Curling Jamaica president eyes for Olympic gold by 2040

By February 19, 2024

Curling Jamaica President Ian Robertson is aiming for Jamaica to become Olympic champions in the next decade and a half. The Canada-born and based Robertson, during a press conference hosted by the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) on Monday, revealed plans to grow interest in the sport among Jamaicans in the coming years and eventually win Olympic gold.

“In 12 to 16 years, there is going to be a gold medal champion. That’s our vision, that’s our goal and we thank the Jamaica Olympic Association for helping is attempt to achieve that,” Robertson told media at the JOA Headquarters on Cunningham Avenue in Kingston.

Jamaican-born Ben Kong incorporated the Jamaica Curling Federation in Canada in 2020. The following year the Jamaica Curling Federation Limited was incorporated in Jamaica and operating as Curling Jamaica and in 2022 was granted membership to the Jamaica Olympic Federation and World Curling Federation, subsequently holding their first team practice in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

Since then, it has made significant strides with Jamaican teams participating in the Pan Continental Championships held in Canada between October 29 and November 4, 2023. The women’s team made their international debut at the tournament and won the silver medal, finishing with a 5-2 record.

Jamaica’s Mixed Doubles team competed at the World Mixed Doubles qualifier in Dumfries, Scotland from December 2 to 9, 2023. Jamaica finished with a record of two wins and four losses in the 26 team tournament finishing third in their group from which China and France qualified for the World Championships.

“So we sent two teams to world events and since we are a new country we have to start in the pre-qualifying to work our way up to the actual world event,” Robertson explained.

“The women were five and two and we finished with the silver medal in the B Division of the Pan Continental. First place there would have put us into a world event, so they were one win away from being in the pool and a shot at the world championships. All of this earns points towards the Olympic pre-qualifying and getting into the main draw of the Olympics.

“We had sent a mixed doubles team to the mixed doubles world qualifying. There were 26 teams and it is broken down into pools. As it turns out two of the teams in the pool that Jamaica was in qualified for the worlds, so it was a tough group.”

Robertson revealed that there are plans for Jamaica to participate in more qualifying tournaments in 2024 as the association progresses its strategic plan for future growth.

“So this year we plan to have a men's team and a women's team which will play in the Pan Continentals in October and the next doubles team which will play at the end of November and potentially there'll be some other teams like World Seniors and various events like that which are more of practice for our players to get ready for the national, the big national three teams.”

Meantime, the association is concentrating on growing its membership thus widening the pool of potential players it can select from.

“Over the last couple of years we've grown the membership from the three. We actually have expanded to 25 now with our membership and like a sponsorship that helps us grow our finances so we can pay for day-to-day business transactions and so on.

 “Our goal is to grow from within and the ultimate goal is to have four Jamaicans learn how to curl and in 12 to 16 years they win a gold medal in the Olympics.”

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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