The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has announced that a delegation of 23 comprising eight students and two coaches each from Edwin Allen High School and Kingston College and three executive members from Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) will leave for Trinidad and Tobago on February 7, 2023, to participate in the Secondary School Relay Festival on February 9, 2023. 

The participation of the Jamaican team at the Relay Festival follows a sports study tour by the Minister of Sport and Community Development for Trinidad and Tobago, the Honourable Shamfa Cudjoe, and a team of officials. 

Minister Cudjoe and members of her delegation had met with Minister Grange, a technical team from the Ministry and its agencies, representatives from the Jamaica Athletics Administration Association (JAAA), ISSA, the University of Technology (Utech), GC Foster College of Sport and Physical Education, and the Ministry of Education and Youth. They also visited four high schools and a primary school. 

Minister Grange said, “It is expected that this bilateral cooperation between Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago will bear much fruit for both our countries.” 

The Jamaicans will be competing in the 4x100m and 4x400m relays at the festival.  Barbados and Guyana are the other countries that have been invited to send teams to participate in the Relay Festival. 

The exchange activities are also being celebrated as part of the 60th Anniversary of Independence of Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago. 

The delegation will return to Jamaica on Friday, February 10, 2023.

 

The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has announced the new Board of Directors of Independence Park Limited.

The Board will be chaired by Dr. the Honourable Michael Fennell with Mr. David Shirley as Deputy Chairman.

The other members are:  Mrs. Annmarie Heron, Assistant Commissioner of Police Terrence Bent, Lieutenant Colonel Eldon Morgan, Ms. Stefani Dewar, Mr. Lenford Salmon, Mr. Carlton Dennis, Ms. Audrey Chin, Mr. Edward Barnes, Dr. Peter Charles, Ms. Shaneek Clacken and Major Desmon Brown.

The Board will serve for a period of two years with effect from 16 January 2023. Independence Park Limited operates, promotes, and manages sports facilities including the National Stadium Complex and Trelawny Multi-Purpose Stadium.

Jamaica's Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange, has announced prize money totaling $900,000 for the top-four teams emerging from the Institute of Sports (INSPORTS) 2023 primary schools’ football and netball competitions.

In the announcement made on Thursday at the National Stadium during the launch of the draw for the final round of these competitions, Grange outlined that the winning schools in both the netball and football competitions will receive $200,000 each with the runners-up getting $125,000.

“The third-placed teams will collect $75,000 and $50,000 will go to the fourth-placed teams. In addition, the winning coaches will get gift vouchers of $10,000 each,” she added.

The competitions started with more than 200 schools and now there are 32 in football and 32 in netball.

Grange outlined what she hopes to achieve with the launch of this competition.

“The aim of this program is to create the biggest age group competition of its kind in the English-speaking Caribbean and it will act as a feeder programme for both Netball and Football at all levels.”

She also announced that INSPORTS will be one of the entities visited by Trinidad and Tobago’s minister of sport and community development, Shamfa Cudjoe, along with 11 delegates when she is in Jamaica for an Anti-doping conference.

“She’s coming here to look at our athletes insurance plan, she’s going to visit INSPORTS and she’s going to look at your program, the program that you’re now participating in because they don’t do that program and they want to do a competition similar to what we are doing for you,” she said.

Minister Grange also made a presentation of hurdles to the 2019 winners of the track and field competitions in the three regions, Eastern, Central and Western. The respective winners were St Richard’s Primary, Spanish Town Primary and Black River Primary.

The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has announced that Jamaica will host a World Anti-Doping Agency Forum in January in Kingston.

The Forum will target Ministers of Sport in the Caribbean and will be attended by the President of the World Anti-Doping Agency, Witold Bańka,

Minister Grange said it will be the second WADA Forum specifically for sports ministers in the Caribbean and is a follow-up to an online Forum that was held in October.

