Jamaica to send 20 athletes to Summer Youth Olympics

BY HOWARD WALKER Observer senior reporter walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, July 18, 2014

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JAMAICA will be sending 20 athletes to the Second Summer Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China, August 16-28 where they will participate in athletics, beach volleyball, swimming, and fencing.

But, more importantly, they will get the chance to experience first-hand other cultures.

Mike Fennell, president of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA), noted that the Youth Olympic Games are the ultimate multi-sport event for young athletes, but they are more than just competing and performing, it's about learning important skills, connecting to other cultures and celebrating the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect.

"It's a unique feature," noted Fennell. "The Youth Olympic Games is not just another sporting event. There is a compulsory element to it which is the Cultural Educational Programme. The idea is the development of the whole person," he said.

Christopher Samuda, JOA's general secretary, outlined that the organisation is firmly behind youth development and every encouragement will be given to assist.

"So our ensuring Jamaica's participation in the Nanjing Youth Olympics is born out of a duty, a responsibility we acknowledge we have to our youth and Jamaica's future," he added.

Jamaica will be a part of the Americas team and of course, track and field will be the strongest of the four sporting disciplines. Fifteen athletes have been selected with World Youth champions Jaheel Hyde (110m hurdles) and Martin Manley (400m) leading the charge.

Other members of the athletics team are: Raheem Chambers (100m), Chad Walker (200m), Lushane Wilson (high jump), OBrien Waysome (long jump), Jordon Scott (triple jump), Vashon McCarthy (discus), Shanice Reid (100m), Natalliah Whyte (200m), Tiffany James (400m), Junelle Bromfield (800m), Janeek Brown (100h), Shenice Cohen (400h), and Janell Fullerton (discus). Orville Byfield will coach the athletes with Ian Forbes as manager.

Shavar Bryan and Rojey Hutchinson will represent Jamaica in Beach Volleyball and will be coached by Adrian Ramdeen. Tia Simms Lynn will be the lone participant in the fencing event known as epee. She is based in England with her coach Andy Hill and will join the team en route to China.

Meanwhile, Timothy Wynter and Sidrell Williams will be splashing away in the pool representing Jamaica. Wynter will be participating in the in 50m, 100m and 200m backstrokes, while Williams will be in the 50m, 100m butterfly and the 50m freestyle. Syreeta Biggs is the coach.

GC Foster College's sprinter Kedisha Dallas won't be competing, but will be Jamaica's young ambassador with Caribbean Institution of Media and Communications Ricardo Chambers of TVJ the young reporter in a special representative category.

Swimming aficianado Jacqueline Walters will be in a different role this time as chef de mission.




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