Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) president Christopher Samuda and chairman of the Sports Development Foundation (SDF) George Soutar said the void left by Hubert Lawrence will be hard to fill, as they paid tribute to the respected track and field analysis, whose untimely passing has cast a pall of gloom over the sporting fraternity.

Lawrence, 64, who was also well-known for his authorship, and historical documentation, passed away at home on Friday.

Samuda remembered Lawrence as an authority on Jamaican and global track and field, who played a crucial role in television coverage of various athletic events, including the Olympics, World Championships, and local meets.

The veteran analyst had been an integral part of the track and field commentary for more than three decades, his passion for the sport evident in his dedicated contributions to both television and written media.

“Hubert Lawrence was not simply an encyclopedia of statistics and historical data of others, but more importantly, he was himself a landmark that gave a nation in his commentary a self-portrait in track and field. A man in the mirror vision of where an athletic fraternity stood in his development and the journey must take in order to progress and mature,” Samuda shared.

“He gave statistics context in his written and spoken word, so that players could understand the culture of the sport more, their role and responsibility, and be guided by the principles of Olympicism, which is pen-inked in personalizing successive Olympic Games. The Olympic family mourns his mortality, but is assured and assures his family that his soul now rests eternally,” he added.

Beyond his on-screen presence, Lawrence was a prolific author, having written and co-authored significant books on track and field. Some notable works include "Champs 100" in 2010, "The Power and the Glory: Jamaica in World Athletics, From World War II to the Diamond League Era" in 2012, and "50 Days of Fire" in 2022.

Lawrence, who Soutar described as a true champion for athletes and sports development in Jamaica, inspiring generations with his passion and knowledge, leaves behind a profound impact on the track and field community in Jamaica and beyond.

“He was well known for his balanced and insightful commentaries and interviews, not only to local sports but also in the region and internationally.

“Jamaica has lost a dedicated, and one of our most knowledgeable sports analysts and commentators. On behalf of the Sports Development Foundation, our condolences go out to his family and the sports fraternity,” Soutar said.

The Jamaica Paralympic Association (JPA) will be hosting the Regional Sports Training for Boccia, and Track and Field, scheduled for March 13 -15, 2024.

The training, to be conducted under the guidance and expertise of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), is designed to provide technical and skills-training support to top para-athletes and their coaches, technical staff and referees.

Attendees will come from Jamaica, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, and Barbados Bermuda, Grenada, Guyana Haiti, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and the US Virgin Islands.

The objective is to effectively prepare participants for representing their countries in future competitions.

“Historic,” was the word used to describe the initiative by Jamaica Paralympic Association President, Christopher Samuda.

“It is the first time an IPC training session for coaches and technical officials in two sports is being held simultaneously in the Caribbean for regional stakeholders,” Samuda said at a press conference at the Jamaica Olympic Association headquarters in Kingston on Friday.

“Where is this leading us? Establishing Jamaica as a hub for regional and international technical training and capacity building and the forum next month will be a driver,” he added.

The activities will conclude with the Velocity Fest on Saturday, March 16, 2024, at the National Stadium, where athletes will showcase their newly acquired skills.

This will also be the first time in the history of the Paralympic movement that a world certified technical official will preside over the meet. That world certified technical official is Sodia Peters.

“This has always been a dream of mine and to see it become a reality, I am very happy. I’m very elated to represent Jamaica at the highest level,” said the World Para-Athletics Technical Delegate.

“I want to be the first of many and I want to impart the knowledge that I’ve garnered to ensure that we are living up to the international standards here in Jamaica, not only producing world class athletes but we need world class officials, technical delegates and coaches in Jamaica as well,” she added.

This will be the second consecutive year that para-athletes will be competing at the Velocity Fest.

More than 20 para-athletes will be participating in the meet in areas such as long jump, shot put, the sprints and the 400m.

As the news of Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce’s pending retirement continues to soak in, Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) president Christopher Samuda is among those already expressing gratitude to the decorated athlete, whose life and legacy on the track, has been an inspiration to many across the global sporting landscape.

In fact, Samuda hinted at his association's plans to celebrate the legacy of Jamaican sprint icon, who will hang up her spikes after the Olympic Games in Paris, later this year.

Since she won Olympic gold in Beijing in 2008, Fraser-Pryce has enjoyed one of the most dominating careers in track and field history, as she tallied eight Olympic medals, including three gold, 16 medals at the World Athletics Championships, which includes 10 world titles, and ranks as the third fastest woman in history with 10.60 seconds in the 100m.