“At that online Forum, Jamaica — because of our leadership position in anti-doping in the region — offered technical guidance to other countries and WADA also agreed to support capacity building and cooperation among nations. So, this Forum from January 26 to 27 will build on our discussions from October and will also see some delegates touring JADCO facilities as part of a study tour,” said Minister Grange. 

19 Ministers of Sport and their delegations are scheduled to attend the Forum.

Minister Grange said the Forum would help to “advance the development of a plan of action for anti-doping programmes across the Caribbean with the aim of keeping sports clean.”

Jamaica Football Federation General Secretary Dalton Wint appears to have yielded to the demand of the Reggae Boyz that he resigns his position.

Wint has been the target of the players’ ire after being left stranded in Suriname on Saturday night, June 4, after their 1-1 draw with the host country. The JFF had failed to make proper arrangements for the players to return to Jamaica, an embarrassing situation that the players laid squarely at the feet of the beleaguered general secretary.

According to a statement reportedly coming from the players, “it was the straw that broke the camel’s back” and they refused to go on unless Wint resigned from his post. JFF President Michael Ricketts confirmed on Monday that the board had met to discuss the situation but up to later that day, there was no official word regarding the board’s position on the demand made by the players, who Sportsmax.TV understands refused to train in preparation for the return match against Suriname on Tuesday evening.

However, in a statement released late Monday night, the JFF signalled that an end to the impasse is in sight.

“The General Secretary of the Jamaica Football Federation, Mr Dalton Wint, has given his unequivocal and irreversible commitment to submit his resignation from the post,” the JFF said. “The Board of Directors of the JFF look forward to receiving same soonest. Other relevant information regarding this matter, will be shared with the country in the coming days.”

Meantime, Jamaica’s Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports, revealed its part in getting the players home from Suriname early Monday morning.

Minister Olivia Grange revealed that her ministry intervened to facilitate the safe return of the irate players, who returned to Jamaica at approximately 7:15 am Monday.

“On Saturday, June 4, 2022, I was advised of challenges being experienced by the Reggae Boyz delegation in Suriname. I was made to understand that travel arrangements for their return to Jamaica, after the match against Suriname on Saturday, had been cancelled and my assistance was being sought,” the minister said in a statement.

 “I was told that because the players had to return in time for another match, normal flight schedules would not allow for their return. On my instructions, a number of steps were taken by my Permanent Secretary and the General Manager of the Sports Development Foundation (SDF) to assist in addressing the problem.

 “A company was identified from which we could charter a flight in the short time frame. Reggae Boy Leon Bailey was instrumental in identifying the charter company.

“We were advised by the company identified that the charter flight would cost US$105,000.00 which had to be paid immediately in order for the aircraft which was in Mexico to be released to pick up the team in Suriname. Unfortunately, with this taking place over the weekend, the circumstances prevented the SDF from accessing the required banking services.”

 As a result, Minister Grange said, JFF President Michael Ricketts contacted Christopher Williams, CEO of PROVEN and Chairman of the Premier Football Jamaica League (PFJL) to assist with the identification of the required funds and the Government of Jamaica through the SDF committed to ensuring that the funds advanced would be repaid.

“Based on the commitment of the Government, Mr Williams put the necessary mechanisms in place to advance the payment for the charter flight, with the firm understanding that he would be reimbursed in the shortest possible time,” the minister explained.

“All the parties involved were aware of the urgent need to act, bearing in mind the risk of the Jamaican delegation being stranded in Suriname, and the players not being able to honour the fixture scheduled for Tuesday, June 7, 2022,” the minister continued, adding that she spoke directly to the players, who she said were upset with the JFF Administration which they blamed for the crisis.

The players, she said, then agreed to play the game in Suriname on schedule.

“The Under Secretary for the Diaspora, Protocol and Consular Affairs Division in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade (MFAFT) played a critical role in securing the landing and fly over permits. The team from the Ministries were in negotiations from Saturday afternoon until early Monday morning to ensure that the permits were received,” the minister said.

