Minister with responsibility for Sports, Hon. Natalie Neita-Headley, has suggested that the Government, through the Sports Development Foundation (SDF), could seek to diversify the number of sporting disciplines in which the country participates.
"We have proven that we can do it. I think it’s going to be a matter of focus and programming. I believe that whatever we involve ourselves in, once there is focus and application, we should be able to do it. I think (that swimmer) Alia Atkinson’s work at this Olympics should serve as a catalyst for us to go more indepth in swimming," Mrs. Neita Headley said.
The Minister was speaking on her arrival from London on August 13, at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston. Accompanying the Minister were some of the athletes who took part in the Olympics, including sprinter, Asafa Powell; discus thrower, Travis Smikle, and 400-metre hurdler, Nickiesha Wilson. Also returning were members of the management team, led by Head Coach, Maurice Wilson.
Mrs. Neita Headley also mentioned the positive impact that brand Jamaica had on the global event in London.
"When I walked into the stadium each evening, there were people I know who have never been to Jamaica, and they had on Jamaican colours, and had their hair sprayed in Jamaican colours. This goodwill as you walked across London, I hope, is going to be a clear indication to all of us as Jamaicans, what impact our athletes have on our country and the opportunities that now exist for private/public sector to jump on board and to make use of this opportunity,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Sports Minister said that overall, the country performed well at the games.
"There were few moments of minor disappointments, where I was expecting more, but overall I think we had a good game and as a country, we should be proud,” Mrs. Neita Headley said.
Jamaica finished 18th on the medal table at the London 2012 Olympics with 12 medals – four gold, four silver and four bronze.
On hand to meet the Minister and team members were Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell and Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Noel Arscott.