West Hartford, Connecticut – Chantelle and Allyson Swaby are making history.
“Six months ago I never thought that anything like this would ever happen. It honestly happened so quickly,” said Chantelle. The 20 and 22-year-old sisters will be one of the first to do something no one has ever done before.
They’ll be going to the 2019 world Cup in France.
The sisters will be representing Jamaica as the first women’s Caribbean team to ever qualify for the World Cup. Their parents are Jamaican however, the sisters were born and raised in West Hartford.
“It was just honestly a great place to grow up because just the neighborhood was so nice. There wasn’t a lot of bad things happening. It was just a great place to grow up with your family,” said Chantelle.
For the Swaby girls, family was huge. Their father grew up playing soccer. He made the sport a staple in the household.
“He would always just like put a soccer ball in our hands and just try to get us to kick it around,” said Chantelle.
The early habits let to Recreational, travel and eventually club soccer. It wasn’t until high school where the two found out something about themselves.
“Well we he tried playing us like next to each other. It didn’t work. Well you talk to your sister differently than you talk to your standard teammate. Because at the end of the day she still has to live with me. She can’t just be like…yeah. So probably our communication wasn’t the best between each other,” said Allyson.
They’d eventually learn to work together especially when they were called up to play for the Jamaican national team.
“We knew that there was going to be a call up soon or eventually but just actually getting that call like, we want you to come to Haiti was honestly insane,” said Chantelle.
It was a dream for their family and so much more.
“All we can hope is that little girls in Jamaica, anywhere that’s small in general can see that you know, they did it. Maybe they didn’t know they can do it. They didn’t foresee it in their future but they worked toward something and it ended up paying off. We just want to be able to inspire that generation of children who may not feel the infrastructure is there for them but as long as they have a dream and a hope that they can actually succeed and find themselves in a seat like ours,” said Allyson.