It will be a signal milestone when the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) initiates the "Kingston Liberec Connection" as a model partnership in the global sport film industry.

On a recent visit to the Czech Republic, JOA President, Christopher Samuda,  who was a guest of the Liberec Film Festival Organization, proposed an Olympic partnership  dubbed the "Kingston-Liberec Connection" - between the cities of  Kingston and Liberec in strengthening bi-lateral relationships between Jamaica and the Czech Republic in the sport film industry.

 

President Samuda, who was also a speaker at the festival, expressed confidence that the proposed partnership will serve to "birth and develop a sporting cultural economy that will see mutual investments in talents across the professional spectrum in the sport-film industry while giving the peoples of Jamaica and the Czech Republic opportunities to experience, in cinema and film, cultural realities of each other in bridging the oceanic divide."

Mayor Zámečník welcomed the proposal and signaled the support of the city of Liberec which has a very respectable and enviable history in sport and the film festival.

 

Within the context of history in the making, JOA Secretary General and Chief Executive Officer, Ryan Foster said “the JOA looks within but also beyond the boundaries of Jamaica for partners who, with us, will establish landmark executions and lasting legacies for the benefit of generations in the global village of sport."

  Meanwhile, Renata Balašová, director of the Liberec International Film Festival, which has a history spanning more than two decades, endorsed what promises to be an exciting and innovative “connection”.

Entitled the "Kingston Liberec Connection" the initiative comes at a time when the JOA's educational agenda, through its "Stamina" series, will be expanding its reach across the hemisphere building capacity in athletes, coaches and administrators intra and extra-regionally.

"We the JOA are a homegrown product rooted in the soil of Jamrock but this administration considers the apex body also as an international commodity in the business of sport as we play our part in sustaining an ever dynamic universal sport economy," Samuda said.

The Czech Olympic Committee has also expressed its support of what will be undoubtedly a groundbreaking “connection” in modern sport diplomacy.

 

2023 is shaping up to be another historic year for the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) with several teams having already qualified for the El Salvador Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games in June and the Santiago Pan American Games in October, 2023. 

The male and female teams of rugby and the male hockey team have cemented their places in the games and the sunshine girls will make an historic appearance in the CAC Games and should lift the title in the sport’s inaugural staging at the championship. 

“Increasing the number of sports at which Jamaica is represented on the international stage and deepening the pool of competitive talent are non-negotiable strategic objectives of the JOA as we engage our members in our ‘Sport for Excellence’ campaign” JOA President, Christopher Samuda, said while underscoring the imperative of providing Jamaica’s youth with a menu of choices in sport. 

Financial backing is a critical element of success and the JOA continues to fund what some refer to as “minor sports” in a declared strategy of helping them to transition to the global stage. JOA’s Secretary General/CEO, Ryan Foster, puts the apex body’s plan in perspective: “A successful investment strategy in sport must be plural and not singular in its treatment of sport. It must be democratic and not centralize in its spend. It must be funnel and not tunnel visioned in capitalising talent and it must be innovative in yielding dividends and ensuring sustainability.” 

Adjani Burton, Jamaica’s Senior men’s hockey team captain endorses JOA’s approach as he looks with optimism to the games.  “We appreciate funding from the JOA because it will significantly help us in our preparation for the CAC Games and beyond. We're hoping that as the team grows and develops, more corporate companies will notice and provide a similar level of support. We are eternally grateful to the JOA as they’ve always been supporting us and hope that it continues in the longer term.”

The growth locally of the Olympic sport of rugby union and its representation internationally with back-to-back appearances in the Rugby World Cup and Commonwealth Games have inspired Bruce Martin, Technical Director to say” The JOA recognizes that this is a result of a pinnacle of many years of hard work and strict dedication for our players on the pathway to dynamic moves in Jamaica Rugby and JOA equally shares our excitement.” 

Equally motivated by the strategic direction of the JOA is national surfing coach Icah Wilmot who supports the national governing association’s “sport for all” policy “We are greatly appreciative of JOA’s support of and commitment to the growth of the para surfing team" he said. 

