Sport coaching project a demonstration of Jamaica/China relations

Saturday, January 05, 2019

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Local sports associations should heed the advice of Ms Olivia “Babsy” Grange to make the best use of the opportunity offered under the Technical Cooperation Project on Sport Coaching between Jamaica and China.

Ms Grange, the minister of sport, made the call this week as she welcomed a new batch of Chinese coaches at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.

“I want to charge the associations to ensure, as much as possible, that training starts on time, that athletes embrace the values of hard work and discipline, and that your coaches learn as much as they can from this visit,” Ms Grange is reported saying.

She also reminded the associations of the goals that they have set for themselves, namely, to qualify for and improve Jamaica's ranking in major regional and international competitions including the PanAm Games this year and the Olympics next year.

Under the agreement, which Minister Grange signed last October, a team of coaches from China will be working with their Jamaican counterparts and athletes for one month, providing technical assistance in seven sporting disciplines — gymnastics, swimming, synchronised swimming, badminton, volleyball, football, and basketball.

We recall that last summer, a total of 138 athletes, coaches and managers travelled from Jamaica to China where they spent 60 days undergoing specialised training and engaging in competition.

The project, which is slated to run from 2018 to 2020, will see the Chinese Government donating equipment for the seven sporting disciplines, including a completely outfitted gym for gymnastics, which, we are told, is already in the island.

On the face of it, Jamaica stands more to benefit from this agreement, which is being funded by the Chinese Government to the tune of US$7 million. For, in addition to the arrangements we have already outlined, China, we are told, provided international round trip air tickets, training fees, accommodation and meals for the Jamaican trainees, sports officials, and journalists during their time in China, as well as training equipment.

Basically, all that is required of the Jamaican Government is to ensure that all administrative requirements are in place for travel by the Chinese team.

As it now stands, seven coaches, representing the seven disciplines, as well as a team manager and an interpreter are currently in Jamaica to begin year two of the project.

This level of cooperation speaks volumes to the friendly relationship that Jamaica and China have enjoyed for 45 years. It also demonstrates China's stated commitment to what it has termed “reform and opening-up” that started 40 years ago as part of that country's effort to achieve common development as well as closer ties with the rest of the world.

We commend China on this initiative and hope, like Minister Grange, that we here in Jamaica make use of this project.

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