Think Big! – Grange tells Sporting and Creative Stakeholders

Photo: Marvel Gordon Minister of Culture, Gender Affairs, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange.

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Culture, Gender Affairs, Entertainment and Sports (CGES), Hon. Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, has given her full endorsement to the Racers Grand Prix being staged by the Racers Track Club in June of this year.
  • For the world governing body to sanction the second international athletics event in Jamaica, granting us Area Permit Meet status, is concrete evidence that we are highly regarded in the eyes of the world.
  • In his remarks, Ambassador, Dr. the Hon Usain Bolt, said the track meet would be one of the best in the world. He promised that there would be a swell of international athletes descending on Jamaica and that he intended to put in a special performance.

Minister of Culture, Gender Affairs, Entertainment and Sports (CGES), Hon. Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, has given her full endorsement to the Racers Grand Prix being staged by the Racers Track Club in June of this year.

Speaking at the media launch of the event at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel yesterday, Wednesday, March 9, Minister Grange said the new government of Jamaica was extremely delighted and proud that the country is staging another major track and field event of international repute.

She told those in attendance that it is time to “think big” and use sports and the creative industries to advance the economic growth agenda. “I am back and ready for the job and I want all the stakeholders to think big. We can’t be so talented and be constrained by narrow views. So I absolutely applaud this initiative by Racers Track Club and I know it will be successful.”

“We are undoubtedly the sprint factory of the world, but this latest addition to the local and international event calendars provides us as a country with the opportunity to fine-tune preparations to become dominant in other disciplines such as middle distance races and field events.”

She added, “It is clear to me that the work of past and present athletes and sports administrators such as the late legendary Herb McKenley and Howard Aris is bearing fruit today. It is the contribution of men like McKenley and Aris and others that has made the athletics world look at Jamaica with serious respect and envy.

For the world governing body to sanction the second international athletics event in Jamaica, granting us Area Permit Meet status, is concrete evidence that we are highly regarded in the eyes of the world.

Just looking at the list of confirmed athletes from other countries for this meet is convincing enough for me. The world’s top-six javelin throwers have already confirmed their participation which is quite telling!”

The inaugural Racer’s Grand Prix is set for June 11 at the National Stadium.

Minister Grange congratulated Dr. the Hon Glen Mills, OJ, who is the chairman of the organising committee, for having the vision to conceptualise the event. She applauded his commitment to aiding the development of athletics in Jamaica and noted that it is through the hard work of the coaches that Jamaica now has a large cadre of world class athletes.

Think Big! Grange II
(Second from right) Minister of Culture, Gender Affairs, Entertainment and Sports, the Honourable Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange with (from left) Assistant General Manager of Jamaica National Building Society, Leon Mitchell, Triple Olympic gold medalist, Usain Bolt and coach Glen Mills at the launch of the Racers Grand Prix 2016, held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston on Wednesday, March 9, 2016.

In his remarks, Ambassador, Dr. the Hon Usain Bolt, said the track meet would be one of the best in the world. He promised that there would be a swell of international athletes descending on Jamaica and that he intended to put in a special performance.

Among the athletes attending the launch were sprinters Michael Frater, Zharnel Hughes, Yohan Blake, Warren Weir and hurdler, Hansle Parchment.

Minister Grange said a major part of her focus, as she leads the sports ministry, would be to seek to marry sports, entertainment and tourism and create the best opportunities for the country’s talent.

“Sport is entertainment and we want to ensure that we work closely with the Ministry of Tourism to maximise our ability to aid economic growth and create a prosperous nation by utilising the natural and human resources with which we have been so richly blessed.”

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