Jamaica to establish special fund for 'struggling' former national representatives

By Sports Desk February 01, 2021

A special fund to assist former Jamaica’s national representatives who have fallen on the hard times is to be established by the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport.

The move was announced today by Minister Olivia Grange, who said she had directed the Sports Development Foundation to set aside money for the fund while she finalizes a body that will implement and manage it.

Minister Grange met with the new board of the SDF last week when she urged the members to treat the establishment of the fund as a priority action.

The new SDF board is comprised of Attorney-at-law George Soutar, who is Chairman; International Sports Administrator, Dr Michael Fennell; former banker Mr Lloyd Pommells; International Sports Administrator Mrs Molly Rhone; financial consultant Mr Compton Rodney; National Sports Coordinator Mrs Annmarie Heron; businessman Mr Newton Amos; chartered accountant Ms Lilian Reid; attorney-at-law Mr Alexander Shaw and General Manager Mr Denzil Wilks.

The Minister discussed her vision for the transformation and streamlining of the national sports entities during this calendar year and the critical role of the SDF going forward.

 

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    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.” 

     

     

  • All set for Saturday's third meet in JAAA/SDF Jubilee Series All set for Saturday's third meet in JAAA/SDF Jubilee Series

    The third meet in the “JAAA/SDF Jubilee series” will be staged this Saturday, May 21, at the National Stadium between 5pm and 7pm. Spectators will not be charged an entry fee.

    These events are designed to assist senior athletes as they prepare for the JAAA National Championships and other international competitions including the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon, later this year. The Junior athletes will compete between 2pm and 4pm. 

    Saturday’s meet will see athletes contesting the following events for males and females; long jump, discus, shot put, Sprint hurdles, 100m, 200m 400m, 400m hurdles and an invitational 800m.

    All the athletes will be ranked based on performances this season. The 100m will only accommodate the top 32 ranked athletes, the 400m will see the top 24 and the top 16 will be in the sprint hurdles.

    The 400m hurdles will have the top eight based on entry while the field events will see the top twelve based on entry. 

    Monetary prizes will be awarded in the 400m hurdles for men and women, the 110m hurdles for men, the 200m for men and women and the discus for women.

    The winner of each of the selected six events will get $90,000.00, second place gets $45,000.00, third takes home $30,000.00, fourth $20,000.00 and fifth $15,000.00. 

    In total, each event will offer $200,000.00 in prizes, with $1.2 million being handed out overall for the day, providing the athletes meet a minimum standard. Only Jamaican athletes will benefit from the funds. 

    The last meet in the four-event series will be staged on June 4, 2022.

    Sponsors include the Sports Development Foundation, Puma and Jacden.

     

  • Olympic silver medalist Christania Williams working on a comeback, one race at a time Olympic silver medalist Christania Williams working on a comeback, one race at a time

    Jamaican Olympian Christania Williams is making a comeback from some tough times with the hopes of getting back to her best in the near future.

    The 27-year-old former Edwin Allen High School star last showed up last weekend, May 7, 2022, at the JAAA/SDF Jubilee Series meet at the National Stadium in Kingston where she produced times of 11.62 to finish third in her preliminary round heat and then ran a season-best 11.55 in the final for a sixth-place finish behind winner Shericka Jackson (11.00).

    She revealed afterwards that after enduring a rough period, she is hoping to improve with each race she runs this season.

    “I have been through a lot. I am happy to be here. The main focus right now is just me against me and improving in each race,” said Williams afterwards while also revealing that she is no longer a member of the Tumbleweed training group in Jacksonville, but was training elsewhere in Florida.

    She declined to reveal where or with whom.

    “I am not training on my own but for now I am not sharing that information,” she said.

    The talented sprinter won silver medals for Jamaica in the 100m and 4x100m relay at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast and also won a silver medal at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games as a member of Jamaica’s 4x100m relay squad.

    She ran a lifetime best of 10.96 in the 100m semi-finals in Brazil and finished eighth in the final won by Elaine Thompson-Herah. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce was third.

    At the time she was a member of the MVP Track Club in Kingston but she eventually left for the Rana-Reider led Tumbleweed Training Group in Jacksonville, Florida in early 2020, just before the world shut down in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Like most of the world’s athletes, Williams did not compete in 2020. In 2021, she ventured into a few indoor meets and had a season-best 7.14 in Fayetteville in February. Another four races followed outdoors, the last of them occurring on May 31 when she ran 11.38 at the Duvall County Challenge in Jacksonville.

    April 23, 2022, almost a year later was the next time she raced; at the Tru Fit Athletic Sprint Series in Miami, Florida where she ran 11.54 for a fourth-place finish in her heat and then 11.79 for seventh in the final.

     

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