JIS News

Preparations are well underway for the 2009 homecoming celebrations for athletes who participated in the recent International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships, in Berlin, Germany.
The celebrations are scheduled from October 2 to October 4, and a National Planning Committee, chaired by the Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Hon. Olivia Grange, has been formed to plan several events, slated for Kingston and the western end of the island. These include a Golden Reception at Jamaica House, a National Thanksgiving Service at the Portmore Seventh Day Adventist Church, and a Fun Day and Concert at the Trelawny Multi-purpose Stadium.
At the second planning meeting, held on September 17, at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, in Kingston, Minister Grange said that the events were an excellent way for Jamaica to honour and show its appreciation to the athletes who participated in the World Championships. She noted that the events to celebrate the successes of the athletes were of extreme importance.
The Minister said that the ‘Golden Reception’, scheduled for Friday, October 2, under the theme, ‘Sustaining Excellence’, will be held under the patronage of Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding and Mrs. Golding. This event will take the form of a ceremonial opening, followed by cocktails and a 40-minute concert, featuring local artistes. It is being produced for television, including on-the-spot interviews with the athletes, sports and Government officials.
On Saturday, October 3, the Thanksgiving Service will be held to thank God for the successes in Berlin. This service will be attended by the Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding, Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Hon. Olivia Grange and His Worship the Mayor of Portmore Keith Hinds. Also in attendance will be the athletes and officials of the Jamaica Amateur Athletics Association (JAAA) and other sporting organisations.
The Minister said the Planning Committee will be working with officials of the Portmore Seventh Day Adventist Church, to explore the possibility of the athletes participating in the church service.
Western Jamaica will get its turn to celebrate when the Fun Day and Concert will be held at the Trelawny Stadium on October 4. Gates will open at 12:00 noon for the fun activities and persons attending will have to submit tickets, which will be available at various outlets.
The stadium is expected to come alive with kiddies rides, sprint dash contests as well as domino, song and dance competitions. Patrons will also get their chance to see the athletes who will be presented to the audience.
The concert, which begins at approximately 7:00 p.m. will feature local artistes and brief speeches by sports and Government representatives.
Jamaican athletes were very successful at the World Championships, winning a total of 13 medals – seven gold, four silver and 2 bronze, and placing second behind the United States in the medal haul.
Usain Bolt was the highlight of the meet, breaking his own world records in the 100 metres, by clocking 9.58 seconds, and in the 200 metres, in a time of 19.19 seconds. He also won a third gold medal in the Men’s 4 x 100 metres relay.

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