  “I will be writing to the JFF requesting a detailed report on the matter and my team and I will continue to work closely with the JFF and the Reggae Boyz as we are also aware of other matters of concern related to the management of what is possibly the most popular sport in Jamaica.”

 

Jamaica’s Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports is backing Netball Jamaica’s hosting of the Americas Netball World Cup Qualifier for the 2023 Netball World Cup to the tune of US$77,000 (JMD$12 million).

Minister Olivia Grange, the official patron of the event, made the announcement at the launch of the qualifier at the NCB Care and Wellness Centre on Phoenix Avenue in Kingston on Thursday.

“The Ministry and its agencies are providing ($JMD1.8M) to Netball Jamaica for team preparation, $2.5m for transportation and will be covering the cost of rental of the National Indoor Sports Centre where the qualifier will take place from October 16 to 21, 2022,” Minister Grange said.

Ten teams will be playing in the Qualifier for the two remaining places in the World Cup. Jamaica has already qualified by virtue of its number four world ranking, a fact of which the minister takes great pride.

“I am proud, all of Jamaica is proud of this first for Netball Jamaica; playing host for the staging of a Netball World Cup Qualifier,” Minister Grange noted.

“History will also be made when the next Netball World Cup, the 16th edition, takes place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, South Africa since it will be the first time that the tournament will be held on the African continent. South Africa has gained a reputation for the staging of world-class events so we can expect something extra special when they host the Netball World Cup.

“The upcoming Qualifier will certainly serve to project Netball Jamaica afresh to the nation.

“I am deeply moved that Netball Jamaica would see fit to honour me by asking me to be Patron for the Americas Netball World Cup Qualifier.

 “So who is a Patron and what is the duty of a Patron? A Patron is a distinguished person who gives financial or other support to a person, organisation, or cause. 

The most effective Patron will have a passion for what the person or organization does. Need I say more?”

The minister also suggested that Netball Jamaica needs to see their value if they are to convince corporate Jamaica to provide the needed support.

“Netball Jamaica will tell you that I have challenged them to reimagine how they see themselves. Their value is great and we need corporate Jamaica to come on board in a greater way to support them. I would love to see partners coming on board to provide a bus, sports gear and all the other services they need because I am sure that our Sunshine girls will give sponsors value for their money!”, she said.

“Sport and the opportunity to participate in sport at all levels is a right that we take seriously. Netball is a favourite pastime in Jamaica and one that is practised from the primary school levels in Jamaica. We know that through the work of the Institute of Sports (INSPORTS) we have netball competitions at the primary level. There is also competition at the high school and tertiary levels.

“We want to see the sport grow in Jamaica and continue to give our girls and yes, boys too, the avenue and outlet to express themselves and dare to dream to play at higher levels.

  “We anticipate that on the final day of the Netball World Cup on August 6, 2023, when Jamaica celebrates its 61st Anniversary of Independence, our Sunshine Girls will be one of the two teams competing for the title and that they will be the new champions of world netball.

 “Netball and our Sunshine Girls have always made us proud.” 

 

 

Garth Gayle, President of the Jamaica Athletic Administrative Association and Jamaica’s sports minister Olivia Grange have hailed Elaine Thompson-Herah on her historic win of the Laureus Sportswoman of the Year Award on Sunday.

No Jamaican female athlete had ever taken home the prestigious award that began in 2000.

The Jamaican sprint queen won on the back of her historic achievements last summer when she became the first woman in Olympic history to win the 100/200m sprint double at consecutive Olympic Games and added a third gold medal to her trophy case when she ran the second leg of Jamaica’s 4x100m relay team that won in a national record of 41.02.

She would go on to create even more history when she ran times of 10.54 to become the second-fastest woman of all time while winning the 100m in Eugene, Oregon, and then added times of 10.64 and 10.65 to be the only woman to run faster than 10.7 on four occasions.

