In a bid to unearth potential curling talents for Jamaica's international representation, Vice President of Curling Jamaica, Robert Richards, outlined three key avenues during the launch of Curling Jamaica at the Jamaica Olympic Association's headquarters in Kingston.

A former president of the Jamaica Badminton Association and national badminton champion, Richards expressed his commitment to Curling Jamaica's mission, especially with President Ian Anderson's ambitious goal of securing Olympic gold by 2040. Speaking at the launch on Monday, Richards emphasized the three areas from which they aim to identify and develop curling talents.

"The development of this sport is going to come from, of course, those based overseas, and there are three avenues that we're going to take on to actually have the sport developed," said Richards. The first avenue involves Jamaicans based overseas, particularly those waiting for an opportunity or currently participating in another sport. Richards sees potential among young Jamaicans in colleges, not only in Canada and the US but also in Europe.

The second avenue focuses on students leaving Jamaica to study abroad. Traditionally, sports like football and track and field have been the primary choices, but with the establishment of the Curling Association, students now have an additional option. This diversification allows talented youngsters to explore new avenues and consider curling as a viable sporting path.

The third avenue involves collaboration with the Canadian team to identify potential curling talents in Jamaican schools. The vision includes sponsoring selected youngsters to attend the Curling Academy in Canada, covering their accommodation and training expenses. This initiative aims to nurture talent from an early age and potentially pave the way for scholarships and further opportunities in the sport.

Earlier, JOA Secretary General and CEO Ryan Foster welcomed Curling Jamaica to the Olympic family during the launch.

Foster highlighted the significance of Jamaica's expansion into winter sports, citing the growth in disciplines like skiing, ice hockey, figure skating, and now curling. He commended Curling Jamaica for contributing to the country's multiplicity of representation in the Winter Olympics, opening avenues for potential medals.

Foster assured Curling Jamaica of the Jamaica Olympic Association's support in fostering a holistic approach to sports governance, including educational perspectives, coaching development, equipment resources, and infrastructure support. He expressed pride in the association's open-minded approach to sports, expanding from 36 to 52 sporting disciplines.

In closing, Foster welcomed Curling Jamaica to the Jamaica Olympic family, expressing hope that the organization would manage the sport with enthusiasm, providing hope to athletes and embodying the national motto, "Out of Many, One People." He pledged the JOA's unwavering support in Curling Jamaica's quest for achievement, emphasizing the shared commitment to success in the Winter Olympics.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

The Jamaica Ski Federation (JSF) aims to transform qualification into medals in competition at global sporting championships. What was once a novelty for the sunny isle of Jamaica has now become a regular occurrence with Jamaican athletes and teams lining up on start lists for the world’s biggest events on ice.

That growing trend has seen Jamaica glide into the ongoing Winter Youth Olympic Games, dubbed ‘Gangwon 2024, in South Korea, with Henri Rivers IV and his twin sister Henniyah providing first-time individual representation in Alpine skiing.

Acknowledging their growing influence, secretary general of the JSF, Ryan Foster, says they are pleased with their historic qualification and will advance the preparation of its athletes for Olympic Games, with the ultimate goal to secure podium spots.

“The Jamaica Ski Federation is excited about this new chapter in Jamaica’s journey into Winter Olympic sports. We had success in Winter Olympics with Benjamin Alexander’s qualification and now having two qualifiers in the Youth Winter Olympics,” he observed.

“This is historic and we will be ramping up our efforts to qualify more athletes for the sport. Our aim is to learn and grow from each chapter to ultimately seeking to medal in the sport. Sport is a business and the novelty of just qualifying has worn out and we need to provide avenues and opportunities for our athletes to medal,” Foster stated.

“The Jamaica Ski Federation has many plans in place to include our coaching programme, increased participation in competitions, as well as the purchasing of equipment to compete at an international level,” he announced.

Henri IV and Henniyah are actually two-thirds of a triplet of skiers, which is completed by Helaina. Their parents, Henri and Karen, are both ski instructors and coaches who the 16-year-olds say have taught them well.

The senior Henri, of the family who lives in Brooklyn, New York, has been instrumental in the development of skiing talent among black athletes and was president of the National Brotherhood of Skiers, the largest African American ski council in the world, with over 50 clubs in the United States and United Kingdom.

The twins qualified to represent Jamaica through their Jamaican-born mom Karen and shared that they are happy to have connected to their roots in this way.

