Jamaica’s junior athletes yet again dominated their regional counterparts at the recently-concluded Carifta Games, held over the Easter holidays in Nassau, The Bahamas.
The country’s 69-medal haul has evoked praises from Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, Natalie Neita-Headley, and Opposition Spokesperson on Youth, Sports, Gender Affairs, Entertainment and Culture, Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange.
Simpson Miller said the success of Jamaica’s athletes underscores the excellence of its sporting programme.
“The sheer brilliance, depth and dominance of Team Jamaica once again demonstrate to the world that we are indeed a sporting nation with talent across a range of sporting disciplines,” Prime Minister Simpson Miller said.
Neita-Headley, minister without portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for sport, reserved special praise for the backup staff. – “I am most elated at the performance of the athletes who have just completed one of our record medal hauls,” Neita-Headley said. “It is not the best we have ever had at Carifta, but certainly one of the better years that we have had. I want to just extend my commendations to the coaches, the administrators and all the supporting personnel who continue to ensure that our youngsters are provided with the right grooming and support, which continue to make them such a success.”
Grange said the medal count shows that Jamaica’s position as the dominant force in regional track and field remains solid and in safe hands. Nevertheless, she warned the Jamaican officials and the athletes not to become complacent, as it is obvious that our Caribbean neighbors have been inspired by the success of our athletes and are determined to break the dominance.
“I would prefer to think that it is more of an inspiration to our neighbours to seek, at least, some level of international recognition and to guarantee that the region is recognised as an important source of world-class athletic talent,” Grange said.
Neita-Headley was not surprised by the team’s performance, given the record-breaking form the athletes had shown at Champs last month, but was heartened by the fact that the youngsters also demonstrated their prowess in the field events.
“I am also very mindful of the fact that some of our school facilities still remain in conditions that do not assist in allowing our youngsters to do better, and we are going to be focusing as we go forward on how it is that we can assist our high schools to develop their facilities to encourage the type of performance that is going to allow Jamaica to remain on top of the scale,” Neita-Headley said.
CONGRATULATIONS JAMAICA !