But she is not quite done yet, as she will certainly be aiming to add to those accolades and, by extension, fittingly end her illustrious career on a high.

“Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce will retire from the track, but it will always be her stomping ground, given the lessons she taught and her legacy will remain. What an athlete. She is a culture of absolute discipline, courage and resilience. An Olympian and World Champion whose enduring commitment to country is inspiring,” Samuda told SportsMax.TV.

“She is a global sporting ambassador whose credentials are well known and are accepted by many countries. The Jamaica Olympic Association will honour those attributes which resided in ‘Pocket Rocket’, and which are now gaining ineffable expression in ‘Mommy Rocket’,” he added.

On that note, Samuda, while reflecting on her many accomplishments, highlighted that Fraser-Pryce is only human, who has given her all to the demands of balancing sport with family life.

“More importantly, she's a daughter, a mother, a wife, and a colleague. An Olympian, a human being endowed with a humanity that embodies goodwill, and a smile that comes from the heart. She embodies a spirit and personhood that makes her not just a gold medalist, but more importantly a standard bearer,” Samuda shared.

“What an explosion she has been on life's track which will forever bear her indelible footprints,” he noted.

The 37-year-old Fraser-Pryce in a recent interview, explained that her decision to retire after this summer’s Olympic Games in Paris stems from her wanting to dedicate more time to her family.

“My son needs me. My husband and I have been together since before I won in 2008. He has sacrificed for me and it’s because of that support that I’m able to do the things that I have been doing for all these years. I think I now owe it to them to do something else,” Fraser-Pryce said.

The vivacious athlete’s win in Beijing made her first Jamaican woman to win an Olympic 100m gold, and her follow-up victory in 2012 made her only the third woman to win back-to-back Olympic titles. She joined other greats Wyoma Tyus and Gail Devers of the USA to accomplish the feat.

Fraser-Pryce’s 2009 World 100m title in Berlin, saw her become the first woman to hold Olympic and World titles simultaneously, a feat she accomplished twice with victories in London in 2012 and Moscow in 2013.

In yet another display of well-needed support, the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) once again demonstrated its commitment to sports development by stepping in to rescue the Jamaica Surfing Association, ensuring the nation's surfers can ride the waves at the upcoming World Championship in Arecibo, Puerto Rico.

Responding to the urgent plea from the Jamaica Surfing Association, citing the non-materialization of promised funding from the Sports Development Foundation (SDF), the JOA not only fulfilled its initial commitment of a JMD$800,000 cash injection but has gone above and beyond by providing an additional JMD$400,000.

This generous intervention bridges the financial gap, empowering the aspiring surfers to compete at the  World Championship scheduled from February 23 to March 3, 2024.

Icah Wilmot, President of the Jamaica Surfing Association and an internationally certified coach, expressed heartfelt gratitude, stating, "Thank you so much JOA for the support and assistance. You are life savers, and now we are heading to the competition to put our best foot forward, representing the nation with our eyes on the ultimate prize of spots at the 2024 Olympic Games."

Surfing has been gaining momentum locally in recent years, showcasing its Olympic and Paralympic credentials, capturing the attention and support of the JOA.

JOA President Christopher Samuda shared an optimistic outlook, stating, "Gale force winds blew, torrential rains there were; but the storm is over now, and light and liberty are on the horizon."

Meanwhile, JOA Secretary General/CEO, Ryan Foster, expressed the association’s continued support, saying, "Not even a tsunami could prevent us from giving our accomplished surfing ambassadors the opportunity to rule the waves."

With several sports now in the process of qualifying for the Paris Olympic Games, the JOA's timely intervention exemplifies its dedication to fostering excellence in sports, ensuring that athletes across diverse disciplines have the opportunity to shine on the global stage.

 

 

 

 

 

The rhythmic beat of excitement echoes through the corridors of anticipation as the 2024 ISSA GraceKennedy Boys and Girls Championships, better known as "CHAMPS," approaches the island of Jamaica. In a groundbreaking move, the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) and PUMA are set to turn this prestigious event into an Olympic fashion extravaganza, showcasing the bespoke apparel designs tailored exclusively for the Jamaican Olympic team at the upcoming Paris Olympic Games.

The announcement is met with palpable enthusiasm from JOA President, Christopher Samuda, who can't hide his delight, "The designs meet our approval, and their display will be an innovation bringing Olympism into the arena, reminding inspired youth that wearing the black, gold, and green is genetic, shaping character and tailoring personal aspirations, sewing seeds of success."

