Lauren Silver - Jamaica
My name is Lauren Silver and I have roamed this Earth for 26 years now. I was born in Kendall, Florida, a city located in Miami. A few years later I moved to a city called Coral Springs where I lived the majority of my life. It was there that my older sister, Brittney, started playing on a club team and you know the saying, “monkey see, monkey do”. I then tried out for my first club team, called Storm, but they placed me on the B team saying I wasn't ready to play on the A team. So I tried out for the Renegades, made the A team (a competing local club team) and that's where my competitive soccer career started. That's where it all started really.
What did you try to show with the photos? Was there any wider meaning with any of the photos?
The photos feature my teammates from Norway. Some were taken in Norway and others were taken in Turkey for a preseason tournament we attended. I tried to show the diverse countries, climates, and people that football allows me to experience.
My team Trondheims-ørn was playing against another top division Norwegian team. That week it had been snowing intensely and it sure didn’t stop for the game. I couldn’t play this game because my paperwork for the team was not complete. So I was sitting in the stands watching. Practicing and playing in the snow is really hard. Everything is cold and my toes always go numb, plus the ground is really slippery because the ice melts, then freezes on the ground. If you look in the background, you can see pile on piles of snow. My team was fighting hard and we came out with a 0-0 tie. These photos show one side of Norway. Some days it is very nice, especially during spring. But during the winter, the snow definitely comes in waves. It’s cool that football takes me to places like Norway. Sometimes I take a step back to really remember and appreciate that.
What is your favourite photo? Why?
My favorite photo is from Turkey because the sun is shining, but if you look closely you can see ice capped mountains in the background.
What has been your football journey up until now?
In retrospect, I went through a lot to get to where I am. I've moved homes, spent time away from family, missed important events in my loved ones lives, lost friends, incurred injuries along the way that required long and sometimes discouraging recoveries, and list goes on and on. But the sacrifices created the person I am today, established some of the strongest relationships I have, led me on a straight and narrow path towards a successful life, and developed me into a person I really like.
What are the biggest changes happening at the moment in women's football?
Currently equal pay is the big talk in town. Teams, including Jamaica, are making huge strides in equal pay. We've just established contracts with the JFF for the first time ever!
What does football mean to you? Do you have a message for the next generation of young female footballers?
I grew up with a ball at my feet. It means everything to me. I've learned my most valuable lessons because of it. I wasn't always the best player on my team. In fact, I’ve always been the underdog. I love being in that position because it has taught me to become more resilient and patient.
What are the opportunities for female footballers in Jamaica?
The opportunities are slim in Jamaica and that is why what we have done as national team is massive. We are literally paving the way for young Jamaican footballers. Not only are we inspiring young women to believe that playing women's football is possible, but inspiring change in the game, such as the creation of the Women's Premier League in Jamaica.
What is the future for Jamaican women's football?
The future is still cloudy but looking like it's going in the right direction. At least it is trying to go forward.
What do you expect to change after the 2019 WWC?
That's a big question. I don't really look too far forward in that way. I like to stay in the present and focus on the task at hand. If you asked me where i would be today 5 years ago, my answer would be completely wrong.
What does your family think of your job as a professional soccer player?
It's a hard job for my parents. Two people who have never played soccer, but have always supported me. However, with the inconsistencies, sexual discrimination, bias, and lack of financial support behind women's football, it has made it difficult for my parents to ever really feel safe or comfortable with this line of work. They always support me regardless, but often get concerned because they know that it is a struggle.
What’s one thing you always do before a game?
Nap 20-30 minutes in the locker room, usually on the floor.