The chairman of the Sports Development Foundation (SDF) George Soutar, was left ecstatic following Jamaica’s outstanding display in the sprint hurdles at the just-concluded Olympic Games, an area in which the foundation has invested heavily in recent years. 

Since 2019, the SDF has provided 20 hurdles each to 53 schools, that’s over 1,000 hurdles across Jamaica in a concerted effort to widen the hurdling pool in the island.

Soutar pointed out that the established schools were not a part of the programme as the strategy was to reach out to the more disenfranchised schools to build them up. “The SDF looks forward to Jamaica becoming as dominant in hurdling as in the sprints, in the 100m, 110m and 400m formats,” said Soutar.

Jamaica won three hurdling medals at the Olympics courtesy of Hansle Parchment who struck gold in 110m hurdles and was followed home by Ronald Levy who won the bronze medal.

Jamaica did not stop there as Megan Tapper became the first female to win a hurdles medal in sprint hurdling when she copped bronze in the Women’s 100m hurdles.

The SDF also extended congratulations to the Jamaican team on yet another outstanding display in securing nine medals inclusive of four gold, a silver and four bronze.

There was a special mention for another rare sweep of all medals by the women’s 100m runners, something some Jamaicans may take for granted, not appreciating the magnitude of this achievement.

"For these three homegrown, born and bred Jamaican women to take on the might of the world, in the middle of a pandemic and swept to victory over all else, is an achievement worthy of the highest accolades,” said Soutar.

“To all who have contributed to this magnificence, we say thanks. To their coaches, the JAAA, the JOA, their families we say thanks on behalf of all Jamaicans at home and in the Diaspora,” added.

“Jamaica is forever in the debt of these athletes, who have sacrificed to take us all with them to the pinnacle of world athletics,” Soutar noted.

 

A special fund to assist former Jamaica’s national representatives who have fallen on the hard times is to be established by the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport.

The Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange says her ministry will be moving to finalize the transformation and streamlining of the national sports entities during this calendar year.

The national sports entities are the Sports Development Foundation, Independence Park Limited, and the Institute of Sports.

Minister Grange gave the update during a meeting of the Board of Directors of Independence Park Limited on Wednesday. She said the transformation was aimed at creating a more efficient and more effective government sport system.

Minister Grange urged the new board to pick up the pace of project implementation.  She said it was vital that the National Stadium and Trelawny Stadium infrastructure development project, which was affected by delays caused by covid-19 and weather conditions, get back on track as soon as possible.

The proposal for the Redevelopment and Upgrading of the National Stadium and Trelawny Stadium is going through all the required stages of the Public Investment Management Secretariat, including submission of a comprehensive project proposal, architectural drawings and the development of a 5-year Business Plan.

The project is now at the final stage which includes submitting financial projections before it can be recommended to the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service for funding.

The members of the Board of Independence Park Limited are: Dr. the Honourable Michael Fennell (Chairman), Mr David Shirley (Deputy Chairman), Mrs Annmarie Heron, Assistant Commissioner Terrence Bent, Lieutenant Colonel Dameon Creary, Mr Lenford Salmon, Mr Carlton Dennis, Ms Audrey Chin, Mr Edward Barnes, Dr Peter Charles, Ms Shaneek Clacken, Ms Stefani Dewar, Major Desmon Brown, General Manager (ex officio)

The members have been appointed to serve for two years.  The new board was constituted in keeping with the National Policy for Gender Equality to ensure that a minimum of 30 per cent of either sex makes up the composition of government boards.

 

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