President of the Jamaica Boxing Association, Stephen “Bomber” Jones in expressing appreciation for the JOA’s commitment to the sport and the Caribbean Boxing Championships said “the fact that the JOA can once again come to our assistance to ensure that team Jamaica can be well represented is huge and we will do JOA proud” The sport is expected to be among the army for the CAC games. 

Fabian Stewart, President Jamaica Hockey Federation, maintains that “the JOA has been a constant partner for the development of field hockey in Jamaica consistent with the Olympic ideals and mission.    The governing body continues to support the efforts of the Jamaica Hockey Federation and its national programme which is being rolled out in our National Excellence Strategic campaign.” 

With the 2024 Paris Olympic Games on the horizon, some may think that the JOA is treating the CAC and Pan American Games as dress rehearsals. “For the JOA, each game is a golden and equal opportunity for our citizens in sport to stake their claim to excellence” Foster said. 

The JOA will, in January of next year, formally launch its “Highway to El Salvador and Santiago” campaign as it continues to write and make history in sport.

 

Jamaica Olympic Association scholar, Brandon Sealy is quickly becoming a household name in taekwondo.

A 2019 Lima Pan American quarter finalist, Sealy, since then, has made tremendous strides under the watchful and expert eyes of his coach for over ten years, Master Tony Byon.

Quite recently, he earned historic podium placings in major international competitions. In July, at the Pan American sponsored Costa Rica Open, he not only copped the gold medal in fine style, winning all fights in the qualifying rounds, but was also adjudged the best male athlete.

In August, he secured the bronze medal in another Pan American sponsored tournament – the prestigious 2022 President’s Cup in Mexico where some of the best in the sport in the region assembled in combat.

As a result of his admirable performances, Sealy now ranks 27th in the world, a feat which has gained him an historic invitation to the Grand Prix, a competitive sanctuary reserved for the world’s top taekwondo athletes.

Sealy, humbled by his achievements and grateful for the opportunity to represent his country said “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me and I wish to thank the JOA for selecting me for the solidarity scholarship and having faith in my ability to deliver on this Olympic journey.”

President of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA), Christopher Samuda, who has been tracking Sealy’s progress, remarked “Sealy inspires confidence, engenders faith in his abilities and commands goodwill in combat and ‘at ease’ and by the 2024 Paris Olympic Games it should be “signed, Sealy sealed and delivered.”

A Princeton University grandaunt, the calibre of his performance has undoubtedly earned him the respect of his competitors. In responding to Sealy’s continued good form and accomplishments, JOA Secretary General/CEO, Ryan Foster, said: “Brandon is not only a scholar of whom the JOA is proud but a model and talented athlete whose humility, diligence and decency along with his skills will always, for us, earn him the MVP award.”

The local governing body for the sport, World Korean Taekwondo Jamaica, under the leadership of President Christopher Chok and First Vice President, Kenroy Clarke, is on an Olympic mission and Sealy, in recognizing their contribution to his successes, said “Big thanks to President Chok and First Vice President Clarke for their unwavering support and encouragement.

The JOA continues to invest and resource what some persons describe as the “smaller sports” which Samuda discounts in stating: “Taekwondo and those so called minor sports have an equal right to occupy the Olympic stage and create their own legacies and they will always have a solid partner in their governing body.”

Through an injection of funds from the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA), the Aquatic Sports Association of Jamaica (ASAJ) will be able to send a national team of twenty-five swimmers to the upcoming XXVI Goodwill Swim Meet in Trinidad & Tobago.

The members, aged 9-17, will compete at the regional meet from August 19-21 against other Caribbean countries such as Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados, St. Lucia, Guyana, Suriname, Bahamas, Grenada and Curacao.

JOA’s sponsorship of JMD$1.2 million will go to reducing the overall costs to parents for accommodation and participation. JOA CEO and General-Secretary Ryan Foster believes in our young national athletes and their potential to represent Jamaica at all levels.

“Swimming is an essential sport, investing in the national team for the Goodwill Swim Meet will solidify our commitment to develop and promote our local athletes,” CEO Foster said.

Speaking at a recent press conference to announce the team’s plans for the meet, Vice President of the Aquatic Sports Association of Jamaica, Georgina Sinclair, explained that the Goodwill Swim Meet is the premier swim meet in the Caribbean and is a launching pad toward higher levels of competition. 

