Justice Patrick Robinson, author of the book ‘Jamaican Athletics … a model for 2012 and the world,’ has called for the establishment of an athletic museum to celebrate the achievements of the country’s athletes, their coaches and administrators.
“We need to have a place where people can go to and enjoy looking and reading about the achievements of what I consider to be the number one industry of international standard in Jamaica – athletics,” Mr. Robinson stated, as he launched the book at St. Paul’s United Church in Montego Bay, St. James on Sunday (Jan. 4).
“I believe that what we have achieved in Beijing was not the culmination of our athletic prowess and dominance, but a high point. We have the ability to go beyond this and the museum would seek to motivate both present and future athletes towards the achievement of excellence,” added the author, who is a judge at the International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague and a keen sports-follower.
The book, which is an updated edition, captures Jamaica’s dominant position in global athletics over the last 60 years. It not only highlights the world beating performances, but seeks to explain what has made Jamaicans such exceptional athletes and what other sports and society in general, can learn from this success.
Governor-General, His Excellency The Most Hon. Professor Sir Kenneth Hall, in launching the book, said “it will certainly add to the literature on Jamaican nationalism over the last 60 years.”
The work, he noted, highlights the successes of the past and the great possibilities of the future.
Governor General, His Excellency, the Most. Hon. Professor Sir Kenneth Hall, addresses participants at the official launch of the new edition of the book ‘Jamaican Athletics … A model for 2012 and the World’ at the St. Paul United Church in Montego Bay on January 4. Written by Justice Patrick Robinson, the book highlights the significance of the performance of Jamaica’s athletes in global athletics over the past 60 years, and in particular the achievements at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China.
“As a Jamaican nationalist, Justice Patrick Robinson has skillfully used the information in the book to remind Jamaicans of their past achievements and the potential for even greater accomplishment on the world’s stage. The central theme of this book is the observation of the Jamaican athletic system, the innate assertive and competitive spirit of Jamaicans, and the athletic talent that abounds in Jamaica. It shows that Jamaicans can achieve what they will, in the language of National Hero Marcus Garvey,” the Governor-General stated.
Minister of Tourism, Ed Bartlett, in his remarks, said that for tourism, “this book is a great introduction to an important experience that Jamaica offers to our visitors, and that is marketing the passions of the people and the great passion of sports.”
He noted that sports “is a niche that Jamaica can do well to benefit from and indeed, we will be benefitting from over the next few years.”
Managing Editor of the Western Mirror, Lloyd B. Smith, who gave the keynote address, said that effort must be made to capitalise on the achievements of the athletes at the recent Beijing Olympics in order to advance and enhance the economy.
“One of our weak areas in Jamaica is that we have not done sufficient research and development on our own peculiarities and we allow others to come and take away those things that make us so distinctively Jamaican, such as our reggae, our Blue Mountain Coffee and now we have a brand in the person of a Usain Bolt and others. We must ensure that we capitalise on these very distinctive qualities,” Mr. Smith stated.
He argued that Justice Robinson’s book is not just a work of literary excellence, but “it is also a wake up call for the country to arise to greater achievement. Within the context of the global financial meltdown, we must take a serious look at how we can use the Beijing experiences to transform our people and our economy and begin to believe in ourselves and begin to use our talents and capabilities in productive enterprises in order to transform our country economically and otherwise.”
Mr. Smith endorsed the appeal for the establishment of a track and field museum, which would capture and highlight not only athletics, but also the Trelawny yam and other things that have helped to build and mould the country’s athletes.