games in August, which was collectively seen as a Jamaica 60 gift from the sunshine girls to us back at home.
Olympian, Guinness World Record Holder, and retired Jamaican swimmer Alia Atkinson has represented Jamaica in 5 Olympics in her long and decorated career from the 2004 Athens games when she was just 15, until the Tokyo Games in 2021.
Over the years she has competed in the 50m, 100m and 200m breaststroke and the 50-metre freestyle as well.
Atkinson has competed at regional and international levels at the World Championships, Pan American Games, Commonwealth Games and Central American and Caribbean Games copping 124 many medals along the way 74 of these are gold medals.
Naturally, as a Jamaican athlete Atkinson is quite used to breaking world records, and the dedicated Jamaican athlete from Roehampton, St. James became the second woman to swim 1:04:36 in the 100-metre breaststroke equally the world record. She shares the Guinness World record for this accomplishment as well.
In 2018 she broke her own record set back in 2016 for the 50-metre breaststroke.
Accolades and Achievements
Alia despite her many wins, was not able to win the Olympic medal for Jamaica. However, in her retirement announcement, she was glad to have paved the way for the athlete who would eventually bring home Jamaica’s first gold medal in the sport.
Khadija, better known as Bunny Shaw, is a Jamaican football player who was born in Spanish Town, St. Catherine. Shaw is currently the all-time top goalscorer for the Jamaica women's football team.
The St. Jago past student is now a forward for Barclays FA Women's Super League, the highest league for women’s football in England. Up until 2021, she played for Bordeaux before moving on to Manchester City.
As a part of Jamaica’s female football team, she has been part of the Reggae Girlz since age 14, making the U-15, U-17, U-20 and senior teams
Shaw was a part of the historic 2019 Reggae Girlz team that qualified for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the first Caribbean female team to do so. They created history yet again in 2022, qualifying for the Women’s world cup for a second time. The first Jamaican football team to qualify twice for the international competition.
Accolades and Achievements
Between Bordeaux and Manchester City, Shaw has scored 45 career goals.
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Jamaican Women In Sports | Written: August 26, 2022
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