Taking aim!


Taking aim!

JSC President Samuda keeps eye on target after COVID-19 halts progress

Observer staff reporter

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

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Like every other sport, the world of clay shooting is reeling from the widespread outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), but president of the Jamaica Skeet Club (JSC) Jordan Samuda is targeting a brisk return to proceedings when the pandemic ceases.

While disappointed with the disruption to the sporting clays calendar, Samuda pointed out that they are acutely aware of the wider implications of the deadly virus, which has infected more than 1.6 million and killed over 100,000 people worldwide.

Despite some 72 cases and four COVID-19 deaths recorded in Jamaica so far, Samuda believes the Andrew Holness-led Administration has been doing its best to restrict the spread of the virus in the island and noted that JSC members, staff and other stakeholders will continue to play their part in the fight to contain the spread of the virus.

“Unfortunately we were in the middle of the season when we closed. We have postponed a variety of competitions, including multiple events in our 2020 National Championship series, some junior competitions, and many other 100-target sporting clays competitions – including the most prestigious of them all, our 2020 NCB Capital Markets Sporting Clays Open,” Samuda shared.

“This year's staging of 'NCB Open' was returning to the very popular Caymanas Golf & Country Club and was poised to have the largest turnout for a one-day event in the history of our club, with over 180 shooters participating.

“But we are hopeful about picking up right where we left off, with high levels of participation and engagement by our membership once the virus ceases and our Government gives the green light for us to resume hosting our events,” he told the Jamaica Observer.

Though things are somewhat dull in this period of uncertainty, shooters have been using the time indoors to sharpen their psychological trigger, pending a return to the challenging and competitive sport that requires sheer accuracy and skill.

These mental sessions, Samuda said, are made possible courtesy of international coaches from the United States and United Kingdom who have taken to social media to offer training videos and other tutorials.

Among those coaches is many-time World Champion Ben Husthwaite, who has been a long-time friend to Jamaican shooters having visited The Rock on a several occasions to conduct one-on-one sessions.

“Even though our shooters are unable to practise outdoors many of them are working on the mental aspect of our sport through various mental rehearsal and visualisation techniques. Like golf, mental conditioning and technical preparation are extremely important and often overlooked by our shooters, so this downtime has really provided them an opportunity to enhance these areas.

“Many of our members say they are also focused on staying active and improving their physical fitness, which will certainly aid them with physical endurance when they return to competition,” Samuda explained.

That said, Samuda, who took the reins of the JSC last year after Evan Thwaites decided to call time after two years in charge, is looking forward to executing plans to continue the club's development when the pandemic is no more.

Samuda's plans also include strengthening the junior programme — the brainchild of former President and Coach Khaleel Azan — to ensure more scholarships for the young marksmen to universities in the United States, allowing them to continue shooting while pursuing higher education.

“The membership of the Jamaica Skeet Club and participation in our events have grown year after year for the past four years, and we have no doubt this trend will continue.

“We will continue to add more and more competitions to our calendar, as we have the demand from our membership and have also seen an increase in the interest from corporate Jamaica to partner with us to host events,” Samuda noted.

“I'm also very pleased with the continued growth of our juniors programme just branded the 'Jamaica Junior Hot Shots'. We will continue to foster and build our juniors programme as it plays such a major role in the future of our sport,” the former club secretary ended.

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