Jamaica Karate comes to the defence of teens trying to restart after pregnancy

By Melissa Talbert July 30, 2020
jamaica Karate member Jessica Cargill jamaica Karate member Jessica Cargill

The Jamaican Karate Team will donate the proceeds from their virtual master class ‘Defend The Future’ to the Women’s Centre of Jamaica Foundation.

Pushing towards qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and developing the sport locally would make it understandable for the karate team not to look outside of themselves still, they are making their contribution to social change.

In particularly, they are attempting to change the way mothers aged 17 and under, who have dropped out of school due to pregnancy, are valued, and attempting to change their opportunities.

A statement from the athletes highlighted, “To be a Jamaican athlete goes hand in hand with the desire to not only lift up your community, but to also inspire social change in the world.”

“As a team, we have come together to DEFEND THE FUTURE, to share our knowledge and experiences to raise funds to support the Women’s Centre of Jamaica Foundation, an organization that exists to provide vital support to mothers aged 17 and under, who have dropped out of the mainstream education system on account of pregnancy.”

The virtual class is scheduled for August 30th at 10 a.m and will feature karate athletes like Alton Brown, Kenneth Edwards, Jessica Cargill and Valentyna Zolotarova. The after-effect will help thousands of teen mothers who are dependent on the Women’s Centre of Jamaica like Tenuke Doyley once was in 2003.

According to Doyley, The Women's Centre of Jamaica has been serving teenage mothers for several decades, but the truth is they just can't do it alone. The organization needs all the help possible to continue providing motivation and education to teen moms. And if it’s one thing, Doyley knows what it feels like to grapple with the consequences of teenage pregnancy and admits, “who feels it knows it. I navigated life as a teen mom by standing on the shoulders of many and so, It's my duty to pay it forward.”

Doyley, the founder of the ‘Leave No Girl Behind Initiative’, created the project to “empower and equip teen moms with the tools necessary to be the best version of themselves.” The initiative is advocated by the likes of Usain Bolt, Ricardo Gardner and Dr. Zoe Simpson, Executive Director of the Women’s Centre of Jamaica Foundation.

Through support, Doyley hopes to see organizations like the Women’s Centre of Jamaica flourish so that women can get a chance to improve their lives and ultimately the society.

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    Last year I visited Trinidad and Tobago, met Brian Lara, did a couple of SSFL matches, walked the streets of Port of Spain, had some spicy doubles and attended the biggest party in sport. And needless to say, I fell in love with the twin-island republic. It was too short a stay.

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    Having said all of that... Jamaica is one heck of a country, and I'm proud that this is the country of my birth.

    What Jamaica has achieved as a nation, especially in sport, is incredible. We have led the way in the Caribbean and indeed much of the world in track and field, making a massive impact at the Olympics and the World Championships. Our athletes have showcased not just our talents but our culture. And I believe Jamaica's renaissance in track and field in 2008 at the Beijing Olympics is linked with the country's renaissance in tourism since that time, with tourist arrivals increasing by over 50 per cent according to tradingeconomics.com.

    We can claim to have sport's greatest-ever ambassador in Usain Bolt, and some of the greatest-ever female sprinters to grace the world in Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Veronica Campbell-Brown and Merlene Ottey.

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    Donald Oliver is a football and cricket commentator and a senior producer at SportsMax. Learn more about him at www.thedonaldoliver.com or email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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