JIS News

Some 300 athletes are slated to participate in the National Senior Citizens Sports Day this Thursday (August 31), at the Mona Bowl, University of the West Indies.
The event, which is now in its third year, is organised by the National Council for Senior Citizens (NCSC) and its partners, to promote active ageing.In fact, the event is fast becoming a major highlight for track and field fans, young and old. A testament of this, Beverley Edwards, the Parish Organizer for St. Andrew for the NCSC, told JIS News, is the large crowd support since its inaugural staging at the G.C. Foster College of Physical Education and Sport in St. Catherine in 2003.
“The seniors are able to show off some of their skills, as some were athletes in their youth. They also enjoy it very much,” Mrs. Edwards said.
She added that the NCSC provided transportation for “persons from all the parishes to attend the event, including persons within Kingston and St. Andrew. This year we are looking forward to having a bumper crowd as more persons want to come.”
She also attributed the increased interest in the event to the excellent performances of the local senior citizens team on the regional track circuit.
According to Mrs. Edwards, last year in Barbados was a very successful adventure. Then, the seniors participated in the regional family games and came back to Jamaica with 25 medals – 11 gold, 6 silver and 8 bronze. This medal haul, she said, opened the eyes of many Jamaicans, so much, that they want to be a part of it. This year, athletes in categories 60 to 64 years, 65 to 69 years, 70 to 74 years and 75 years and will compete in 50 metres, 100 metres, 200 metres, 800 metres and 1500 metres races, as well as field events such as shot putt, discuss and cricket ball throwing.
“Persons ask if we are sure that the seniors can manage the distances of 200 metres and beyond. We included the longer events because the seniors requested it. The 200 metres was introduced this year when one of the female athletes shattered the record last year during the games in Barbados,” Mrs. Edwards said.
She promises that fans will not be disappointed this year as the big guns on the senior circuit will be out to show off their talents. These include former Olympians, Lindley Headley and Dr. Patrick Robinson and last year’s top athlete, Jerry Reid from St. James.
The Council will also use the event to select the team to represent Jamaica at the upcoming Regional Senior Games from September 23 to 24 in Trinidad and Tobago.
This year the competition will be held under the distinguished patronage of Dr. Cynthia Thompson, Jamaica’s first female Olympian.
The activities are set to get underway at 9:00 a.m. and the opening ceremony is expected to commence at 11:00 a.m. with Minister of Labour and Social Security, Derrick Kellier; State Minister, Senator Floyd Morris and others bringing greetings.