Sinclair said, “The competition at the Goodwill Meet is fierce and provides swimmers with a taste of regional rivalry. In 2019 team Jamaica doubled its previous medal haul of 32 medals when the team won 65 medals: 21 gold, 22 silver and 22 bronzed, placing 2nd overall out of 9 participating countries behind the winners, Trinidad and Tobago.” 

Goodwill Jamaica National Swim Team Head Coach Kafia Rapley shared, “The team has been training very hard for these championships, and I know they are ready,” she added, “I am excited to see how they will perform, and I believe they will each do very well in both their individual and relay events.”

 

The Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) will, next month, launch its Olympic Coaches' Scholarships as the local governing body for Olympic sports continues its drive in making more professional the delivery of sports, especially the international games which fall under its remit.

Those games include the Summer and Winter Senior and Youth Olympic Games, the Pan American Games, the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games, the Commonwealth Games and beach games staged by regional and world governing bodies.

Enabling and empowering stakeholders remains the primary focus of the JOA which in 2019 created history when it inaugurated its own athletes' scholarships valued at over $JMD 6,000,000.00 to match scholarships, under the aegis of the Olympic Solidarity Programme of the International Olympic Committee (IOC),  are granted to athletes selected by the JOA.

"We've always been a co-partner with our coaches who are the custodians of talent and in acknowledging that fact, the JOA is making another solid and scholarly investment in our human and technical capital in sport," JOA President Christopher Samuda said.

Applicants responding to the call will formally submit their credentials in a pre-determined format and those who are shortlisted will then go through a very practical interview process governed by an expert panel assembled by the apex body, which will determine the successful beneficiaries.

JOA Secretary General and CEO, Ryan Foster, who will manage the process, outlined the value of the scholarships and more importantly the values which the JOA will be promoting, as the benefactor, through this grant.

"It's more than the $2,000,000.00 dollars that each recipient will receive to assist them in educational and career pursuits and to defray expenses incurred in relation to the preparation of their athletes and certain personal expenses, for it will be an experience in the lessons of Olympism in which they will learn  the value of self-management and mastery, goal setting and achievement and ethics and business of sport," Foster explained.

A welcomed opportunity for Jamaica's coaches, the continued grant of the scholarships by the JOA will fill a void locally and "give our coaches a new lease on their sporting lives and signal to them that the JOA is on the frontline with them and their athletes in creating success" Foster further stated.

This initiative comes on the heels of the Olympic Coaches Reward which the JOA initiated at the Tokyo Olympic Games which saw the governing body rewarding coaches of successful medalists to the tune of JMD$5,000,000.00.

Sport development calls for structured strategic management of human resources and a viable infrastructure of which coaches are essential.

"Our coaches are foundational, the cornerstone of the sports architecture and therefore the JOA is building capacity and deepening the pool of competencies while giving them assistance in dealing with certain domestic obligations of life," Samuda remarked.

The JOA Olympic Coaches Scholarships will also provide opportunities for coaches selected to collaborate with global colleagues in the transfer of knowledge in master classes.

The Jamaica Olympic Association on Saturday issued a statement clarifying comments made by Jamaica Administrative Athletics Association treasurer Ludlow Watts regarding the payment for air travel for the Jamaican Track & Field delegation for the 2022 Commonwealth Games scheduled for July 28-August 8 in Birmingham.

“The Jamaica Olympic Association, given a report by Kayon Raynor regarding the travel arrangements in relation to the Commonwealth Games, is obliged to respond to state the facts and rehearse the same for the benefit of Mr. Ludlow Watts, JAAA's Treasurer, who is alleged to have made unfortunate comments concerning the matter,” the statement started.

It continued: "From time immemorial travel grants in relation to athletes and officials have been instituted by owners of regional and international games and this has not changed and all parties are aware of this fact.

Last year in relation to the Tokyo Olympic Games, travel agencies were identified with which member associations were advised to interface in making travel arrangements for their athletes and officials. The JAAA compiled and consulted a travel agency and made appropriate arrangements on behalf of their athletes and officials with the agency which is the said agency that is handling arrangements for the JAAA for the Commonwealth Games.

