Coaches from several sports turn out in record numbers for JOA's 'high-level' course

By Sports Desk March 07, 2021

A record number of coaches across the spectrum of sports have responded to the call of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) in respect of a hi-level coaches' course, which will be delivered by Panam Sports in partnership with the Canadian Coaching Association.

 More than 70 stakeholders have registered their commitment to pursue the course, which will cover Coaching Philosophy and Leadership, Advanced Performance Planning, Energy Systems and Physiology, Strength and Conditioning, Sports Psychology, Advanced Injury Prevention and Recovery Strategies and High-Performance Analysis.

 The call by JOA is in keeping with its developmental strategies of which education and training are critical elements. In a communique to member federations and stakeholders concerning the course, JOA President, Christopher Samuda, made clear that the game plan of the governing body is "to build capacity for today's feats and tomorrow's legacies".

 The course is part of a suite of educational courses that the apex body is continuing to make accessible to stakeholders and supports the Advanced Sports Management Course (ASMC) which the JOA will, for the first time in its history, make available to a cohort in the Diaspora.

 There has never been a response of this magnitude by the sporting fraternity to any of its coaching initiatives.

In applauding the tremendous response to the coaches' course and the ASMC - which continues to be over-subscribed - JOA Secretary General/CEO, Ryan Foster, said: "Our members and stakeholders have not only seized the JOA's vision of the value of education and training but have embraced the known principle that an investment in education pays the best dividends in your working life and is your pension in your twilight years."

The national association for Olympic and non-Olympic sports is driven in creating and investing in lifelong skills and knowledge-based and technically equipped stakeholders. 

Samuda, in commenting on the strategic direction of JOA, stated: "The creation of a sports industry demands a physical and socio-economic infrastructure that is based on viable investments in the human capital and not on hand-outs, for the latter creates a dependency while the former promotes independence and mastery."

 Mastery, in the various disciplines of sport, is the business of the JOA which quite recently also made two calls for opportunities in pursuing master's degrees. The Master of Arts (MA), a postgraduate degree in Sports, Ethics and Integrity, and the Master of Sport Administration (MSP), a postgraduate degree in organizational management, sports marketing and research, are both tenable at international universities.

They will inaugurate an initiative that the JOA has branded ‘Olympic EduPower’ that will provide masters and doctoral educational opportunities for members and stakeholders in empowering them.

 “If sport is to become a sustainable business then the mind must first have and make an educated appointment with destiny, which the body will then be conditioned to keep it," said Samuda.

 Reflecting on Foster's comment last month when announcing that the JOA's pioneering Internship Programme, Samuda said it “is all about self-actualisation and a personal call to own your future in sport”.

 The Internship Programme is currently underway at Olympic Manor, the headquarters of the JOA.

 The JOA will create Olympic history locally, and arguably globally when later this year it makes its Internship Programme available to Jamaicans in the Diaspora. It will also in the second quarter of this year, through its educational ‘Stamina’ forum series roll-out, in collaboration with international federations, customized courses for administrators and coaches as part of its investment in education.

 

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  • Jamaica and the Caribbean mourn the sudden death of sports administrator Godfrey Lothian Jamaica and the Caribbean mourn the sudden death of sports administrator Godfrey Lothian

    Condolence messages continue to pour in locally and from across the region in reaction to the sudden passing of the immediate past president of the Jamaica Table Tennis Association (JTTA) Godfrey Lothian on Tuesday.

    The 65-year-old sports administrator reportedly suffered from a heart attack at his home Tuesday morning and was declared dead at the hospital sending the table tennis, cricket and football fraternities into shock. Lothian served three terms as JTTA President from 2013 to 2019. He was also a member of the board of the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA).

    He also served the sport of football for decades.

    As such, the Kingston and St. Andrew Football Association (KSAFA) said it extended its deepest condolences to the President of Greenwich Town FC and the family of Godfrey Lothian.

    “For over 30 years he had a passion for youth and grassroots programmes within the Greenwich Town Football community.

    President of KSAFA Wayne Shaw highlighted that "Lothian was a community man who wanted to see the best for the youth. His contribution to football will be remembered".

    Minister of Gender, Culture, Entertainment and Sports Olivia Grange also expressed her surprise at the sudden passing of the respected administrator.

    “I am deeply shocked to learn that Mr Godfrey Lothian died unexpectedly at his home. Mr Lothian was a devoted servant of the sport of table tennis in Jamaica and his contribution will not be forgotten. My heartfelt sympathy to his family, JTTA and the table tennis fraternity,” the minister said.

    The Jamaica Cricket Association also reacted to the news.

    “Director Lothian served as the president of the Kingston and St Andrew Cricket Association. He also served as a director on the JCA’s board. On behalf of the JCA and the wider cricket, we once again extend condolences and offer continuous prayer,” the JCA said in a statement.

    However, the local and regional table tennis was the hardest hit fraternity.

    News of Lothian’s death sparked messages of sympathy from table tennis associations from across the Caribbean including the International Table Tennis Federation, Barbados, Cuba, Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, French Guiana, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, Haiti, Martinique, Bonaire, Suriname, St Vincent and the Cayman Islands.

     Closer home,  Lothian helped bring the sport back from obscurity by focusing on youth development and engaged scores of children and their parents.

    Andrew Lue, the current JTTA president said he was both shocked and saddened by the news of Lothian’s death. “I learnt a lot from him,” Lue said. “This is shocking. We had our differences but I would not wish this on anyone.”

     Natalie Johnson a former manager of the Juniors National team, under Lothian’s presidency, said she was in disbelief.

    “His passing is a real shock and my heart goes out to his family,” she said.

    “I got involved with the table-tennis community because of my son Azizi. I can categorically say that under Mr Lothian leadership the juniors excelled to the level where they competed internationally. He ensured that the juniors were exposed every chance he got. May his soul rest in peace."

    National player Kane Watson said Lothian had a strong following and people who didn’t see things his way but he was committed to the cause and worked hard. “He wanted better for table tennis,” Watson said.

    Klan Bell-Lewis, the mother of Gianna and Tsenaye Lewis, who represent Jamaica at the junior level, said Lothian made significant contributions to the sport.

    "As a parent of girls, I am appreciative of Mr Lothian and his administration for creating a space where girls were welcomed and encouraged within the sport. His contribution to youth development through table tennis is significant," she said.

    Lewis's daughter, Tsenaye, a member of the national squad from 2016-2019, described the late president as a man of vision.

    “Rest in peace, Mr Lothian. He was a visionary organizer and he had a lot of hopes for the junior players. May his legacy live on."

     

     

     

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