The Jamaica Men’s National Field Hockey Team secured automatic qualification to the 2023 Central American & Caribbean (CAC) Games by placing 1st at the recently concluded CAC qualifiers in Bermuda from April 14th – 17th.

Jamaica’s Richard Harris was voted Most Valuable Player with Brandon Clark getting an award for leading Goal Scorer in the tournament.

The Female team played extremely well but were unfortunate to end the tournament in 3rd position on four (4) points, with Bermuda and Puerto Rico, first and second respectively on seven (7) and five (5) points respectively. Jamaica’s Shakira Elliot copped the award for the leading goal scorer for the tournament.

The Women’s team still have the possibility of qualification, based on the fact that the Games have now been moved from El Salvador to Dominican Republic, whose women team have already qualified.  This creates another qualifying position that would have been reserved for the host country. Therefore, according to Alberto "Coco" Budeisky the President of the Pan American Hockey Federation that qualifying spot will/should be awarded to the 3rd place (Jamaica) from the Bermuda Qualifiers. 

“This was possible only through the tremendous partnership with the Jamaica Olympics Association (JOA) based on assistance with the delivery of our continued coaching development programs, provision of strategic guidance and the contribution of critical resources for tournament participation.  Thanks to the stewardship of JOA’s President Christopher Samuda, and Managing Director, Ryan Foster and the entire JOA staff, Jamaica Hockey Federation (JHF) will now be represented in the CAC Games in the Dominican Republic in June 2023,” said the JHF in a statement.

 

 

 

In what could be seen as its clearest demonstration yet of its thrust towards equity, diversity and development, the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) has selected a list of Chef De Missions for next six major international campaigns.

Former national squash player Karen Anderson will lead Jamaica’s delegation to the 2022 Caribbean Games, Rudolph Speid takes Jamaica to the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, Paulton Gordon will assume duties for the 2023 CAC Games while Nicole Grant Brown will be at the helm for the Pan Am Games.

Corporate Business Executive and Owner, Ian Kelly wears the hat of delegation leader for the Summer Olympics in Paris in 2024 while Businessman and Sports Administrator Gregory Moore takes the helm for the 2026 Winter Olympics.

This broad and varied selection exemplifies the JOA’s quest to bring a higher level of leadership across the spectrum of sports in Jamaica.

"The JOA will continue to not only professionalize the management of the Games under our remit but will continue to provide opportunities for our members to participate in the space and to make meaningful contributions to the Jamaican sporting arena,” said JOA General-Secretary Ryan Foster.

“We believe in providing an avenue for all as sport does not reside with one person or association but we all have our own contribution to make. The naming of the Chef de Missions for the various games is a broad representation of what we have articulated in our Sport for All campaign.

“We see the games as a critical part in the self-actualization of many in their quest for greatness but it is also one facet of how the JOA continues to support the growth and development of sport in Jamaica."

For Anderson, who has represented Jamaica in shooting and squash, her appointment is rewarding on several levels.

“It is a great honour to represent my country as the Chef De Mission for the Caribbean Games. I have represented Jamaica as a player, a referee, and coach at both Commonwealth Games and Pan American Games, so going into sports administration as the Chef De Mission for multi-sport games is almost a natural transition for me,” she said.

“I look forward to the challenge of it, the opportunity of it and it’s the first Caribbean Games so it’s an honour to be thought of to be considered and selected for that role.”

She was quick to point out that with herself and Nicole Grant being selected for similar roles over the next four years is a step forward to women, who have largely been overlooked for similar roles in previous years but who have now been given the opportunity to demonstrate that they are as equally capable to executing well in positions usually reserved for their male counterparts.

“I think it has just been opportunity and for women to be seen that we can do the job just as equally if not sometimes better than men. It’s great that the JOA is now putting women out there and giving us those opportunities to shine,” she said.

“We have the capacity to do it so it’s just a matter of being given an opportunity. This is a time when the JOA is stepping to the fore and saying here are these women, let’s give them the opportunity to lead on an international level, which I think is remarkable on their part.”

Paulton Gordon heads the Jamaica Basketball Association and has led the fraternity on several international campaigns. For him, this is yet another opportunity to grow and develop as an administrator as well as another feather in his cap on a personal level.

“I am elated to serve,” he said. “It will provide me with a more rounded view of the dynamics involved in a multi-sport, multi-cultural environment.  It will certainly broaden my knowledge base and competence in planning, organizing and the coordinating the participation of a large contingent at a major sporting event.”

More broadly, he said, “It provides an opportunity to further contribute to the development of sport and hone skills that require cultural adjustments based on the international nature of the appointment. Networking opportunities will emerge that will facilitate human resource growth and allow the sporting bodies to tap into opportunities regionally.”

Following on the heels of businessman and JOA director Gary Peart being named Chef De Mission for Jamaica’s successful and history-making campaign at the delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympics in Japan in 2021, Ian Kelly, Derrimon Trading Chief Financial Officer and Director of many corporate boards, follows in a similar fashion for the Paris Games in 2026.

The JOA has continued to adopt a business approach to the execution of the games and Ian will bring not only his corporate expertise but also his knowledge of managing sport teams, the JOA said.

Similarly, President of Jamaica Esports Initiative, Gregory Moore cites his opportunity as one that will create synergies that will foster a changed mindset as it relates to sports in Jamaica.

“I am honoured to have been appointed Chef De Mission to the next staging of the Winter Olympics in Italy in 2026. I am a businessman and also the president of the Jamaica eSports Initiative, which is a federation under the JOA. We had taken a different approach towards getting that federation up and running.

“We decided to work on structure first so we spent the last two years with a structured approach, more administrative than just pushing the activity by itself.