Mr. Watts, a seasoned manager, understands that the travel grant is a fixed sum and as obtained in relation to the Tokyo Olympics, is aware that travel arrangements should be made efficiently by his association to avoid increased costs.

In the report by Kayon Raynor, Mr. Watts fails to mention that the JAAA adhered to the policy with respect to the Tokyo Games and gives the impression that the JOA has the responsibility of dealing directly with member athletes of his governing body whose itineraries and attendant obligations are more known to the JAAA.

Based on the previous course of dealing respecting the Tokyo Olympic Games to which the JAAA adhered, the impression given is misconceived. What clearly is of concern to Mr. Watts, as keeper of the JAAA's treasury, is the risk of increased travel costs consequent upon the delay committed by his association in failing to provide a definitive list of athletes and officials with settled itineraries coupled with its continual reworking of lists of athletes and officials in a vain attempt to comply with the regulations of the Commonwealth Games Federation.

It is from this self-imposed risk that Mr. Watts is attempting to flee in "championship" style.

Furthermore, the JOA is alarmed that in the report of Kayon Raynor, Mr. Watts states that there is an overage of US$1,240.00 per person versus the individual travel grant when the JOA, to date, is still not in receipt from the JAAA of the itinerary costs of the track and field delegation.

All other member associations which have sports participating in the Commonwealth Games, in keeping with the established course of dealing, interfaced with their respective travel agencies, made appropriate bookings cost-effectively and are either comfortable in Birmingham or en route seamlessly.

Had Mr. Watts, as Chancellor of the Exchequer of the JAAA, complied with the CGF's regulations and refrained from providing lists that changed continually and are still changing to date he would not have found himself and place his association in this quandary.

Despite Mr Watts' failure to manage the process, the JOA, in the interest of Jamaica's athletes, will work with the travel agency with a view to having them attend the Games. Also, the JOA reminds Mr. Watts that it has never resiled from its obligation regarding travel costs and therefore his misstatement that the JOA is refusing to pay is ill-conceived. What he must consider is that the business of sport requires economic decisions to ensure viability."

The Jamaica Lacrosse Association (JLA) continues to create milestones and recently, its national team became the first team to qualify for the 2023 World Championships which will be held in San Diego, California.

In securing this achievement, the Jamaican sport ambassadors scored victories over Columbia 7 - 2 and the US Virgin Islands 5 - 4 and now stand a real chance of topping the table in the competition currently underway in Medellin, Colombia.

In commending JLA President, Calbert Hutchinson and the team, Jamaica Olympic Association President Christopher Samuda stated that "our member association continues to personify merit in sport and is inspiring its players to go beyond the call of duty in the national colors which is the essence of patriotism and a compelling attribute which all sportsmen and women should have."

The sport of Lacrosse locally is quickly gaining ascendancy which mirrors its growing popularity globally and is providing many opportunities for our youth engaged in competitive sport.

"A primary focus of the JOA is to broaden the options in sport for our youth and create as many opportunities for them to excel on the field of play in self-actualising while motivating them to earn a value-based education that will be their pension after sport. Lacrosse is raising the bar impressively and is taking ownership and passing the shuttle and not the buck'" Secretary General/CEO, Ryan Foster said.

The sport was contested at the Summer Olympics Games in 1904 and 1908 and played as an exhibition sport in 1928, 1932 and 1948 and the JOA supports the growing advocacy to have the sport make a long-awaited re-appearance in 2028 in Los Angeles.

"The calls for the sport's rebirth in Los Angeles are resonating and fittingly so after being absent for almost a century. If the echoes of history don't compel it, then the voices of the present will" President Samuda said.

President of the Jamaica Olympic Association, Christopher Samuda, issued a statement congratulating the Reggae Girlz on their qualification for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup on Tuesday.

The Girlz defeated Haiti 4-0 in Mexico on Monday to secure their second consecutive World Cup berth.

“With victory over Haiti, the journey now begins for our Reggae Girlz and as we did on the previous occasion the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) will be on the voyage, down under, with the team of our member association the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF),” Samuda said in the statement.

