Jamaica Olympic Association steps up to support rising sprinter Bryan Levell's Paris 2024 dream

By sports desk July 08, 2024

On the brink of securing an Olympic berth in the historic city of Paris, Jamaica’s 2024 Men’s National 200m champion, Bryan Levell, has reached out to the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) for support. The JOA responded with a substantial investment of JMD$1,000,000.00 to aid his preparation for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

Levell, an Edwin Allen High graduate and a decorated Champs, Carifta, and Under-20 World Championship medalist, recently made a significant impact at the National Senior and Junior Championships where he ran a lifetime best of 9.97 in the 100m and won the national 200m title in another lifetime best of 19.97.

His remarkable performance cemented his status on the big stage and garnered the attention and support of the JOA.

In acknowledging the support, Levell expressed his gratitude, stating, "I am very proud to be the first recipient of the award, which will be very beneficial with me not having any support. By giving me this award, the JOA is supporting my dreams and aspirations."

The JOA’s swift and affirmative response to Levell’s request was anticipated. "Excellence and merit cannot be purchased; they are earned by giving it your all and do not subscribe to a ‘buy one, get one free’ mentality. It is this philosophy, this conviction, that drove the JOA to answer the call of Bryan and his team for support," stated JOA Secretary General and CEO, Ryan Foster.

Foster emphasized the significance of this partnership, describing it as "more than a smile and talk; it is a handshake that acknowledges excellence, empathizes with a need, and shares in an Olympic dream that has become a reality. It is a firm handshake of mutuality that says we’re in this together in realizing Bryan’s aspirations and for Jamaica’s glory."

Levell’s manager, Damia Russell, praised Levell’s resilience and determination in the face of having "zero sponsorship." She stated, "Bryan intends to advocate and show other young boys and girls that dreams do come true and hard work works."

The JOA’s commitment to supporting athletes is further reflected in their view that "making your mark is not time-bound or dependent on a condition that you must know your place until someone gives you space. It is grasping the moment in time, creating your space, and owning a place in history, which Bryan is doing," emphasized Foster.

The JOA's President, Christopher Samuda, added, "We have a social contract with our sportsmen and women who are our business, livelihood, and lifeblood. We are delivering opportunities on a level playing field, and with this financial investment, we are levelling the vibes for Bryan now so that he can ‘tun up di vibes’ as he pursues his athletic career and academic goals."

In a historic move in 2021, the JOA inaugurated and invested millions of dollars in its own coaches’ scholarship program, complementing the existing Olympic solidarity scholarships for athletes. At the official launch of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games in May, the governing body announced increased financial support to other athletes, including Malik James-King, Samantha Hall, Shanieka Ricketts, and Nayoka Clunis, all of whom have earned a place on Jamaica’s track and field team for the Olympic Games.

The JOA’s "Young Olympic Changemakers" award serves as an Olympic appetizer for young athletes who thirst and hunger for, and indeed achieve, excellence. Bryan Levell's journey to the Paris 2024 Olympics is a testament to this commitment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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