“I thank the Jamaica Ski Federation and the Jamaica Olympic Association for allowing me to represent Jamaica on a global scale. This trip means a lot to me in so many ways; being able to compete against other athletes and nations from all over the world, and to see the excitement on their faces when they receive a Jamaican pin. It’s like getting a golden ticket to go to the chocolate factory,” Henri IV lit up. “I didn't understand it, but I became eager to be a part of their excitement.

“But the most important thing to me is the fact that I’m able to race at a high level representing Jamaica, a place that doesn't have snow,” continued Henri IV, who has a world ranking of 34.

“My goal is to perform at my best and to hopefully inspire the next generation of young Jamaican snow sports athletes.”

Henniyah was just as appreciative, bubbling at the opportunity to represent Jamaica.

“I am very excited to be here in Gangwon, Korea, experiencing and competing in the 2024 Youth Olympic Games. I appreciate and thank the Jamaica Ski Federation and the Jamaica Olympic Association for giving me this opportunity,” she admitted.

“I’m fortunate alpine skiing has given me the potential to represent my mother’s homeland. I am thrilled to ski here this week, I’m excited to perform and do what I love, and I am truly excited to embrace Jamaica through winter sports,” Henniyah, ranked 39th, continued. “I will never forget this extraordinary experience and this journey helps me connect with my heritage.”

Foster, in the meantime, remains positive, yet inspired by the national skiing federation’s prospects.

“The Rivers triplets are trendsetters and we will be pushing to expand from here,” he said. “Jamaica is now a force to be reckoned with in Winter Sports."

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.

 

 

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.

 
 
 

The Jamaica Hockey Federation (JHF) has secured $3 million in funding from the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) to assist in their budget of $38 million to get the senior men’s team to an historic Hockey 5s World Cup debut in Muscat, Oman from January 28-31, 2024.

Hockey 5s is a super-fast-paced and highly skillful game played between two teams with four field players and a goalkeeper. The field size is much smaller than the 11-a-side with a
measurement of 40m x 23.7m with surrounding deflective boards that always keep the ball in play.

It’s a more competitive format of hockey, first played in 2014 and quickly adapted worldwide as the FIH searched for a shorter more entertaining version of the game. Just like netball Fast5, Rugby7s, or Twenty20 cricket.

Ryan Foster, the JOA's Chief Executive Officer, said the contribution was a no-brainer. 

"The JOA is extremely proud of the accomplishments of JHF and the men's Hockey 5s team qualification for the World Cup. This is the manifestation of various investments of the JOA since 2017 which amounts to over $25M. This additional $3M given to the JHF is yet another contribution by the JOA in our Sport for All Concept. We measure success not only on medals won, but upon progress made by our member associations," Foster said.

"Any other thought would be narrowed minded. We wish President [Fabian] Stewart and his team all the best in the competition, and it is a win for sport in Jamaica that we can be a part of the discussion in yet another World Cup, albeit for Hockey. Our ability to support so many sports is a testament of our expansive corporate sponsor pool, which has expanded to over $200M in new funds since 2018. Corporate Jamaica has responded, and we continue to engage with a transparent approach that involves accountability and bank for the buck," he added.

 

Jamaica's men are scheduled to face teams of the highest rank such as Netherlands (#1), India (#3) and more on their much-anticipated debut appearance at the World Cup.

The Men’s competition has a total of 16 countries including Jamaica. Pool B consist of Jamaica, Egypt, Switzerland, and India. The first match will be against Egypt and if its anything like their bronze medal win in the qualifiers, then this match promises to be an exciting one.

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.

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.

Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) president Christopher Samuda welcomes discussions to possibly include cricket in the Olympic Games for a second time in its history, as he believes it will provide the much-need shot in the arm required to move the sport forward, financially and otherwise, from a Jamaica and Caribbean perspective.

With the executive board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) set to deliberate new sports to be welcomed into the fold, cricket is said to be among those being strongly considered for the 2028 Los Angeles Games.

According to reports, men’s and women’s Twenty20 cricket is heavily favoured to make the cut to become an Olympic sport for just the second time since the 1900 Paris Games, as IOC president Thomas Bach is reportedly a big fan of bringing the sport on board, given its mass appeal in countries such as India, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

Those three nations are by no means world-beaters in other Olympic sports, but if cricket was included for 2028, the tournament would no doubt command the attention of sports enthusiasts, especially with England, Australia and New Zealand, expected to be involved.

However, it is understood that organisers would only allow cricket at the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles under the condition that flag football –a non-contact version of American football –would also be added to the Games.

