Gayle underlines Government's role in nomination for global award
Minister of Sports Olivia "Babsy" Grange whispers to JAAA President Garth Gayle during the launch event of the National Junior and Senior Championships at the JAAA offices in Kingston earlier this year. (Photo: Collin Reid)

President of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) Garth Gayle says Jamaica's nomination for the World Athletics Member Federation Award is "a proud moment for us".

Jamaica is one of six national federations that were shortlisted by World Athletics for the award that "honours a national governing body that has gone above and beyond to serve its athletes, fans, and greater community". Jamaica was nominated by each of the six area associations.

At short notice Jamaica had stepped in and hosted the Carifta Games in Kingston in April after the regional championships appeared to be in danger of not being held for a third-straight year due in part to the novel coronavirus pandemic as well as the inability of Guyana to host the event in 2022.

Bermuda were scheduled to host it in 2020, but the event was cancelled in that year as well as in 2021, and Guyana, which was scheduled to host in 2022, was unable to.

Gayle said: "Our stakeholders would have assisted with us getting nominated for such a prestigious award and so we are most grateful and thankful for the nomination.

"The executive of the JAAA has been working tirelessly in ensuring that the restart after the pandemic took place and so the Carifta Games, which are so important to our youth programme, had to be held, and so when it seems it was a possibility that it would have to be cancelled for the third year, the JAAA, under my leadership, stepped in."

Gayle singled out Jamaica's Sports Minister Olivia "Babsy" Grange and the Government for special mention, saying they "ensured that we had the most successful Carifta Games ever and we are now looking forward to another successful season".

The other five federations that were shortlisted are Brazil from South America; Guam from Oceania; Kenya from Africa; Korea from Asia; and Spain from Europe.

A release from World Athletics said: "In the face of difficult health and economic circumstances, Jamaica stepped forward to host the 49th Carifta Games. The record-breaking performances at the event were reflective of the preparations and commitment of the local organising committee, which was put in place by the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA).

"The country's athletes — particularly the women — produced outstanding performances at the elite end, namely at the World Athletics Championships Oregon 22, the World Athletics U20 Championships Cali 22, the Commonwealth Games, and on the Wanda Diamond League circuit."

The winner will be announced on the World Athletics' social media platforms in early December as part of the World Athletics Awards 2022.

Paul Reid

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