“With this appointment, I intend to have the same approach because sports are a business and if you don’t treat it as such you won’t be able to facilitate expansion and I believe the JOA has shown that over the last few years taking that business-structured approach.”

The aforementioned approach, Moore believes, will help facilitate the kind of growth that the country will ultimately benefit from in that growth creates opportunities and those opportunities will continue to drive diversification and development.

“I know that the primary role is to ensure the welfare and the well-being of the team, so that will definitely come first, but I will be seeking opportunities for co-working and creating synergies between international entities and our local entities because that is what is going to create more synergies in Jamaica between federations, between organizations. I am just going to play my role, focus on the team and try to see where opportunities will come up for us to form some relationships to create synergies.”

British Virgin Islands athlete Chantal Malone has attributed her poor performance at the Tokyo Olympics, and general dip in form last season, to injuries she sustained in the lead-up to the Games.

The Pan Am Games champion in the Long Jump, began her season in phenomenal form with four straight 7 metres performances, but saw a dip in form as the season went on that culminated with her finishing a disappointing 12th in the Olympic final with a 6.50 metres jump.

Malone, speaking on an episode of SportsMax.Tv’s On Point, said she was having injury trouble up to two weeks before the Games in Tokyo.

“A week prior to Chula Vista in April, I had to get a PRP injection in my hamstring because I found out I had a strain in my hamstring. Two weeks before the games, I strained my hamstring again. Prior to that my knee flared up,” said Malone.

The fact that she never really took a break from training after the pandemic also took a toll on her physically.

“You’re training at this high intensity and your body is like; Ok you’ve got to oil me. You want a Ferrari to run like a Ferrari you’ve got to treat it like a Ferrari. That was just what my body was saying to me after training at such a high intensity for so long because, at that point, it had been 2 years since I’d been training at that intensity,” said Malone.

The 2014 CAC Games champion says she was also affected mentally by her ailments.

“Mentally, that’s what took me out a little bit because I didn’t know if I could trust my body. I wanted to jump, and I knew the kind of shape I was in, but subconsciously you’re being a little hesitant with putting the foot down a certain way or just executing the way you need to. As I reflect on the Games that was one of the blocks that I had,” she said.

The full interview can be seen on the Sportsmax TV YouTube channel.

 

After an illustrious career that spanned more than two decades, St Lucian high jumper Levern Spencer has called time on her athletic career.

A four-time Olympian, Spencer is a multiple CAC and Pan Am Games champion, who created history in 2018 when she became the first St Lucian to win the high jump gold medal at the Commonwealth Games held on Australia’s Gold Coast.

However, after failing to make the finals of the high jump at the Tokyo Olympics in August, the 37-year-old St Lucian star, has decided it was time to hang up her spikes.

“After 23 consecutive years of representing St. Lucia in the sport of track and field, I have, after careful consideration and analysis, made the tough decision to retire, effective 31st October 2021,” she said in a statement released on Wednesday.

“It was a challenging journey laced with lots of literal blood, sweat, and tears, but a very rewarding journey as well, which led me to four consecutive Olympics, eight consecutive World Championships, five consecutive Commonwealth Games, and gave me 16 Sportswoman of The Year titles.

“So as I hang up my spikes as Commonwealth Champion, Central America & The Caribbean Champion, Pan American Champion and North & Central America and the Caribbean Champion, I say a big thank you to the Government and People of St. Lucia for the privilege of flying our flag regionally and internationally for all these years, and for your support on this journey.”

She thanked corporate St. Lucia for its support and the media “for consistently reporting on all that I did for my country.”

“As I say farewell to a sport that I love so much, I do so with a great sense of pride and joy knowing that I did my best to, against all odds, give our tiny nation the best representation possible, on and off the field.”

Spencer, whose personal best was 1.98m, a national record, had her best performance at an Olympic Games in Rio 2016 when she cleared 1.93m to finish sixth in the final.

History will be made at 2023 Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games scheduled to take place in San Salvador where the sport of netball will be contested for the very first time, thanks to the advocacy of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA).

"Netball got, deservedly, our approval to take a seat at the regional table and with this accomplishment, the journey now begins to globalize the sport and the JOA stands ready to again play a signal role," said JOA President Christopher Samuda.

Samuda is a member of the Executive Board of Centro Caribe Sports which owns the games.

An established sport in English-speaking regional territories and now a staple on the sporting agenda of several Spanish-speaking countries, Secretary-General and CEO of the Jamaica Olympic Association, Ryan Foster, was never in doubt that the sport would transition.

 "I have the privilege of sitting on the Technical Commission of Centro Caribe Sports and from the get-go, I inked my finger and campaigned for netball for I was confident that the sport's credentials would result in a landslide victory," he said.

As the number of Olympic sports on the agenda for multi-sport games increases, the need for a non-Olympic sport to ensure that it is "first to market" becomes increasingly critical for entry to such events as the CAC Games.

 "Insofar as netball is concerned, we at the JOA understood that in order to become a resident of the household of multi-sport games of the Olympic movement, the sport had to muscle its way to first in the line and present, persuasively, credentials for occupancy,” Samuda explained.

Jamaica’s netball pedigree is well known and in the run-up to the 2023 San Salvador CAC Games, the JOA and Netball Jamaica in partnership with Centro Caribe Sports, will be hosting educational workshops and training sessions for teams from Spanish-speaking countries with a view to enhancing their skill sets and technical competencies in the sport.

"What is the value of knowledge and expertise if they're not shared in creating greater capital and opportunities for others in the sporting fraternity?" JOA Secretary-General and CEO Foster queried.

With the withdrawal of Panama City as host of the games, the Executive Board of Centro Caribe Sports moved quickly to re-start the bidding process to secure an alternative host and recently formalized the contract with the Government of the Republic of El Salvador, the municipality of San Salvador and the Local Organizing Committee.

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