A sense of historical significance hangs in the air as the national stadium, once again, prepares to take center stage. JOA Secretary General/CEO, Ryan Foster, eloquently expresses the symbolic nature of the venue, "The national stadium will once more be a focal point for Olympism, a landmark from which sportsmen and women have been catapulted into being Olympic champions and global personalities, becoming an inspiration to generations of youth."

The JOA/PUMA partnership is lauded for its creative fusion of sports and fashion. President Samuda emphasizes the deeper meaning of national sportswear, stating, "This activation by PUMA underscores that national sportswear should be an experience and an honor that goes beyond what you wear to being how you wear it, contributing to a country’s sporting legacy – and that’s Olympism."

Fashion, as articulated by JOA Secretary General/CEO Foster, is not merely a reflection of the times but a profound expression of identity. "National apparel re-defines the past, defines the present, and shapes the future of a people." He highlights the distinction between ready-to-wear and custom-built, noting that the latter is driven by a 'fit to size' and bespoke value, characterizing the present and stylizing the future.

As the days count down, the buzz around the event intensifies. Jamaicans eagerly anticipate a taste of Paris, as Olympic sportswear is set to grace Independence Park. Inspired by the remarkable performances of Jamaican Olympians throughout history, the showcase promises to be a vivid celebration of the nation's sporting legacy.

PUMA's continuing commitment to the Jamaican Olympic movement is evident, with this display of Jamaican sport haute couture being hailed as "the dress rehearsal of greater things to come" by President Samuda. The stage is set for a truly groundbreaking moment at CHAMPS, where the collision of athleticism and high fashion will create an unforgettable spectacle, etching a lasting impression on the hearts of spectators and athletes alike.

 

It will be an Olympic Games in Paris and an Independence Day in Jamaica to remember as the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) and PUMA International join forces to bring to a global citizenry an experience in friendship and mutuality in sport and a cultural expose of Jamaica’s culture.

The JOA and PUMA will be partnering to celebrate Jamaica’s independence in Paris on August 6 and JOA Day on August 7 in the historic capital of France which is known universally for its avant-garde and exquisite taste for cuisine and art.

But for those days Jamaica’s culture in sport, music and food  and Olympism will be  spotlighted and take pride of place in a glorious display for Jamaica’s golden sporting champions and ambassadors, Jamaican fans, patriots resident in France, the worldwide Olympic officialdom, international personalities in sport and entertainment and athletes across the Olympic spectrum.

President of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA), Christopher Samuda, in commenting on this historic and landmark partnership said, “We, the JOA and PUMA, are innovators in sport as we are constantly revolutionizing its ethos in giving capital and currency to stakeholders in building an inspiring world view of sport and in articulating a universal language of hope. It will be a Jamaican reggae yard experience in PUMA’s house, a home away from home sporting experience for many and a household name and legacy in the annals of Olympic history.”

This activation was inevitable as the messages of the JOA and PUMA converge in sporting values and prowess which are defining of their brands and way of life. JOA Secretary General and CEO, Ryan Foster, is an advocate of this and makes it clear that “August 6 and 7 will be the destinations in Paris for all roads will lead to Jamrock in PUMA’s house where food, music and our vibes will imprint values on the sporting landscape and leave lasting footprints.”

If there is any doubt as to the JOA’s perspective, Secretary General Foster provides certainty. “Globalizing brand Jamaica, internationalizing brand JOA and personalising sport remain a primary focus and mandate  and ‘JaParis’ our Olympic manor, will be iconic,” he said.

Central to the JOA’s domestic outlook and foreign policy are the athletes of its member associations and federations who President Samuda says “define what we do, how we do it and when we do it and the 2024 JOA PUMA French connection will be a blockbuster.”

In a few days shy of six months, members of the sporting fraternity will, in Paris, savour the best of the city courtesy of the JOA and PUMA.

Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) president Christopher Samuda says the value of their renewed partnership with Supreme Ventures Limited (SVL) goes beyond money, as his organization advocates and understands that greater currency is derived from social investment in the human capital and infrastructure of sport, athletes, coaches and administrators.

This, as the extended five-year partnership valued at $75 million represents a significant boost towards the country’s preparations for international competitions, including the Olympic Games in Paris, later this year.

“This five-year cash investment at a value of $75 million will fulfill that purpose and serve to build out the Olympic infrastructure in a substantive way, while facilitating talent in transitioning to the greatest stage, the Olympic stage, where aspirations in sport will be realized, as we at the JOA, engender in stakeholders, responsible citizenship in sport,” Samuda told SportsMax.TV shortly after the signing at the JOA’s headquarters on Friday.

