JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Twenty athletes have been selected to participate in the 2nd Summer Youth Olympic Games to be held from August 16 to 28 in Nanjing, China.
  • The youngsters will be competing in four disciplines: 15 in track and field; two in volleyball; two in swimming, and for the first time at these games, one athlete will compete in fencing.
  • The athletes had to go through a “very tight qualifying process” by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Twenty athletes have been selected to participate in the 2nd Summer Youth Olympic Games to be held from August 16 to 28 in Nanjing, China.

The youngsters will be competing in four disciplines: 15 in track and field; two in volleyball; two in swimming, and for the first time at these games, one athlete will compete in fencing.

President of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA), Hon. Michael Fennell, who announced the team during a press conference held at the association’s headquarters in Kingston on Thursday, July 17, noted that the athletes had to go through a “very tight qualifying process” by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

He pointed out that the Youth Olympic Games has some unique features, such as two-on-two basketball, while track and field will have mixed relays with teams comprised of athletes from different countries.

There is also a Culture and Education Programme, which is a compulsory element of the games. Mr. Fennell explained that the programme focuses on the development of the “whole person,” rather than just athletic ability and features a variety of cultural and educational activities.

“The cultural programme will embrace, to a very large extent, the culture of China which is the host country. But you are also expected to bring to the table there, the culture from your own country and educational abilities,” he explained.

Mr. Fennell said that after meeting with the athletes, “we have every confidence… (that) we are going to be, not only solidly represented in the field of sport, but we are going to be well represented in off field activities as well”.

In the meantime, Minister with responsibility for Sport, Hon. Natalie Neita Headley, congratulated the athletes on qualifying for the games, which she noted “is really going to provide an international stage for our young men and women to raise the national flag once again”.

She further commended all the coaches and administrators “who continue to sacrifice time and personal resources in order to prepare our athletes to represent Jamaica”.

As part of the requirements for the event, a young ambassador and young reporter have been selected to be part of the Jamaican delegation.

The duty of the young ambassador is to encourage the country’s athletes to get the most out of the Youth Olympic experience by interacting with people from different sports and cultures, and taking part in activities and workshops. The young reporter is required to file stories from the games to his/her home country.