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Prime Minister, Bruce Golding, says Government is committed to playing a critical role in the development of sports as a major industry and is already fine-tuning a number of areas that will open new doors of opportunities for new talents.
Mr. Golding was addressing the Courtney Walsh Award for Excellence, last night (Oct 14), at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston. He said that while sponsors concentrated more on going after the champions, Government needed to get into the communities and villages to find those yet to be discovered talents, as there are many more Usain Bolts, Asafa Powells and Courtney Walshs waiting to be discovered.
He commended the organisers of the Courtney Walsh Award for Excellence and its sponsors, CHASE Fund, for staging the annual event which bears the name of another distinguished Jamaican sportsman, whom he said had placed Jamaica on the map of the world, through his record breaking performance in cricket.
Mr. Golding said this demonstrated yet another dimension of our potential. “We need to identify, recognise and celebrate achievements of our sportsmen and women. But we need to recognise that their success does not come easy. It takes talent, dedication, training and commitment and when they do well, we must hold them up and recognise them”, Mr. Golding said.
In his address to the function, Ambassador Courtney Walsh said he was humbled that his own country saw it fit to name the award in his honour. He called on his fellow sportsmen and women who were nominated, to always give back to the youth and to their country as by doing so they could help to save young people from going down the wrong path. Ambassador Walsh also added his voice to the call for an end to crime and violence, noting that Jamaica needed to return to the status of being the ideal place to live.
The recipient of the 4th Courtney Walsh award is the outstanding West Indies cricketer, Nehemiah Perry. In accepting the award, Mr. Perry emphasised the need for hard work, discipline, dedication and the need to focus on goals and dreams, if success is to be achieved. He called for a renewal of discipline not only in sports but the society in general.
The Courtney Walsh Award was launched in September 2005, with the support of the National Council on Sports, in collaboration with the CHASE Fund. The recipients of the award to date are cricketer James “Jimmy” Adams, Deon Hemmings-McCatty, Olympic Gold Medallist (2006) and Elaine Davis – Netball Champion (2007).