Samuda stated that reshaping the JOA to broaden involvement is the paradigm of the current executive, as he pointed to the SVL’s increased investment, from its previous $45 million agreement over three years, as a testament of their belief in, and by extension, commitment to the movement. Besides athletics, numerous other sporting disciplines will be hunting qualification to the Paris Games.

“The renewal of this multi-million partnership between the Jamaica Olympic Association and Supreme Ventures Limited at a significant increased value, demonstrates corporate confidence in the Jamaica Olympic Association, and SVL’s unwavering commitment to the Olympic movement and indeed sport. But its value goes beyond money,” Samuda shared.

“The activations which will be carried out under this partnership will demonstrate innovation in the delivery of sports, specific skills in areas including education, coaching, business and commerce, governance and management, science and technology, as well as branding and marketing. All this while giving strategic support to events, all with the objective of blueprinting the creation of a local sport industry which is an imperative of economic development,” he added.

Meanwhile, SVL’s Executive Chairman, Gary Peart, said the decision to renew their sponsorship was made as a commitment to Jamaica’s athletes. He also credited the JOA for their efforts and transparency throughout their partnership.

“They sold us on a vision, they updated along the way in terms of what the results have been, and it’s been an exceptional journey. We took the decision 18 months ago that we’d renew, it was just a matter of how the renewal would be," Peart said.

"We sponsor several initiatives in our business on an annual basis and JOA ranks in the top one or two in terms of what the whole process is, the returns, etc. Ultimately, this money helps not just the Olympic movement but athletes and their ability to shine on the international stage, and hopefully get gold when they participate. We at SVL, we’re just happy to assist with that,” he noted.

Peart also announced that SVL will be giving Jamaicans the opportunity to attend the games in France through various promotions to be announced in the coming weeks.

Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) president, Christopher Samuda, welcomed a recent move by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to accommodate athletes' freedom of expression, albeit with certain restrictions, during the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

Though athletes have frequently used the Olympic stage to make statements through boycotts and protests, the IOC in a bid to not only protect the Games integrity, but also to strike a balance between freedom of expression and maintaining a respectful and competitive environment, has set out the places and forbidden topics where competitors will be able to express their opinions.

At the Paris Games, athletes will be able to express themselves freely in all but five moments –the opening and closing ceremonies, the medal ceremonies, during competition and during their stay in the Olympic Village. 

As such, the mixed areas where they interact with the media, press centres, press conferences, interviews, team meetings, traditional or digital media, social networks and pre-competition moments, such as call room and athlete presentation, will be the appropriate places for athletes to defend their points of view, but still under certain conditions.

For Samuda, the move represents a step in the right direction in the current era.

The Tokyo Games opened the door to the expression in the Olympic environment, which had been completely banned at previous editions. This, as players from the women's football teams of Great Britain, Chile, United States, Sweden, and New Zealand knelt on the pitch before some matches to protest against racism.

“The decision of the IOC to give a voice to athletes in designated spaces at the 2024 Olympic Games is laudable. The recognition of the inalienable right to freedom of expression which, notwithstanding, must be exercised responsibly so as to safeguard the integrity and reputation of the Games, which is of immense brand value to athletes, and importantly, to protect sport, which creates a meaningful livelihood for athletes and stakeholders,” Samuda told SportsMax.TV.

“Giving athletes a voice to articulate their viewpoints in spaces including the mixed areas where they will interface with the media, and also in press conferences, centres and interviews, as well as team meetings and traditional and new media, demonstrates athlete centricity on the part of the IOC,” he added.

Among the restrictions placed on athletes is the fact that they must respect the basic principles of Olympism, and refrain from attacking individuals, organisations or countries. Athletes are also expected to follow the instructions of their Olympic committee or federation, and avoid disruptive behaviour.

Disruptive behaviour in this case, could be making comments during the presentation or anthem of other athletes, or displaying a flag or banner at that moment.

According to rules published by the IOC, failure to comply with these rules may result in disciplinary action proportionate to the offence.

This, Samuda believes is a responsible stance by the IOC, as with the conferment of a right comes responsibility and therefore, athletes in their expression must also adhere to the IOC rules and guidelines.

“A very reasonable position which I have no doubt will be subject to further refinement as sport evolves globally, and the imperative to protect its integrity becomes more acknowledged in the interest of athletes and their livelihood,” Samuda reasoned.

“Capital and stakeholder satisfaction prefer a risk free and regulated environment in which to thrive. So, striking a balance between liberty to speak and the responsibility of remaining silent provides a safe haven for viable return on investment and engagement,” he ended.