Still, Samuda believes cricket being considered is a win, in and of itself for the sport, and if it does in fact get included in the 2028 multi-sport showpiece, the move could have a far-reaching impact on Jamaica and the wider Caribbean, especially at a time when there are overwhelming concerns about the failure of West Indies cricket.

“The JOA welcomes discussions on the inclusion of cricket on the agenda for the LA 2028 Olympic Games as an expression, not only of inclusivity, but also of global sport maturing in response to diversity and imperative of engaging a fraternity which has, as others, become highly commercial,” Samuda said.

“A sporting, but also, a cultural institution in the lives of West Indians, a name historically inherited with colonialism which geopolitical historians now show a preference for the Caribbean.

“Cricket’s inclusion will give the sport in Jamaica and the Caribbean a well needed fillip and an opportunity for capital to commercialize the sport for its own sustainability without compromising Olympic values, for at the JOA, we celebrate character and merit as pre-requisite to rewarding monetarily,” he told Sportsmax.tv.

The number of sports contested at the Olympic Games has rapid increased in recent times.

With the addition of golf, some 38 sports were played at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, but that number jumped to 46 at the Tokyo Games, as 3x3 basketball, BMX, karate, rugby sevens, baseball, softball, skateboarding, surfing and speed climbing were all added.

The number will drop to 45 for next year’s Paris Games with the culling of baseball/softball and karate, while breakdancing has been included for the first time.

Twenty20 cricket already enjoyed somewhat of a test run at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham with an eight-team women’s tournament.

Barbados was a part of that historic tournament which saw Australia, India, and New Zealand, winning the medals.

On that note, Samuda weighed in on the views of whether Jamaica and other Caribbean islands would compete individually or collectively under the West Indies umbrella.

“The debate as to whether the Caribbean should compete as individual countries, as obtained in the Olympic movement, or collectively as the West Indies, should consider that independence encourages the development of talent and accentuates a national identity and pride which are priceless qualities of nationhood,” Samuda shared.

“As small as we are in the Caribbean with bigger countries having an unfair numerical advantage, our instincts at surviving and our ability to do so admirably, has been demonstrated in other sport such as football and track and field,” he added.

In any case, Samuda pointed out that once the business model of the sport is properly aligned with the prospects, then the potential exists for positive spinoffs, financial and otherwise, from a qualifying tournament alone.

“Cricket still has the ability of mass appeal and its inclusion in the Olympic Games will serve to deepen its capital, and the playing of qualifying tournaments, if the sport’s business model is right, will heighten interest across generations and gender and attract investment,” he reasoned.

“Sport is a qualitative investment in the human capital and there are many social and cultural values that can be learnt at the crease over and above the boundaries of sport,” the JOA president noted.

In a historic and heartwarming gesture, the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) announced today, Monday, August 28, that they will be rewarding the stellar achievements of Jamaica's netball players with JMD$1 million each (about USD$6000) for their triumphant performance at the Netball World Cup, where they clinched the bronze medal.

The JOA's rewarding initiative encompasses a comprehensive approach, aiming to not only honor the team's success but also contribute to their future financial stability. Each player from the bronze medal-winning team will receive JMD$1 million from a joint reward from Supreme Ventures Limited and Mayberry Investments.

The JMD$13 million in rewards will go towards funding investment accounts at Mayberry Investments for each medallist. The funds will be under management at Mayberry Investments for a period of three years or until the athlete's retirement from netball, whichever comes earlier.

The announcement, made at the JOA headquarters on Cunningham Avenue in Kingston on Monday, August 28, marks a momentous occasion as the JOA has never before rewarded a team and their coach for their exceptional performances. Following the Tokyo Olympics, the JOA had rewarded the track and field athletes a total of JMD$45 million.

This unprecedented decision is a testament to the remarkable journey and victories of the Jamaican netball team. Over the years, they have showcased their prowess, securing victories like the CAC gold, which ultimately culminated in their monumental success at the Netball World Cup.

Ryan Foster, General Secretary of the JOA, expressed the significance of this moment and the association's pride in the team's accomplishments:

"Today, the Jamaica Olympic Association celebrates and acknowledges your achievements on the court but we also want to reward them. We have watched with pride over the years of the success and progress made by our Sunshine Girls and are elated that we have been a part of that journey along with our partners SVL and Mayberry."

Foster recounted the dedication of the team and the vital role that the JOA, along with its partners, played in supporting the sport's resurgence after the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic:

"I remember when President (Tricia) Robinson came to us seeking ways to restart the sport after COVID and the most important goal was to get the Elite League and the National League going, and the JOA along with SVL and Marathon have invested over JMD$9 million in the restart of the Netball leagues."

