Gov't pumps $12m into national senior, junior championshipsFriday, June 18, 2021
The Government, through the Ministry of Sports, on Thursday committed $12 million to the National Senior and Junior Athletics Championships which will be used to select a significant part of the team that will represent Jamaica at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, next month and the Junior World Championships in Nairobi, Kenya, in August.
The national championships, which will be held June 24-27, was launched at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel on Thursday. The trials are highly anticipated by track and field fans after the Olympic Games were delayed by a year and the event cancelled last year.
With the announcement of the cancellation of a pre-Olympic Games camp in Japan still a fresh topic, the launch of the championships is positive news for athletes and fans alike.
Minister of Sport Olivia Grange said that the Government remains committed to the success of the athletes in these challenging times.
“There have been many hurdles that we have had to clear in order to be at this juncture, but the Government of Jamaica, through my ministry, has been steadfast in our commitment to return sport in a safe way and to provide support for you the athletes and other stakeholders in the sector,” she said.
The other main sponsor of the national championships is Supreme Ventures Limited, a long-standing sponsor of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA).
President of the JAAA, Garth Gayle, said this year's championships will be a special one.
“The national championships takes on a special significance this year, not only because it will decide our teams to the Tokyo Olympic Games and World Junior Championships, but also because with some exciting recent activities on the track. It will signal to the world that our track and field programme is on course to normality,” he said.
Gayle was thankful that things were moving in a positive direction for the country with regards to the taming of the novel coronavirus.
“Last year we did not have the national championships due to the pandemic; therefore, we have to thank the scientists, the doctors, and the authorities for putting us in a position to hold this important event in 2021.”
Ludlow Watts, the JAAA treasurer, who gave the outline for the four-day event, expects some stellar performances at the championships next week.
“We know that our athletes have been pleased that we have been allowed to stage various meets over the past weeks, and also that the Boys' and Girls' Athletics Championships were successfully staged. We at the JAAA learnt much from the development meets we staged, especially the JOA/JAAA Destiny Series,” he noted.
Based on the latest schedule, the junior athletes will participate in the mornings and the seniors in the afternoons.
— Dwayne Richards
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