Minister with responsibility for Sports, Hon. Natalie Neita-Headley, has committed to boosting the capacity of local sports organisations.
This, she said, is in an effort to increase the number of events that Jamaica will participate in at the next Olympics in Rio de Janiero, Brazil in 2016.
Mrs. Neita Headley was speaking at the launch of the opening of nominations for the Courtney Walsh Award for Excellence recently, at Cuddy’z Sports Bar in New Kingston. The Sports Minster said she wants to see Jamaica participating in at least 13 events in Rio.
"I am committed to ensuring that as I work with the partners involved – the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA), the JAAA's (Jamaica Athletic Administrative Association) and the various sporting disciplines – that we look at diversifying and increasing the number of areas in which Jamaicans will participate in Rio 2016…If we can focus on seven for 2016, to add to the six that we are already in, then we will be in 13 for 2016,” she said.
The Sports Minister stated that disciplines such as beach volleyball, table tennis, cycling, badminton, skeet, boxing, among others, can be explored.
She also pledged to seek to further develop the institutions that provide technical support for the athletes as they prepare for the next Olympics.
Turning to the importance of the Courtney Walsh award, Mrs. Neita-Headley said it is significant and seeks to highlight and recognise the importance of the athlete.
The award, which is administered by the CHASE Fund, seeks to recognise the achievements of a sports person, who displays exemplary qualities while excelling in the field of sports.
The award carries a cash prize of $500,000. Nomination forms are available at the Jamaica Cricket Association; the Sports Development Foundation, the JOA, Inter Secondary Sports Association (ISSA), the Institute of Sports, or on the CHASE website: www.chase.org.jm.
All forms must be submitted to the CHASE office at 52-60 Grenada Crescent, Kingston 5, or emailed to; firstname.lastname@example.org. Nominations close on September 29.