“History has repeated itself and the JOA commends the Girlz for writing, yet again, another admirable chapter in what we know will be a bestseller in football. Well done Girlz. The fraternity of sport applauds you and the Olympic Movement thanks you for giving our youth, particularly our young girls, invaluable lessons in courage, determination and inspiration,” he added.

 

 

The Equestrian Federation of Jamaica (EFJ) expressed confidence in raising the level of its competitors to perform better in international competition, following the first instalment of an elite training programme hosted by the sports' governing body here, the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA).

Eight of Jamaica's leading prospects in the sport, along with their horses, participated in the development programme that saw the JOA and EFJ partnering with Samantha Albert, who represented Jamaica in the equestrian discipline of Eventing at the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympic Games.

Samantha currently resides in the UK and coaches young athletes for British Eventing, but jumped at the opportunity to run a series of training programmes to impart her knowledge and expertise and give back to local equestrians.

The primary target of the first JOA Elite Training series, which was held at the Kingston Polo Club recently involved developing and coaching a local talent squad in three disciplines - show jumping, dressage and cross-country.

“It's a proud moment for me to see this partnership between a Jamaican Olympian, the JOA and equestrians. This is the beginning of structured local squad training and by offering this calibre of international expertise on the island we will raise the standard and work towards the bigger picture," offered EFJ President, Heidi Lalor.

"While continuity remains key, the JOA Elite riders also gained invaluable knowledge to further progress themselves and their horses to achieve their goals,” Lalor added of the three-day exercise.

The course was open to eligible athletes of the national federation who have serious aspirations to train and compete for Jamaica and Novelette Harris, the JOA's Member Relations Manager (with responsibility for education and training), reaffirmed the JOA's goal to advance talent in all sports.

“The JOA remains committed to providing the necessary support and resources to actualize our mission to grow the sport and sporting talent across all disciplines within our membership,” Harris said.

"In this regard, we are pleased to have partnered with the Equestrian Federation of Jamaica in hosting this elite training programme for local equestrians and look forward to their continued advancement and development into an Olympic squad,” she added.

Riders were put through their paces with various training techniques, along with forward planning discussions offering personalised tactical advice and 'homework' for the riders and their horses. They had the added benefit of an international course on home soil with the purpose of further bridging the gap between national and international competition, and ultimately a Jamaican Olympic team.

Denise Cole Avril, one of the elite participants, said the programme was "very intensive and a great experience".

"Samantha brought another eye to my training and allowed me to see some things that I may have been missing myself that automatically improved my riding skill," she noted. "Our training with Samantha allowed me to explore my options with respect to competing at the regional and international levels and the qualifications, as well as the commitment to get there.

Continuing, Cole Avril added: "Samantha was very effective, knowledgeable and easy to work with. She was very open-minded and was happy to get our feedback throughout the process. The knowledge and experience that she brought to the table is not only something that our sport needs, but all sports. The support of having someone that has been through the ringer is invaluable. "Thank you to the Equestrian Federation of Jamaica and the Jamaica Olympic Association for this collaboration," she said.

 Lalor noted the combined efforts and its reflection in the show of commitment. "The riders, horses and coach Samantha Albert felt the benefits and saw results by the third day," said Lalor. "This is a testament to the commitment and motivation displayed."

   JOA INVESTS IN THE FUTURE DEVELOPMENT OF JAMAICA’S TRIATHLETES

 

Kingston, Jamaica…The Jamaica Triathlon Association (JTA) received a welcome boost recently when they were able to acquire eight new `bicycles with the help of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA).

Through a JOA grant of JMD$1 million the JTA was able to acquire the bicycles and other equipment as well as assist with the promotion of the inaugural Inter-Schools Triathlon/Aquathlon Championships to be held at the National Aquatic Centre at Independence Park in Kingston on Saturday, June 18, 2022.

The championships will include age groups from six to 21 years incorporating primary, secondary and tertiary students.

Christopher Samuda, President of the JOA, said the investment is a further signal of the Olympic association’s confidence in the goals set by the JTA’s administration. 