Her achievements topped USA’s Allyson Felix (athletics), Australia’s Ashleigh Barty (tennis), Australia’s Emma McKeon (swimming) and USA’s Katie Ledecky and drew praise from the JAAA and the Jamaican government.

"Becoming the second Jamaican and the first female to win the prestigious Laureus Award is a significant achievement for Elaine and by extension Jamaica,” said Gayle.

“This is also a boost for women in track and field and other sports to aim for the highest. We are particularly proud of Elaine for her continuous achievements on and off the track. This definitely sets the tone for a great year for all our athletes.”

Meanwhile, in a missive from the United Kingdom where she will launch the Jamaica 60 programme of activities in the United Kingdom on Monday evening, Minister Grange said Thompson-Herah was most deserving of the honour of “best athlete in the world”.

“This latest success for the fastest woman alive is a tribute to Thompson-Herah’s hard work and sacrifice,” Minister Grange said.

Thompson-Herah is the second Jamaican to win the award. Usain Bolt, won the Laureus Sportsman of the Year in 2009, 2010, 2013 and 2017.

 

 

 

Jamaica’s Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange has called for private sector support for the Primary Schools Athletics Championships that return on May 26 after a two-year absence.

The minister made the appeal during Tuesday’s launch of the event at the National Stadium in Kingston, which hosted the 49th Carifta Games that concluded on Monday.

“Between May 2 and 4 we will have the Eastern Championships at Stadium East to start us off, followed by the Central Championships between May 9 and11 at the GC Foster College, then the Western Championships at STETHS between May 12 and14 culminating with the grand finale, the inaugural staging of the National Athletics Junior Championships for Boys and Girls in the National Stadium from May 26 to May 28,” the minister said in outlining the schedule for the build-up to the championships. 

 “I am making an appeal to the private sector to provide sponsorship for these Championships in the same way support is given to the ISSA Boys and Girls Championships. There will be as many as 500 participating schools and so I am inviting the private sector to come on board now with support for the primary-level event.”

The minister said the government has invested a lot in the development of sports in the country but it is unable to go it alone, hence the need for additional support for the championship that has proven to be the crucible from which so many of Jamaica’s athletic stars have emerged.

“Over time, the Government has invested millions of dollars at the primary school level in track and field and (Institute of Sports) INSPORTS can take credit for laying the foundation on which the careers of many of our outstanding athletes have been built,” she said.

“Athletes the likes of World and Olympic 100m gold medalist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Olympic and World 400m hurdles champion Melaine Walker, Olympic bronze medalist, Warren Weir, 2008 Olympic 100m silver and 200m bronze medalist Kerron Stewart, CARIFTA Games Under-17 200m champion and record-holder Jazeel Murphy, and 2007 World Youth 200m champion Ramone McKenzie and many others.

“More recent stand-out athletes to have competed at Primary School Champs have been Christopher Taylor, Tyreke Wilson, Raheem Chambers and Brianna Lyston. In the just-concluded CARIFTA Games, Jamaica won a record 92 medals. It begins at INSPORTS.”

 

The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honorable Olivia Grange, has welcomed the return to ISSA/Grace Kennedy Boys and Girls Championships with spectators.

“In 2021, even though CHAMPS was staged, it was done behind closed doors.  This resulted in losses of $70,000,000.00.  For this year, ISSA projects that their earnings will return to pre-COVID figures despite the significant increase in inflation,” said Minister Grange in a statement issued on Monday.

She also explained how Jamaica derives significant economic benefit from what is the premier secondary school athletic championship in the world.  

“Because of the long and distinguished legacy of CHAMPS, there is a consistent increase in visitor arrival to Jamaica during the period leading up to the mega event.  While the support from high school alumni and Jamaicans in the diaspora who invest in and return to Jamaica for Champs is unquantified at this time, there is a marked stimulation in the economy which can be attributed to CHAMPS,” said Minister Grange.

