Editorial

Jamaica-China sport agreement a good move

Saturday, October 28, 2017

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The Jamaica-China relationship is expanding in even more areas with the signing earlier this week of a Letter of Exchange which sealed a technical cooperation project on sports. In one fell swoop, we have moved from the building of highways, sugar cane production, bauxite mining and other more commercial agreements to the vast horizon of sports.

This signing between Minister of Sports Miss Olivia Grange and His Excellency Niu Qingbao, ambassador of the People's Republic of China to Jamaica, was historic in that it was the first time that coaches from China will assist Jamaican athletes in the sporting disciplines of swimming, synchronised swimming, badminton, gymnastics, volleyball, football and basketball. We note from the Letter of Exchange that for volleyball, football and basketball the emphasis will be placed on our women.

This newspaper is particularly pleased with the fact that with this new agreement, some 138 local athletes, coaches and other support staff will be travelling to China for, at first, a stay of two months, during which time they will be under the tutelage of various Chinese coaches and the keep and care of the Chinese Government. We will also hold Minister Grange to her word that “The Jamaican Government is expected to put a plan in place to ensure effective project management as well as to ensure the security and welfare of the coaches.”

Far too often agreements such as these have been brokered and while initially there is always much interest, their long-term viability is scuppered when the final results are assessed and tallied. Let there be no doubt in our minds that the Chinese are currently one of the most powerful sporting nations on planet Earth in a number of disciplines, so to be able to reach this agreement with China is a real feather in Jamaica's cap. Without doubt we can learn a lot from the Chinese, so as to improve our stocks and to perform with aplomb especially in the sports which are not considered to be part of our regular repertoire.

What we are hoping for is the type of response from our athletes and others involved with this agreement to not only learn and increase the efficiency of their personal performances but, at the end of it all, they must be able to pass on the newly acquired knowledge to athletes at the local level who did not get the chance to participate.

Apart from any personal success that is attained by participating Jamaican athletes, the real result indicator we require in assessing this new and historic Jamaica-China agreement is constant sharing of knowledge over time.

We are also hoping that as a sequel to this initial agreement both governments are already at the negotiating table to sign as quickly as diplomacy will allow, another Letter of Exchange which sees Jamaica and her coaches hosting Chinese athletes in the sporting endeavours where we are particularly gifted. Of course, we make mention of the international prowess of our coaches in track and field.

This newspaper gives the thumbs up to this new agreement and wish our athletes well as they continue their journey of learning.

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