“Our investment in the sport triathlon is three fold - the athlete, the tool of the trade, which is the bicycle, and the coach, who provides the technical competence which transitions the talent to success,” President Samuda said.

“This is JOA's cycle of development, the returns of which have been fast tracked by the experience and commitment of the new administration led by President Karl Sharpe.

“This is a solid partnership between the JOA and the Jamaica Triathlon Association, which has developed traction and the athlete is the winner and the schools the beneficiaries. One million is yet another clear signal of our confidence in the sport and the value and currency of the administration.”

JOA CEO and General-Secretary Ryan Foster believes the assistance they are providing will also help the JTA build capacity in the longer term.

“The JOA welcomes this extremely important initiative by the Jamaica Triathlon Association. The JOA shares a similar vision with the JTA regarding expanding opportunities and growing the sport in schools,” Foster said.

“We are pleased with the renewed energy displayed by President (Carl) Sharpe and his team and saw it as a right strategic fit which aligns with our vision of looking at the next generation.

“The partnership will see The JOA contributing $JMD1 million towards this competition. The sponsorship will also see the JOA providing the much-needed competition equipment, especially for those schools that do not have the resources to do so. This equipment will provide capacity to the JTA for future events."

 The consensus is that the JOA support will go a long way in helping develop the sport as well as aid in the physical development of young athletes, a view expressed by the association’s president Carl Sharpe.

“They (the bicycles) will help us to unearth talent,” he said.

Sharpe explained that several aquathlon athletes interested in becoming triathletes but they lack the resources to purchase bicycles.

He also believes that because the triathlon is a cross-discipline event, athletes who engage in the sport are likely to achieve greater levels of physical development and as a result are more likely to avoid injuries.

These sentiments were echoed by JTA Director Donna Sharpe.

“These bikes are starter bikes with different measurements that fit athletes with varying heights. The bikes will be used on a loaner basis to get athletes to start riding,” she explained.

“These are some aquathletes who want to transition to triathlon but have no bikes to get started. So they will be used to assist athletes to learn to ride and or train.”

At the inaugural championships, the JTA coaches are hoping to identify talent for the national squad in preparation for the Carifta Triathlon Aquathlon Age Group Championships scheduled to be held September 24th to 25th in Bermuda.

                                        -30-

Jamaica’s Olympic gymnast Danusia Francis has announced her retirement from international competition while expressing gratitude for the love and support she received while representing the country.

Francis, 28, represented Jamaica at the Tokyo Olympics. She was due to compete in the women's individual all-around event but two days prior to the competition, she discovered she had torn her anterior cruciate ligament.

 She subsequently withdrew from the balance beam, the vault and the floor exercise but chose to continue to compete in the uneven bars with her knee bandaged, scoring the lowest of any competitor as the judges deducted 6.5 points for various infractions and gave her only a 0.5 difficulty score. However, her 9.033 execution score was the highest for any athlete on uneven bars.

Less than a year later, she decided that it was time to call it a day from the sport she loves.

“I am announcing my official retirement from gymnastics. I am so grateful and thankful for all the opportunities, I’ve had in this sport, to be a Jamaican Olympian is an absolute dream come true. I want to give a massive thank you to Jamaica Gymnastics and the JOA (Jamaica Olympic Association) for believing in me, funding me and for the opportunity to represent on the biggest stage,” she said in a statement Sunday.

“I will treasure the memories forever.”

Notwithstanding her retirement, Francis, who also represented UCLA in NCAA gymnastics, said she plans to remain involved with the sport in her adopted country.

“I would love to always be a part of the sport in Jamaica, help it improve and grow,” she said. “Anytime I am in Jamaica, I am definitely coming to the gym, do some coaching and I will always be on the other side of the phone for advice, for whatever it might be and however I can help.

“So, thanks again to everybody and thanks again to the amazing Jamaican fans. You have supported me and shown me so much love and embraced me and for that, I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.”

Francis said she plans to continue in the sport as a host and presenter.

President of the JGA Nicole Grant said Francis has done much for Jamaican gymnastics in a very short time.

It is truly an honour to have had Danusia Francis as part of the Jamaica gymnastics team. She has helped to grow the sport in so many ways. Competing for Jamaica at so many important gymnastics meets, putting us out there and showing the world that Jamaica does have the ability to be great in the sport," Grant said.

