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JOA, Toyota Jamaica ink multi-million deal

Sunday, July 15, 2018

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Travelling across Jamaica for national sporting bodies just got easier. The wheels for that movement turned on a deal for a 2018 Toyota Hi-Ace 16-seater bus (valued in excess of $8 million).

Tom Connor, Toyota Jamaica's managing director and Christopher Samuda, president of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA), put signatures to the contract at Toyota Jamaica's Old Hope Road office on Thursday,which will see the JOA providing usage of the bus free of cost to its member associations. The agreement runs through to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

“At the JOA, we are driven by a culture of building solid and sustainable relationships in the interest of our members and for the development of sport and the local Olympic Movement,” said Samuda.

“Sport development demands consensus and mutually beneficial relationships between like minds and hearts across the sporting landscape and the commercial world. It demands private sector partnerships where financiers are creative investors, are given a bang for the buck and sporting bodies deliver on time and long term,” the attorney-at-law, continued.

Connor noted the significance placed on the partnership by Toyota Motor Coperation's (TMC) head honcho.

“Akio Toyoda, president of TMC, has taken a very active role in this initiative and it certainly isn't just another sponsorship deal,” said Connor.

“…Toyoda has been so impressed with the commitment and dedication of the Jamaican Olympic athletes and, in particular, the Paralympians; with the challenges they have overcome to get to where they are, that he has launched a new campaign for all TMC-affiliated companies called 'Start your Impossible',” he added.

“Toyota Jamaica, as an affiliate company of TMC, embraces the direction of TMC and is proud to sponsor with the JOA. We believe this bus will assist in the transportation of future medal winners in the 2020 Olympics,” Connor stated. “But not just that, we believe this will strengthen our Olympic associations' ability to transport budding Olympians to training events and competitions all round.”

The Toyota agreement includes a host of benefits not only to the JOA, but also its members.

Besides providing the bus, Toyota Jamaica will, during the contract period, provide full and comprehensive insurance; full service and maintenance; conduct, at no cost to the JOA, customised training of drivers identified by the JOA to operate the bus; provide the JOA with the facility of purchasing motor cars and sport utility vehicles (SUV) at a preferential discount rate; and also provide member associations of the JOA the facility of purchasing motor cars and SUVs at a preferential discounted rate.

“This benefit is important to the JOA as it provides another avenue other than direct solidarity funding through which we will be able to support our constituent members,” observed Ryan Foster, the JOA's CEO. “The JOA strongly believes in finding more creative ways of expanding our reach to our members in a bid for sporting development and excellence with an eye for achieving 10 sporting disciplines in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.”

Presidents of the Jamaica Cycling Federation and Jamaica Football Federation Joylene Griffiths and Michael Ricketts endorsed the JOA move.

Griffiths said: “When you have good partners they take your interest at heart. I am sure CEO Ryan can recall my call some weeks ago asking for a solution to our need to transport our cyclists and their bikes.”

Ricketts said: “I'm very delighted. We're now working so closely with the JOA, which offers a kind of catalyst. This motivates the JFF now more than ever. I said to my gen sec recently, 'Is this a new JOA?, because the JFF has never gotten this kind of support from the JOA.”

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