Jamaica to support Barbados weightlifting championships next year, says federation
President of the Jamaica Weightlifting Federation, Mark Broomfield

President of the Jamaica Weightlifting Federation, Mark Broomfield has signaled the nation’s intention to support regional partners Barbados when they host their Caribbean weightlifting event next year.

Andrew Callendar, who is the Barbados Amateur Weightlifting President, along with the President of the Pan American Weightlifting Federation, Jose Quinones visited the island last week and paid courtesy calls on various sporting bodies to help drum up support of the sport in Jamaica.

While here, Callendar revealed that his Federation would be bringing back their event onstream next year after cancellations due to COVID-19.

Barbados Amateur Weightlifting President, Andrew Callendar

“I promise you that we will have a tournament in 2023 in Barbados and we will be inviting the English-speaking Caribbean and I assure you that it will be fantastic,” he promised.

The former lifter turned administrator believes that the event will help to catapult the sport in the region.

“It is very important to be quite honest, on a personal note I am extremely excited about it. It is over 15 years now that I have been dreaming to see something happen in the region for weightlifting.”

Callender insisted that regional development is important to achieve long-term success in the sport.

“We have to learn to play with ourselves and to be quite honest, like any other sport we are doing in the Caribbean, we cannot continue going to international events and struggling for lack of knowledge (and) lack of skill. So, we need to hone our skills and have the knowledge before we leave. I think that this is the ideal time for weightlifting to take off, right now in the Caribbean,” he continued.

He pointed to the time when Caribbean nationals were doing particularly well in the sport at both the Commonwealth and Olympic levels.

“Back in the day, thirty, forty years ago, the Caribbean was outstanding in weightlifting, either regionally or most of them ended up lifting for the UK at the time.

“We want to see the sport develop in the Caribbean with local input and to grow at the regional level and deliver, like what we always do in other sports. It may be track and field here in Jamaica, motor sport in Barbados, we can do it, we can definitely do it,” he insisted.

And Broomfield has thrown his full support behind the Barbados initiative which could lead to regional integration and growth.

“The competition that is set for Barbados next year is important for the region and certainly for Jamaica. If we are going to grow the sport in the Caribbean, then we must have Caribbean competitions supported by the Caribbean community that are involved in the sport.”

Broomfield also noted that regional events are the perfect platform to expose local based athletes to high level competition.

“So, we stand behind and in support of Barbados in the hosting of this event and we look towards the future because we would like to host this event sometime in the future as well and we would like to be able to send local based athletes.

“We want to focus some of our attention for these events within the region on local based Jamaican talent. It is important for the region to grow the sport and it is important for Jamaica because it’s close enough and our athletes can get a chance to know what it feels like to be in an international competition,” he concluded.

The event in Barbados is scheduled for next year in November, with the exact date still to be confirmed.

Dwayne Richards

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