Sloley, Brown to lead Jamaica's 13-member team to World Youth Olympics

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

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'Generation Next', the Jamaica Olympic Association's (JOA) mantra for those poised to continue Jamaica's rich legacy in track and field, will be captained by Kingston College's Shantamoi Brown and Immaculate Conception High's Danielle Sloley, respectively, at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) World Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

In total, 13 ambassadors will be carrying the nation's hopes at the global event scheduled for October 4-18 in the South American country. They include nine boys — male captain Brown, Apalos Edwards, Michali Everett, Kimar Farquharson, Shacquille Lowe, Vashaun Vascianna, Antonio Watson and Evaldo Whitehorne.

Sloley, an outstanding thrower, is leader of the female outfit which also includes Daniella Deer, Shantae Foreman, Ackera Nugent and the lone swimmer, Emily MacDonald.

“The next generation will lead and lead very well,” noted Christopher Samuda, JOA president, at yesterday's press briefing to name the team, which took place at the JOA headquarters on Cunningham Avenue in Kingston.

“We believe that young people must be given a stage, a stage where they can shine,” added Samuda. “As Jamaicans they will carry with them a sense of responsibility that they'll discharge very well.”

As is reflected by the team make-up, Jamaica will make its major challenge in track and field, which officially gets under way on October 9. The opening ceremony is slated for October 5-6.

“The Youth Olympic Games is considered an elite sporting event designed to integrate a cultural and educational programme based on Olympism, social responsibility, skills development, expression and well-being and healthy lifestyles. It also boasts innovation, interactivity and fun for everyone,” said Ryan Foster, CEO, JOA.

He added: “Being selected to participate in this event suggests that you are among the best. Both the International Olympic Committee and the Jamaica Olympic Association, your local National Olympic Committee, have identified your potential and are invested in your development.”

Jamaica's Chef de Mission, Kamal Powell, stressed that the athletes selected themselves by way of performance.

“The athletes selected are some of the world's best athletes,” he noted. “You selected yourselves.”

He further pointed out that the event will encompass more than athleticism by way of a youth expo, which will present opportunities in the Games Village for “youth entrepreneurs”.

Jamaica first participated in the World Youth Olympics in 2010, winning one gold medal. They stepped up the pace in 2014, winning three gold and one bronze.

There are great expectations for this staging, which Argentine Ambassador Ariel Fernandez noted has record numbers.

“In terms of participation this is the biggest Youth Olympics with 179 countries and 36 sporting disciplines,” said Hernandez.

“This interaction for young people with other people in world sports will be lasting,” he added. “We've a sense of honour to organise these Games for the youth in Argentina. We're particularly delighted because it's the Youth Olympics.”

David Riley is head coach of Jamaica's team.

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