 

The 45th MILO Western Relays kicked off with a burst of excitement and anticipation, as co-founder and organizer Ray Harvey unveiled thrilling new events and surprises for the upcoming edition during the launch at the Holy Trinity Church Hall in Westgate, Montego Bay.

One of the most significant announcements was the introduction of discus and shot put throws for all classes of high school girls and boys. This marked a groundbreaking moment, bringing a new dimension to the competition and offering young athletes a chance to showcase their skills in these field events.

Ray Harvey further revealed that, due to popular demand from senior-level coaches, the invitational 60m dash for clubs and institutions would make a return to the schedule. This addition aimed to provide valuable experience for athletes preparing for overseas competitions, adding an extra layer of competitiveness to the event.

In another exciting development, prize money was reintroduced for high schools participating in specific relay events. The 4x100M Class 1, 4X400M Class 1, and the 4X800M Open categories would see athletes earning cash rewards ranging from JMD$5,000 to JMD$40,000 based on their placements. Edwin Allen emerged as the top-performing school in the previous year, securing JMD$140,000 for their outstanding performance.

The event, scheduled to start at 10:00 am, promised a packed day of activities, including relays for all classes, hurdles, field events such as long jump, triple jump, and high jump, as well as sprint races ranging from 100m to 800m. The day's schedule would culminate with the 3000m and the 1500m, the first event on the list.

 Harvey also took the opportunity to announce the patron of the event and recognize outstanding junior male and female awardees. Chester McCarthy, the athletic director at GC Foster College, along with Deandre Daley of Herbert Morrison Technical High School and Alexis James, formerly of Petersfield High School, were named as this year's recipients. The awards presentation would take place during the opening ceremony at GC Foster College on Saturday, February 10.

Nekesha Bartholomew-Ramey, representing the title sponsor MILO, expressed their commitment with a generous cash sponsorship of four million dollars (JMD$4,000,000). She emphasized MILO's dedication to the event, highlighting its alignment with the product as the "food drink of champions" that provides energy to go further.

Mount Alvernia's coach Andrew Henry received special recognition for his exceptional work with MILO scholarship awardees since 2007. Bartholomew-Ramey praised his efforts, acknowledging the positive impact he had on athletes in the west.

Attendees to the February event were promised not only a fantastic athletic showcase but also the opportunity to sample hot and cold MILO, with product sales at discounted prices. The Jamaica Olympic Association's president, Chris Samuda, confirmed the organization's continued sponsorship for the third consecutive year, further solidifying the significance of the MILO Western Relays on the Jamaican sports calendar.

The launch event extended beyond the formalities, featuring a coach's clinic and an informative section on nutrition, exercises, and recovery for prep and primary schools, as well as high schools. Keilando Goburn, coach at St. Jago High School, delivered a well-timed presentation on 'Intensive Hurdling Technique,' earning praise from fellow coaches for its quality and relevance. Overall, the atmosphere was buzzing with excitement as the countdown to the MILO Western Relays began.

 

 

 

 

Jamaica Hockey Federation (JHF) president Fabian Stewart and the hockey5s team are now breathing a collective sigh of relief as the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) has once again heeded their cry for help with another $2 million contribution to get the team to the World Cup in Oman.

JHF officials were left in a bind to meet the budget to ensure the country is represented at the tournament on this historical occasion, as they were told that a $2-million commitment from the Ministry of Sports would not be available until after the World Cup, which gets under way on January 28.

However, their concerns were addressed by the country's Olympic body which stepped in to bridge the gap ahead of the team's departure scheduled for January 22.

JOA president Christopher Samuda explained that rendering assistance was a no-brainer, especially given the magnitude of the occasion. The JOA earlier made a $3 million contribution to the JHF's charge late last year.

Jamaica's hockey5s World Cup debut will see them rubbing shoulders with India, Egypt and Switzerland in Pool B.

"The Jamaica Olympic Association is in the business of empowering our sportsmen, sportswomen, coaches and administrators. Our hockey5s national team made a call and we answered again as in giving further support to them of $2 million. The aspirations of our sportsmen and women must never be dampened, and as the apex body we are committed where possible to hydrate their thirst and passion in representing their country as loyal sporting citizens. They are on their journey to Oman and the Jamaica Olympic Association is with them and it is our fervent hope that they will strike gold," Samuda said.

Meanwhile, Stewart, who said their initial move was to beg and borrow to meet the shortfall, welcomed the JOA's intervention.

“While I thank all the stakeholders that have supported the JHF on the journey to the World Cup in Oman, including the Minister of Sport and various private individuals and entities, my gratitude to the direction and support of the JOA, as well as my belief in president Samuda’s stewardship of the organisation to ensure global success of all sports (large or small), has only deepened based on this critical financial support,” Stewart said.

