Samuda sees bright future for skeet shooting despite COVID-19 challenges

Samuda sees bright future for skeet shooting despite COVID-19 challenges

BY SHERDON COWAN
Observer staff reporter
cowans@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, October 11, 2020

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LIKE every sport and sporting association in Jamaica, shotgun shooting and the Jamaica Skeet Club (JSC) have been adversely affected by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But despite the setbacks brought about by the health crisis and the expected challenges to come, JSC President Jordan Samuda takes heart in the overwhelming support of members and others which continues to drive the club and sporting clays forward.

Samuda's sentiments came shortly after the recent reopening of the Portmore, St Catherine-based club, with strict health and safety protocols being enforced in a no-nonsense approach to safeguard the club, its members and employees from the infectious virus.

This move, Samuda said, is a reinforcement of their committment to creating a safe environment for all and to once again enjoy the sport and, by extension, assist the club in regaining some semblance of financial traction.

“We took the early step to close our club and cancel multiple events to ensure we maintain the safety of our members, our employees and our associated stakeholders.

“Since then, we have gone to great lengths to create and implement a robust set of health and safety protocols at our club and at our events to provide a safe environment that allows our members and guests to once again enjoy the sport they love,” Samuda told the Jamaica Observer in a recent interview.

“To this end, we will be strictly enforcing our JSC policy. So, if you do not adhere to all established protocols you and your guest [if applicable] will be asked to leave the club immediately,” he added.

Though their annual general meeting (AGM) has once again been pushed back, Samuda expressed great optimism that all other calendar dates and events will remain intact for the time being.

The 10-month-long season will kick off with the Bernard Cridland Memorial on November 1 and will culminate in July 2021 with the premier, two-day, All Jamaica competition.

“We are thrilled to have reopened our club, albeit under certain restrictions, and we are very excited to kick off our action-packed competition calendar later this month. We have 19 events planned across 10 months and I'm optimistic that we will maintain all events on our calendar.

“I'm also extremely happy to welcome the Guardsman Group as the main sponsor of our National Shotgun Championship series of events, and we look forward to working with the Guardsman Group for the upcoming season,” Samuda noted.

That said, the president is also taking aim at continued growth for the sport which has increased in popularity over the years under various leaders, chief among them Khaleel Azan.

With these being unprecedented and ever changing times, Samuda pointed out that the JSC's outdoor facility and shotgun shooting at clay targets could be the perfect way to reduce stress and anxiety brought on by the pandemic.

“While we recognise that the next 12 to 24 months will present significant challenges, I am comforted by the support of our passionate members and agencies such as the Sports Development Foundation (SDF) and the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA),” he shared.

“Our club prides itself on creating a social atmosphere with a sense of camaraderie amongst all those who participate; and whilst this aspect has been dampened by the pandemic, we continue to enjoy sound participation and growing membership.

“Like most entities in Jamaica, we are also taking the necessary precautions to safeguard our financial well-being by prioritising only our essential activities,” Samuda asserted.

“So despite the challenges ahead, we are positive and optimistic about the future of our country and of our sport and remain committed to the growth and development of both,” Samuda ended.


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