Highlighting the team's historic accomplishments, Mr. Foster emphasized that the bronze medal at the World Cup was the perfect culmination of their remarkable journey:

"Following upon the Commonwealth Games, Caribbean Games, and CAC, all historic performances, it was only fitting that the icing on the cake was the World Cup. The JOA and our partners salutes you and your contribution to Jamaican pride, sports prowess, and generally being great ambassadors of not only yourselves but also of the JOA and our partners."

Acknowledging the pivotal role of Coach Connie Francis, Mr. Foster announced a reward of JMD$2 million for her extraordinary leadership.

"For the signal work done by Coach Connie Francis, the JOA will reward the coach extraordinaire with an amount of $2 million," Foster said.

Recognizing the strength of their netball family, the JOA extended a helping hand to Latanya, contributing $1M towards her recovery. Wilson recently lost her home and all her personal belongings including her trophies and medals when arsonists set her home on fire.

"It is in times of distress and crisis that we see the heart of our family, and Latanya, you are family. With that said, the JOA will contribute JMD$1 million towards your road to recovery."

As the JOA, SVL, and Mayberry unite to celebrate the achievements of the Sunshine Girls, Foster assured that the journey is far from over, with the promise of continuous collaboration and support.

"Life is what you make it. Journeys are made to be explored and memories last a lifetime. Your memorable accomplishments have warmed our hearts, and similarly, when you were to restart the sport, we will continue the journey hand in hand, a marriage that won’t be broken."

Foster extended gratitude to SVL and Mayberry for their partnership and dedication to the athletes' success, foreshadowing further exciting announcements as the journey towards the Olympic year continues.

 

 The Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) has showered praise of Jamaica’s Senior Women Football team that historically qualified for the round of 16 at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in South Africa on Wednesday.

After holding France, ranked in the top five in the world, to a 0-0 in their opening match and defeating Panama 1-0, Jamaica only needed a draw from the much-vaunted, top-10 ranked Brazil on Wednesday to secure a place in the knock-out round of the global tournament. Prior to Wednesday, no Caribbean team has ever managed to advance from the group stage of the competition.

However, after another steely, disciplined performance in which they held the South American giant to a 0-0 draw, the Reggae Girls achieved another historic milestone.

The JOA’s executive was impressed with the monumental achievement.

“Feats are there to be achieved and the Reggae Girlz continue to demonstrate a capacity and an ability to do so by claiming a space in the round of sixteen at FIFA’s Women’s World Cup,” the JOA said in a statement following the match that saw Jamaica finish as the runner-up to France in Group F.

JOA President Christopher Samuda was effusive in his praise stating, “History is indelibly at their feet, the present secured in the palm of their hands and the future in the vision of young girls who are dreaming the possible.

“The Reggae Girlz are authoring a script in football which is inspiring a nation to aspire where it was thought dreams only resided. The reality is that we can and they have done it. The Jamaica Olympic Association salutes them and looks forward to sharing the Olympic dream that will become a reality in Paris 2024.”

JOA Secretary General Ryan Foster was equally emphatic in his characterization of the performance that had an entire nation beaming with pride.

“The horizon is now clearly in sight and well within the reach of the Reggae Girlz and the Jamaica Olympic Association stands with watchful eyes in the hope that history again will be created and a nation’s pride will overflow for this is a moment that we hope will become a life-long story,” Foster declared.

Brazil, the pride of world football, was the casualty and sport historians will record that it was at the instance of Jamaica. This historic fact has not escaped President Samuda. “Brazil fell at the feet of the Reggae Girlz who now are the giants of history and visionaries of the future,” the JOA president beamed.

Jamaica Olympic Association President Christopher Samuda released a statement on Tuesday congratulating five-time World 100m Champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce on being named the Laureus Sportswoman of the Year on Monday.

Fraser-Pryce won the award on her sixth attempt in a ceremony in Paris.

“I salute Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce on attaining this global feat – Laureus Sportswoman of the Year,” Samuda said to begin the statement.

The statement continues: “An indisputable sporting asset of Jamaica and the world, she has conquered and continues to conquer horizons with character, graciousness, and abiding humility.

Her indomitable spikes continue to imprint on the track of life a quality that is priceless and will be enduring. Her record-breaking speed continues to represent not only the prowess of athletics but, more importantly, the nobility of the sport.

A fitting honour for “mommy rocket,” she has rocketed into the apogee of the constellation where she continues to build an admirable legacy which historians will inscribe with reverence and respect.”

 

 

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