 
 
 

 In a splendid affair at the luxurious Marriott Hotel in Aventura, the Pan American Sport Organization (PASO) held its Gala Awards Ceremony recently, hosting a distinguished guest and 400m hurdles gold medalist, Jaheel Hyde, who was celebrated for his remarkable achievement at the 2023 Pan American Games.

The event became more than a gala; it transformed into a Wolmerian reunion, bringing together Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) President Christopher Samuda, and JOA Secretary General/CEO, Ryan Foster, both maroon and gold alumni and esteemed PASO commission members.

The reunion was elevated with the presence of Jaheel Hyde, a Wolmer's Boys' School alumnus, whose stellar performance on the international stage earned him the prestigious 400m hurdles gold.

Jaheel Hyde, adorned with numerous gold medals from his junior endeavors and the 2022 Commonwealth Games silver in Birmingham, now sets his sights on the grandest stage of all—the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. The gala served as a moment of recognition for Hyde's historic achievement, marking his first gold at the senior level in international competition.

As Hyde basks in the glory of his Pan Am Games triumph, the journey continues, with the Paris Olympics looming on the horizon. Eager to add another illustrious chapter to his sporting journey, Hyde prepares to face formidable competitors, aspiring to clinch the coveted gold medal and etch his name in the annals of sporting history.

 

Red Stripe, the official beer of Jamaica, announced a long-term partnership with the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA), valued at $80 million Jamaican, which will provide much-needed support to the association in preparing all Jamaican athletes across multiple sporting disciplines.

The partnership announced at the Red Stripe’s Spanish Town Road base on Tuesday, marks a momentous occasion that signifies the marriage of two iconic institutions coming together to ensure a meaningful impact for sports in Jamaica.

Jamaica Olympic Association, which has been a member of the International Olympic Committee since 1936, has done more than support athletes to take the global stage, but extends their support beyond competition by ensuring that all sports administrators and officials are adequately trained.

Red Stripe’s Head of Commerce, Sean Wallace said this multi-million-dollar investment showcases the commitment of the entity to Jamaicans and all that matters to them.

“Our partnership with the Jamaica Olympic Association is yet another collaboration that will be woven into the rich fabric of our iconic history. For almost 100 years, we have poured into Jamaican music, art, food, culture, and of course, sports. We understand the importance of investing in our people, nurturing the next generation of talent, and honour the legacy of those who have exited the competitive arena. We are very excited about this partnership and everything it will do for future and development of sports,” Wallace shared.

Red Stripe’s support of the JOA will help to cover expenses related to the training of athletes, procurement of equipment, travel expenses, and any other administrative support that the esteemed organisation needs.

 

JOA president Christopher Samuda expressed his gratitude for the partnership.

“Olympic culture is priceless; the economy of sport has evolved universally into a billion-dollar enterprise. Both the JOA and our partner, Red Stripe, understand that sport gives character and is the DNA of human inspiration.

“Sport is not just a hobby or something to be photographed but is a business of physical culture. We are grateful for the support Red Stripe has pledged to give and we look forward to an exceptional partnership,” Samuda noted.

Additionally, Red Stripe also launched their campaign entitled ‘Gold Glory’ which ends on January 19, 2024. The campaign offers consumers an opportunity to be a part of the excitement of next year’s Olympic Games.

This campaign includes a design competition that will challenge artistic consumers to create a limited-edition Red Stripe 6-pack, which should be posted to their Instagram page. These designs should showcase the accomplishments of Jamaican athletes past, present and future.

The competition’s winner could pocket $500,000, and have their design showcased in the Olympic Village in Paris, France.

“Red Stripe will be giving ten lucky consumers and a guest, the chance to fly all-expenses paid to Paris 2024 to see our athletes compete,” Wallace shared.

The Great Jamaican Beer will be celebrating 100 years in 2028 and is eyeing the 2028 games in Los Angeles. The details on how consumers can win this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity will be on Red Stripe’s website and social media platforms soon.

In a solemn ceremony at the National Indoor Sports Centre in Kingston on Saturday, Jamaica's Sports Minister, the Honourable Olivia Grange, paid a touching tribute to the late Marland Washington Nattie, Vice President of the Jamaica Basketball Association.

Nattie, a stalwart in the world of basketball, passed away on October 8 after battling a massive stroke. His funeral drew mourners from across the basketball and sports fraternity who gathered to bid farewell to a beloved figure. They included Paulton Gordon, President of the Jamaica Basketball Association, past JABA president Ajani Williams, Christopher Samuda, President of the Jamaica Olympic Association as well as past Netball Jamaica President Marva Bernard and members of the Sunshine Girls.

