The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has reaffirmed the Government of Jamaica’s commitment towards the development of the country’s Special Olympics programme.
Minister Grange said that, over the years, the government, through the Sports Development Foundation has provided financial support to Special Olympics Jamaica by way of a monthly subvention of $292,400 and additional funding to help with preparations for the Winter Games.
In her message read by the Honourable Alando Terrelonge, Minister of State in the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, at a ceremony to welcome Mary Davis, CEO of Special Olympics International to Jamaica, at the Multipurpose Court, Independence Park on Tuesday (April 10), Minister Grange said, “Through the Special Olympics programme, abilities are emphasised rather than disabilities and each athlete is encouraged to give of their best.”
The Minister said that through the Jamaica Athletes Insurance Plan, the Government continues to make significant contribution towards the health and wellbeing of all Special Olympians.
“I am pleased to note that all 71 athletes in your programme are registered as part of the Jamaica Athletes Insurance Plan, which provides Group Health, Group Life and Personal Accident Coverage. The value of our contribution is approximately $241,000 monthly in premiums,” Minister Grange said.
Minister Grange also used the opportunity to laud the management team, coaches and support staff for their “stellar efforts” in working with the Special Olympics athletes. She commended them on their “ability to organise athletes of all ages from the fourteen parishes to participate in various sporting activities.”
“We have realised that the Special Olympics programme continues to grow and so we will be paying close attention to how the programme expands and the required skill sets that will be needed to support your continued development,” Minister Grange said.