Time to give back! - Swaby donates one per cent of salary to social change

July 15, 2020
Allyson Swaby dribbles a ball during a training session with the Reggae Girlz at the National Stadium on January 18, 2019.
Allyson Swaby dribbles a ball during a training session with the Reggae Girlz at the National Stadium on January 18, 2019.

National women's defender Allyson Swaby has joined a cause to impact social change through football.

The 23-year-old announced on Monday that she is now a part of a charitable movement that encourages football players to donate one per cent of their salaries to a central fund that supports football-related charities globally. She becomes the first Jamaican player to join the initiative which was co-founded by Spanish international and Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata.

The America-born Swaby, who plays for AS Roma in Italy, says she wants to be able to serve her community, having benefited from the assistance that she has received in her journey to becoming a professional.

"Growing up, I've had a lot of help along the way, and not always people who were into football but those who saw my passion and decided I was somebody worth supporting," she said on the charity's website. "I want to make sure that I'm able to make an impact where and when I can. Just like those who impacted me."

She has committed her one per cent donation to Soccer Without Borders (SWB), an initiative that uses football as a means to instil positive change in the lives of young people and their communities. She said that she was attracted to the prospect of helping the SWB branch in Boston, which is near to her home town of Hartford, Connecticut.

"Supporting an organisation in Boston sounded really cool to me because of my college days," she said. "It's also only a hour and a half from me so when I'm home I'll be able to get involved in other ways, to somewhere where I have a deep connection".

Senior women's coach Hubert Busby Jr is proud of the actions of Swaby and hopes that this will inspire other national players to be a part of the movement.

"What she is doing is showing and leading the way, and we are hopeful that this is the start of many other Jamaican players looking to do the same in the next little while," he said.

Established in August 2017, Common Goal has seen 156 footballers and managers from leagues globally join the cause. Among them include 2019 Women's Ballon d'Or winner Megan Rapinoe of the United States and Liverpool head coach Jurgen Klopp.

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