Addressing the congregation, Minister Grange reflected on Nattie's character and contributions, stating, "A heart of gold has stopped beating. Working hands are at rest. Marland Washington Nattie was as good to people as he was a powerhouse in the sport of basketball."

Nattie, survived by his wife of more than a decade, Oberon Pitterson-Nattie, a former national netball player and coach, and daughter Coleen, was remembered not only for his sporting achievements but also for his compassion and generosity. Minister Grange highlighted Nattie's selfless acts, including purchasing a house for his mother to uplift her from challenging circumstances.

"He was a disciplinarian who stood for integrity, but he was kind. He Coleen to always help others. He lived by the ancient African word, Ubuntu, which means ‘humanity to others.’ It reminds us that, 'I am what I am because of who we all are,'" expressed Minister Grange.

Marland Nattie's impact on the basketball community was immeasurable. As a player, coach, and administrator, he devoted his life to the sport. Minister Grange acknowledged his multifaceted contributions, stating, "He gave his all to the sport as a player, coach, and administrator. We benefited from his lifetime love and affinity for basketball."

Despite his significant role in sports, Nattie's character extended beyond the court. Minister Grange shared, "Most persons in sports would hesitate to 'big up' a politician or a minister of government, but he would always speak highly of me even in the media."

 Nattie served as the President of the Jamaica Basketball Association on multiple occasions, contributing significantly to the development of basketball in Jamaica and the Caribbean region. His recent role as Vice President in charge of development at the Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CBC) underscored his commitment to the sport beyond national borders.

Expressing the sorrow of losing Nattie just when recovery seemed imminent, Minister Grange remarked, "It is particularly sad that Marland’s passing on October 8, 2023, came just when we thought he was on the road to recovery from his illness."

 

In conclusion, the Minister extended her gratitude, saying, "As Minister of Sport and on behalf of the Government of Jamaica, I must say thanks to Marland Washington Nattie for his herculean work to take the sport of Basketball to another level not just in Jamaica but in the Region."

 The heartfelt tribute concluded with condolences to Nattie's family and the entire basketball community. "Nattie, your life was truly a blessing, your memory a real treasure. May the Angels welcome him to the Heavenly Court and peace be his in the Eternity," said Minister Grange.

Luis Mejía Oviedo of the Dominican Republic was re-elected President of Centro Caribe Sports for the period 2023-2027, during the Ordinary General Assembly of the sports organization, held at the Sheraton Hotel in Santiago, Chile on Monday.

Mejía, who was unopposed for the position was given a standing ovation which served as approval for him to continue at the helm of the organization, which will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2024.

Centro Caribe Sports celebrated the 24th Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games in San Salvador last June, and made its debut with beach sports, courtesy of the first Central American and Caribbean Beach Games in Santa Marta in November 2022.

Oviedo will be shadowed by Cuba’s Roberto Richards, Jamaica’s Christopher Samuda and María José Soto Gil of Venezuela in the three vice-president slots.

Samuda, said his accepting a vice-president role is aimed at ensuring the regional sporting body, and, by extension, the CAC Games, maintains or even enhances their prominence.
The Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) president earned 33 votes to the six earned by his challenger Mario Alphonso Garcia de la Torre, the Secretary General of the Mexican Olympic Committee.

“I accept the second vice-presidency for Centro Caribe Sports not in a personal capacity, but in a representative role as a citizen of Jamaica, a regionalist of the Caribbean and a member of the Centro Caribe Sports family. The CAC Games is our primary asset and must be made to be an equal partner in sport development and excellence.

“For me, it will be business extraordinaire as we at Centro Caribe Sports continue to build the reputational, capital and cultural value and the currency of the apex body which is the owner and host of the oldest multi-sport regional games, the Central American and Caribbean Games,” Samuda, who is currently in Chile for the Pan-American (PanAm) Games, told SportsMax.TV.

“For me, it will be business extraordinaire in repurposing, repositioning the CAC Games as a leading model and a commercial sporting concern. It is about building an ethos that inspires the confidence of coaches and athletes and their support for the games as a calendar event. It will be business extraordinaire in just simply governing right in providing leadership as an example in the sporting fraternity,” he added.

Other sports leaders from the region that make up the new Executive Committee, includes, Colombia’s Ciro Solano Hurtado, Treasurer; Sara Rosario of Puerto Rico, Secretary General; Haiti’s Hans Larsen, First Vocal; Angel Morales of the US Virgin Islands, Second Vocal and Cyril Cameron Burke of Barbados, Third Vocal.

