Sport Minister Emphasises Importance of Primary Competitions

Photo: Donald De La Haye Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange (second left), conducts the official draw for the INSPORTS Primary School football and netball competitions on January 15 at the National Indoor Sports Centre in Kingston. Observing (from left) are Oberon “OB” Pitterson-Nattie, Ian “Pepe” Goodison and Sport Officer, INSPORTS, Kevin Morrison.

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, says the INSPORTS National Primary Football and Netball competitions enhance Jamaica’s feeder programmes for the games at all levels.
  • “It is important that we start at the base. We must build a solid foundation and we must start with our children, so that when they get to the age where they are playing professionally, they would have had a good foundation and solid training in their interest of discipline,” she said.
  • “We must use these activities to identify the talent and to go on to provide as much assistance as possible for them to turn their potential into the next generation of great Jamaican footballers and netballers,” she added.

Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, says the INSPORTS National Primary Football and Netball competitions enhance Jamaica’s feeder programmes for the games at all levels.

Addressing the press launch and national play-offs official draw of the competitions on January 15 at the National Indoor Sports Centre in Kingston, Ms. Grange said the initiative is the largest age-group competition of its kind in the English-speaking Caribbean.

“It is important that we start at the base. We must build a solid foundation and we must start with our children, so that when they get to the age where they are playing professionally, they would have had a good foundation and solid training in their interest of discipline,” she said.

Ms. Grange said the competitions bring to the fore the best talent there is in a competitive environment, in line with the INSPORTS mandate of unearthing talent.

“We must use these activities to identify the talent and to go on to provide as much assistance as possible for them to turn their potential into the next generation of great Jamaican footballers and netballers,” she added.

The Minister also announced that former national football player, Ian “Pepe” Goodison, and Oberon “OB” Pitterson-Nattie, a national netball player, will serve as ambassadors during this and other competitions.

“Their role will be to provide insight and knowledge about the game to the youngsters in a manner that will inspire player participation and a genuine focus to represent the country at the highest levels as they develop,” she informed.

She noted further that in discussions with INSPORTS, they will develop strategies through seminars and workshops that will improve the overall grassroots programme for football and netball in Jamaica.

“Both ‘OB’ and ‘Pepe’, by virtue of the way they have represented Jamaica in their two sports, are eminently qualified for the ambassadorial roles to which we are appointing them,” Ms. Grange said.

For his part, State Minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Floyd Green, said there is a need for youth to participate in physical activities.

“There is a reality that sport helps in a lot of other areas that are involved in the education process. The principles that sports instil in our youth are critical to national development,” he added.

Meanwhile, Sports Officer, INSPORTS, Kevin Morrison, informed that the 2017/18 Under-12 National Primary Football and Netball competitions got under way in November.

He noted that 136 teams from eight zones participated in the football competition at the parish level, while 50 teams from five parishes participated in the netball competition.

“A total of 3,510 students participated in the competitions – 2,760 in football and 750 in netball,” Mr. Morrison pointed out.

He informed that at the national level, 16 teams will participate in play-offs for the football competition, while 11 teams will participate in the netball competition.

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