"Being the first female gymnast to qualify Jamaica for the Olympic test event in 2016 opened doors for us and she played her part in enabling our berth to the 2016 Olympics. She showed so much determination to keep going for Jamaica, especially after her disappointment with not being chosen for the Olympic test event in 2016 and the 2018 Commonwealth Games, her drive demonstrated her full commitment to Jamaica as she had choices. Her love for Jamaica shone brightly and that love was returned 100 times more.

"Her retirement from competitions, for us only means that she will have more time to help develop the sport locally through coaching and consultation. We wish her good luck and God's richest blessings on her future journey."

 

 

 

Jamaica’s beach volleyball teams are set to participate in the 2022 North, Central America and Caribbean Confederation (NORCECA) Beach Volleyball Tour this year thanks to the timely intervention of the Jamaica Olympic Association that has provided the necessary funding to the Jamaica Volleyball Association (JaVA).

The 2024 Olympic cycle began in 2020, and without being able to compete for the last two years, Jamaica’s teams are forced to play catch up as other countries in the region were able to continue to train, compete and improve their rankings.

The lack of funding has also presented challenges as the JaVA was only able to send their Men’s team to the tour that is currently being held in Varadero, Cuba, and only the Women will be able to compete in the tour to be held in La Paz, Mexico from May 13-16, 2022.

However, thanks to the JOA, the JaVA will now be able to compete in the 2022 NORCECA Beach Volleyball Tours, which is used to earn points and improve rankings in order to qualify for the Commonwealth Games, Pan American Games and the Olympics.

With the support of the JOA, Jamaica will be sending both Men and Women's Beach Volleyball Teams on the following tours:

July 28 – July 31 – Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

August 4- August 8 - Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

August 25 – August 29 – Canada

September 29 – October 3 – Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

November 3 – November 7 – Hato Mayer, Dominican Republic

Audley Weir, General Secretary of JaVA, in thanking the JOA said “due to the financial support from the JOA, Jamaica is poised to qualify for major tournaments, as the lack of funding and not being able to participate in competitions in the past, has seen our teams narrowly missing out on qualifying for both the Olympic and Commonwealth Games,” he said.

Jamaica Olympic Association President Christopher Samuda hopes Jamaica can compete in football at the Olympics one day.

“The Olympic Association understands that our role in sport is not only to change the game which we’re already in, but to transform it and to have, in certain respects, a renaissance so that generations can experience what ought to be the sport,” Samuda said while speaking at the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) Awards and Presentation ceremony at the JFF headquarters on Tuesday.

“We look forward to, as we have discussed continuously, the birth of football on the Olympic stage. It can be done. It will be done and we have every conviction at the JOA that the day will come. Footballers and coaches, you have a responsibility to ensure that it happens,” he added.

Despite Jamaica’s rich history in the Olympics, mainly in Track and Field, the country has never competed in football at the event.

Mexico has historically been the most successful CONCACAF nation in Olympic football winning a gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics and bronze at the 2020 Tokyo Games.

Jamaica’s chance to qualify for football at the 2024 Paris Olympics will come in June this year when they take part in the 2022 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship in Honduras.

 

In what could be seen as its clearest demonstration yet of its thrust towards equity, diversity and development, the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) has selected a list of Chef De Missions for next six major international campaigns.

Former national squash player Karen Anderson will lead Jamaica’s delegation to the 2022 Caribbean Games, Rudolph Speid takes Jamaica to the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, Paulton Gordon will assume duties for the 2023 CAC Games while Nicole Grant Brown will be at the helm for the Pan Am Games.

Corporate Business Executive and Owner, Ian Kelly wears the hat of delegation leader for the Summer Olympics in Paris in 2024 while Businessman and Sports Administrator Gregory Moore takes the helm for the 2026 Winter Olympics.

This broad and varied selection exemplifies the JOA’s quest to bring a higher level of leadership across the spectrum of sports in Jamaica.

"The JOA will continue to not only professionalize the management of the Games under our remit but will continue to provide opportunities for our members to participate in the space and to make meaningful contributions to the Jamaican sporting arena,” said JOA General-Secretary Ryan Foster.