Felipe Vicini of the Dominican Republic will serve as a representative of the Organizing Committee for the 25th Central American and Caribbean Games in Santo Domingo in 2026.

The two vacant vocal positions will be elected in a virtual Extraordinary Assembly on a date to be confirmed in accordance with the statutes of Centro Caribe Sports, and as confirmed by the Legal Commission chaired by Samuda.

During the Ordinary General Assembly, the reports of the Central American and Caribbean Games San Salvador 2023 and Santo Domingo 2026, were presented, as well as the presentation and approval for the second edition of the Central American and Caribbean Beach Games to be held in 2025 in Costa Rica.

President Mejía Oviedo confirmed that each member of the Executive Committee will chair a working commission, which were established during the first period of his leadership.

Judy Simons, former President of the Bermuda National Olympic Committee, announced her retirement from the Executive Committee and was recognised by Centro Caribe Sports with a plaque for her sterling contribution to the regional body and sport in the region.

Christopher Samuda knows sport is so much more than a game. He knows it inspires collaboration and teamwork, increases confidence, reduces stress and improves mental health.

It is with that in mind, that the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) president considers the $25 million allotted to the Reggae Girlz as a small token to positively impact their journey to compete, as they again seek to rewrite the history books.

The Girlz, who will lock horns with Canada in a two-leg Olympic Qualifying playoff at the National Stadium on Friday, and again in Toronto, next Tuesday, are hoping to become the first Caribbean country to qualify for women's football at the Olympic Games.

And if the Girlz required any further inspiration to secure positive results against the reigning Olympic champions, they would have taken it from the JOA’s support, which is in collaboration with the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) and the Bob Marley Foundation, as $15 million goes directly to the programme, with the remaining $10 million to be paid out as player incentives.

Those incentives include bonuses for goals scored, assists made, clean sheets, and team prizes for Olympic qualification.

According to Samuda, the funding and, in particular, the incentive is to alleviate whatever pressure the Girlz may feel approaching this, another significant hurdle, along their path to success.

“The JOA’s investment of $25 million is not by coincidence, we understand that the infrastructures for the talent of sport, the aspirations of our athletes and our footballers, must be funded if we are to achieve the results that we so desire. The Reggae Girlz are ready to write and dramatize another chapter in the history of football in qualifying for the Olympic Games in Paris.

“They're ready to raise the curtain and to give a command performance. They're ready for the road, for destiny shall arrive on the 22nd at the National Stadium,” Samuda told Sportsmax.tv.

As it has been from the onset, Samuda again reminded Jamaicans that the Girlz accomplishments at the Fifa Women’s World Cup in July, is a source of national pride.

For as much as the Girlz gave when they held top-ranked France and Brazil to goalless stalemates, followed by a 1-0 win over Panama on their way to being the first Caribbean team –male of female –to contest the knockouts since Cuba in 1938, Samuda believes a little love from Jamaican supporters would be a mere drop in the bucket to repay the players’ efforts.

“What the Reggae Girlz need from Jamaica is solidarity and love, sweet love, and they want it in the National Stadium. Our Job is to be with the Reggae Girlz on the 22nd. The business of sport is that job in respect of which we are given a line of credit to make meaningful and profitable lives being lived in sport and to earn dividends for sport and a nation,” Samuda said.

“But in all cases of credit, there is payback time. The Reggae Girlz have gifted us very creditable performances, they have given us credit and now it is payback time. So, on the 22nd bring your wallet, bring your purse, bring your safety deposit box and support the Girlz. There must be a pilgrimage to the National Stadium on the 22nd,” he added.

On that note, Samuda declared his association’s long-term commitment of our resources, focus and energy to help break down barriers that not only limit access to sport, but also hinder the growth of sport locally.

“The JOA continues to be driven to use sport in giving our sportsmen and women a sense of purpose and being. Sport for all, all for sport, continues to motivate us in affording all sport opportunities for growth and development. For we, the JOA, we have a business contract with our member associations and federations to fuel current hopes to ignite tomorrow's ambition to inflame every aspirational talent in any and every sport to be and to become an Olympian, not only in performance, but more importantly in character,” Samuda asserted.

“As a local apex governing body for Olympic sports, we also have a business contract with the people of Jamaica to build a nation in sport and among all of us, the Reggae Girlz, fans, stakeholders, there is a social contract to make legendary the contribution of the sport of football to the fabric, to the soul and to the spirit of Jamaica,” he ended.

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