“The city of Kingston, for example, benefits from an increase in occupancy of hotels, guesthouses, AIR BnB type facilities and private homes.  This is also reflected in the local retail and transportation sectors. Through CHAMPS, there is both a direct and indirect co-relation to educational and employment opportunities. We also see a lot of merchandising from the schools; there’s the broadcasting revenue, there are stage, light and sound, there are opportunities for the small peanut vendors as well,” she added.

The 2022 edition of Champs gets underway Tuesday and runs until April 9 at the National stadium.

“Welcome back CHAMPS; welcome back spectators. Let the Games begin,” said Minister Grange.

 

Jamaica’s Sports Minister the Hon. Olivia Grange has announced that as part of the celebrations for Jamaica 60th Independence Anniversary, the government will be providing scholarships for 60 athletes.

“We will be awarding sixty scholarships to 60 athletes. ‘Sixty for 60’. Details will be announced at a later date,” she said while speaking at the official launch of the ISSA GraceKennedy Boys and Girls Championships on Tuesday.

“In 2020, after the decision was made to cancel CHAMPS, there was major disappointment by athletes, parents, coaches, schools, alumni and every sport-loving Jamaican.  Many were uncertain about last year’s staging of Champs but again this team of school principals organized themselves within the very strict protocols outlined and produced a spectacular show with Jamaica College and Edwin Allen High School winning the titles,” added Grange while praising ISSA for continuing to set a very high standard in terms of sports organization and management and each year.

The Sports Minister also highlighted the importance of CHAMPS. 

“The ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls Championships has become a special calendar event not only for Jamaicans but for other sport enthusiasts, administrators, athletes, school groups and media houses and talent scouts all over the world. This speaks to the development of the Championships and indicates the tremendous growth in our high school programmes, coached primarily by our home-grown coaches.  The ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls Championships has been marked as the foundation of Jamaica’s athletic prowess and with the improvements in the field events, we are assured that the future of track and field in Jamaica is secure,” she said.

“There is another reason why Champs this year is special.  Just one week after Champs, Jamaica will be hosting CARIFTA.  Many of the athletes from Champs are expected to be on show again at CARIFTA, where the President of World Athletics Lord Sebastian Coe has confirmed his attendance,” she added.

Grange went on to recognize long-time sponsors of CHAMPS, GraceKennedy, and then offer a final word of encouragement to the athletes who will be competing in the 2022 edition.

“I am proud to acknowledge GraceKennedy who has been title sponsors of the Boys and Girls Championships since 2007 and will continue until 2025.  Even with the uncertainties of the pandemic, they have been unwavering in their support. To all the other sponsors thank you, you continue to exhibit goodwill and I want to assure you that no investment in our youth is wasted,” she said.

“Whether you become a professional sportsman or woman, or continue to compete for the love of the sport, or use your talent as a bargaining tool to advance your educational aspirations, or never participate in another track and field event; the lessons you learn in training and in competition must serve you through life,” Grange added.

 

 

 

The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Hon. Olivia Grange says the Government is rewarding $55 million to athletes, coaches, and officials who participated in the recent Summer and Winter Olympic Games and the Paralympics.

“Jamaica is joining other countries which reward those who represent them at the Olympics with honorariums,” Minister Grange said while speaking at the official launch of the 2022 ISSA GraceKennedy Boys and Girls Championships at the National Stadium on Monday.

“Appreciation Grants will be for those representing Jamaica at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the Paralympics, and the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games. The level of awards was determined based on individual placement, from gold medal winner to non-finalist, coaches, and other supporting staff. Ninety-three persons will be rewarded, valued at approximately $55M,” she added.

She then broke down how the money would be divided.

“The honorariums are $1.65 million for each gold medal won; $1.35 million for each silver medal won and $800,000.00 for each bronze medal won. The honorarium is $850,000 for the relay gold. Finalists are receiving $600,000.00; relay finalists, $500,000; and non-finalists, $350,000. Coaches and massage therapists are getting $350,000 while team managers and doctors are getting $200,000,” Grange explained.