“We believe in providing an avenue for all as sport does not reside with one person or association but we all have our own contribution to make. The naming of the Chef de Missions for the various games is a broad representation of what we have articulated in our Sport for All campaign.

“We see the games as a critical part in the self-actualization of many in their quest for greatness but it is also one facet of how the JOA continues to support the growth and development of sport in Jamaica."

For Anderson, who has represented Jamaica in shooting and squash, her appointment is rewarding on several levels.

“It is a great honour to represent my country as the Chef De Mission for the Caribbean Games. I have represented Jamaica as a player, a referee, and coach at both Commonwealth Games and Pan American Games, so going into sports administration as the Chef De Mission for multi-sport games is almost a natural transition for me,” she said.

“I look forward to the challenge of it, the opportunity of it and it’s the first Caribbean Games so it’s an honour to be thought of to be considered and selected for that role.”

She was quick to point out that with herself and Nicole Grant being selected for similar roles over the next four years is a step forward to women, who have largely been overlooked for similar roles in previous years but who have now been given the opportunity to demonstrate that they are as equally capable to executing well in positions usually reserved for their male counterparts.

“I think it has just been opportunity and for women to be seen that we can do the job just as equally if not sometimes better than men. It’s great that the JOA is now putting women out there and giving us those opportunities to shine,” she said.

“We have the capacity to do it so it’s just a matter of being given an opportunity. This is a time when the JOA is stepping to the fore and saying here are these women, let’s give them the opportunity to lead on an international level, which I think is remarkable on their part.”

Paulton Gordon heads the Jamaica Basketball Association and has led the fraternity on several international campaigns. For him, this is yet another opportunity to grow and develop as an administrator as well as another feather in his cap on a personal level.

“I am elated to serve,” he said. “It will provide me with a more rounded view of the dynamics involved in a multi-sport, multi-cultural environment.  It will certainly broaden my knowledge base and competence in planning, organizing and the coordinating the participation of a large contingent at a major sporting event.”

More broadly, he said, “It provides an opportunity to further contribute to the development of sport and hone skills that require cultural adjustments based on the international nature of the appointment. Networking opportunities will emerge that will facilitate human resource growth and allow the sporting bodies to tap into opportunities regionally.”

Following on the heels of businessman and JOA director Gary Peart being named Chef De Mission for Jamaica’s successful and history-making campaign at the delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympics in Japan in 2021, Ian Kelly, Derrimon Trading Chief Financial Officer and Director of many corporate boards, follows in a similar fashion for the Paris Games in 2026.

The JOA has continued to adopt a business approach to the execution of the games and Ian will bring not only his corporate expertise but also his knowledge of managing sport teams, the JOA said.

Similarly, President of Jamaica Esports Initiative, Gregory Moore cites his opportunity as one that will create synergies that will foster a changed mindset as it relates to sports in Jamaica.

“I am honoured to have been appointed Chef De Mission to the next staging of the Winter Olympics in Italy in 2026. I am a businessman and also the president of the Jamaica eSports Initiative, which is a federation under the JOA. We had taken a different approach towards getting that federation up and running.

“We decided to work on structure first so we spent the last two years with a structured approach, more administrative than just pushing the activity by itself.

“With this appointment, I intend to have the same approach because sports are a business and if you don’t treat it as such you won’t be able to facilitate expansion and I believe the JOA has shown that over the last few years taking that business-structured approach.”

The aforementioned approach, Moore believes, will help facilitate the kind of growth that the country will ultimately benefit from in that growth creates opportunities and those opportunities will continue to drive diversification and development.

“I know that the primary role is to ensure the welfare and the well-being of the team, so that will definitely come first, but I will be seeking opportunities for co-working and creating synergies between international entities and our local entities because that is what is going to create more synergies in Jamaica between federations, between organizations. I am just going to play my role, focus on the team and try to see where opportunities will come up for us to form some relationships to create synergies.”

 The financial performance of Jamaica's governing body for Olympic and non-Olympic sports continues to raise the bar in demonstrating prudence, innovation, investment savvy and commercial value.

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