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The Government is looking to implement a formal system for the presentation of incentives and awards to the nation’s athletes.

“We believe, moving forward, the Government must institute a transparent and objective set of criteria for the awarding of incentives and awards to our athletes. We know that incentives and rewards are important in motivating individuals to achieve at their highest levels of performance,” said Minister with responsibility for Sport, Hon. Natalie Neita Headley.

She was making her contribution to the 2013/14 Sectoral Debate on Wednesday, June 5, in the House of Representatives.

“There is no doubt that our athletes deserve this special attention. They are role models, they give back enormous amounts to charity, to their communities, and to the nation at large,” the Minister noted.

She cited Veronica Campbell-Brown, Asafa Powell, Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake, Courtney Walsh and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce “as among our celebrated athletes, who have established foundations, which have done remarkable work. Many other sportswomen and sportsmen give back quietly on a daily basis with no PR (public relations).”

“We need to be mindful that any one of our athletes could choose to live overseas and represent another country at the highest level. They choose to remain sport ambassadors of Jamaica and we recognize that they have options,” she said, noting that they also help to raise the profile of Brand Jamaica on the world stage.

Contact: Chris Patterson