 

Jamaica’s Sports Minister Olivia Grange has pledged JMD$10 million in support to the country’s Premier League clubs for the 2022 season.

Jamaica’s sports minister Olivia Grange has lauded Sara Misir, who created history recently by becoming the first Jamaican to compete in the Formula Woman Competition.

Plaudits have come in from Jamaica's sports minister and the Jamaica Olympic Association for Olympic champion Elaine Thompson who was named World Athletics Female Athlete of the Year earlier today in Monaco.

Olivia Grange,  Jamaica’s Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, said it did not come as a surprise that Elaine Thompson-Herah would have won the prestigious award.

 

The 29-year-old Jamaican, who successfully defended both 100m and 200m titles she first won at Rio 2016 came out on top of a quality field of candidates that included the USA’s Sydney McLaughlin, Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon, Netherlands’ Sifan Hassan and Venezuala’s Yulimar Rojas, to win her first AOY award.

“We expected it,” Minister Grange said in a statement.

“This nation is so happy for Elaine and proud of her for winning the top award for women in track and field for 2021. But she put her hands up with her performances in the Olympics and World Games. In fact, she has enjoyed one of the finest sprint seasons in history, retaining her 100m and 200m titles in 10.61 seconds and 21.53 seconds in Tokyo as well as adding another gold medal to her collection in the 4x100m relay, which she and her colleagues won in a national record time of 41.02 seconds.

“Elaine did not just stop there; in her first race after the Olympics, she won the 100m in a world-leading time of 10.54 seconds which makes her second on the all-time list for the 100m and 200m.”

The minister said Thompson-Herah joins two other Jamaican greats to have won the prestigious award from the sports’ world-governing body.

“ It is so great, Elaine now makes it a trio of Female Athletes of the Year for Jamaica; following in the footsteps of Merlene Ottey and Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce,” Minister Grange said.

“We salute Elaine Thompson-Herah. She is just awesome!” 

 JOA President Christopher Samuda described the accomplishment as a reward for her outstanding year.

"The Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) congratulates our Olympian, Elaine Thompson-Herah, for being selected Female Athlete of the Year by World Athletics," Samuda said in a statement.
"It is indeed an admirable accomplishment, the reward for exemplary performances and a testimony to her valour in transforming the challenges of a year bedevilled with the
pandemic into inspiring feats.

"The Jamaica Olympic Association salutes her and exhorts her to continue to be driven in her athletic pilgrimage of excellence." 

Meanwhile, Thompson-Herah said winning the coveted award was the best way to end her historic season. Posting on her social media pages, the fastest woman alive said, “Way to cap off a magnificent historic season with my first world Athletics athlete of the year award.

“I am just amazed with how the Lord piloted me throughout this year.”

She expressed gratitude to her supporters and sponsors who were behind her on the historic journey.”

“Thanks to all my sponsors @ncbjamaica @flowjamaica and @nike for your continued support. Thanks to all my longstanding supporters family, friends and fans always with me through the ups and downs love you all.”

 

Jamaica’s Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia Grange has expressed her regrets of the news of the passing of former Reggae Boyz team doctor Carlton Fraser, who died in a Florida hospital on Sunday, November 21, at the age of 74.

Fraser, who was affectionately known as “Pee Wee” was also the former physician of Reggae icon Bob Marley.

“It came as a shock to me to hear that “Pee Wee” died. His service was outstanding as a doctor to the Reggae Boyz and to Bob Marley, who for many years was not only his patient but was his close friend,” Minister Grange said.

“In this way, one might say that ‘Pee Wee’, for life, was a major contributor to both sport and entertainment.

“He will also be remembered for being the only Rasta doctor of his time and a member of Twelve Tribes of Israel Rastafari religious group.  I extend my deepest sympathy to his family, friends, former associates at the Jamaica Football Federation and to the members of Twelve Tribes.

“Rest well, “Pee Wee”.”

 

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