Kingston 19 December 2018 – The national celebrations in honour of the historic qualification of the Jamaican team to the FIFA Women’s World Cup were a huge success, according to the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange.
The Minister said, the four-day celebrations, organised by the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, had achieved the objectives of introducing the Reggae Girlz to the people of Jamaica, presenting them as role models for women across the country and set the stage for increased tangible support for the team ahead of the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
The Minister appealed for more resources for the Girlz:
“I want to use the opportunity to encourage the private sector to come on board. So far a few have come on board, but we need more. We want them to put their money where their mouth is. We don’t want after we come back with the World Cup they all coming on the wagon. We want it up front. We want the financial support to make sure that the Girlz have all they need to ensure that they are well prepared for France.”
The four days of activities which began on Saturday ended on Tuesday with the Girlz being presented with the keys to Spanish Town and St Ann’s Bay by the respective mayors.
His Worship Councillor Norman Scott, presented the Key to Spanish Town at a civic ceremony held in Emancipation Square while His Worship Councillor Michael Belnavis presented the Key to St Ann’s Bay at a civic ceremony held at Sandals Ochi Beach Club in Ocho Rios.
The Reggae Girlz captain, Konya Plummer, who accepted the Keys on behalf of her teammates said they were “deeply humbled and appreciative” of the honour bestowed upon them.
In between the presentations, the members of the national team enjoyed the attractions at Mystic Mountain and at Dunn’s River Falls and Park, where the Girlz were welcomed with singing and the waving of flags by craft vendors and members of the public.
Minister Grange reflected on the significance of the Reggae Girlz being presented with keys to Spanish Town and St Ann’s Bay — two towns whose impact on Jamaican history has been immense.
It is believed that Christopher Columbus first landed in St Ann’s Bay in 1494 with New Seville becoming the first Spanish capital of Jamaica in 1509.
Spanish Town became the second capital of Jamaica in 1534 after the Spanish abandoned New Seville. Spanish Town is the oldest continuously inhabited town in Jamaica.
The Reggae Girlz were also presented with Keys to Kingston and Montego Bay and hosted by the Prime Minister during the celebrations.
Kingston, December 13 - The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, today told Lydia Heywood, the English-born Eventing rider who plans to represent Jamaica at the next Olympics: “You can expect assistance from the Ministry as you make your preparations to represent us.”
The 21-year-old Heywood, who was first taken to Jamaica as a baby is on what is now her second visit. She met with Miss Grange at the Minister’s New Kingston offices today.
The Sport Minister assured Heywood that she would be making a number of approaches which should result in significant resources for her programme of preparation between now and 2020 when the Olympics will take place in Japan.
“We are thrilled that you have decided to represent Jamaica and we could do no less than to assist you to achieve your goals”, Miss Grange told Heywood.
Heywood, whose father hails from Clarendon, is accompanied on her visit by her mother Clare, who is English.
She said: “I started at 10 on my Eventing journey when I joined a pony club in Gloucestershire where we live and I have trained hard through the years to perfect each stage of Eventing which are dressage, show jumping and cross country.
“I know my drive for success will get me to my goal of winning Jamaica’s first Olympic equestrian medal.”
Minister Grange said, she wanted Heywood, who returns to England next Monday, to visit Jamaica soon again, “as we wish to put you out there to the Jamaican public.”
Eventing is an equestrian event where a single horse and rider combination compete against other combinations across the three disciplines of dressage, cross-country, and show jumping.
Kingston, December 11 – Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) 2018 schoolboy football champions, Clarendon College was lauded in Parliament today.
Clarendon College was invited to Gordon House by the Speaker of House, the Honourable Pearnel Charles as a show of appreciation for their winning performances.
Congratulatory statements came from several Members, including the Prime Minister the Most Honourable Andrew Holness, who praised the school for doing extremely well both academically and in sports over the years.
The Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport said: “They are totally deserving of us honouring them by the invitation to be our special guests in the House today.
“It was a wonderful display of football which yielded for them not just the DaCosta Cup but the Olivier Shield and in winning the DaCosta Cup Competition this year, they did the unusual by maintaining a perfect record of wins. This by itself would be worthy of praise.”
The Sport Minister said it could be fully understood that Clarendon College would devote this year’s titles to the late great football coach, Winston Chung Fah, who coached the school to an all-conquering side in 1977.
“We are extremely pleased today to have representatives of Clarendon College making an appearance in the Parliament as the country recognises the school as the football supremos for 2018."
Kingston 10 December 2018 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment & Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has announced the schedule of activities to honour the Reggae Girlz’ historic qualification to the FIFA Women’s World Cup finals.
“I want them to feel very special,” said Minister Grange.
The activities begin on Saturday (December 15) with a motorcade.
Minister Grange said:
“The motorcade will go through the Corporate Area. It will go into St Catherine. One of the stops will be GC Foster (College of Physical Education and Sport). Two of the girls are from Arnett Gardens, so we’re going to do something there. And we want to take them to western Jamaica.”
Minister Grange said it was “important that the girls are given a hero’s welcome and shown appreciation for their outstanding achievement” of qualifying for the World Cup Finals to be held in France in 2019.
“We want to ensure that as many Jamaicans see them and we’re asking all Jamaicans to join us in celebrating with them. We want to make sure that they go to France ready to tek it to dem”.
The celebratory activities include a major praise, worship and thanksgiving concert at Emancipation Park on Sunday (December 16) featuring some of the biggest names in local gospel music including Kevin Downswell, Kukudoo, Sista Pat and Wayne Marshall.
The Reggae Girlz will also be feted at a special reception hosted by Prime Minister, the Most Honourable Andrew Holness.
The full schedule follows:
Friday 14 December 2018
- Overseas-based members of team arrive
Saturday 15 December 2018
- Motorcade across Montego Bay, St Catherine, Kingston and St Andrew
Sunday 16 December 2018
- Praise, Worship and Thanksgiving Concert at Emancipation Park (5pm to 8pm)
Monday 17 December 2018
- Courtesy Calls on leaders (schedule to be confirmed)
- Reception hosted by the Prime Minister, the Most Honourable Andrew Holness
Tuesday 18 December 2018
- Fun day (North Coast)
Wednesday 19 December 2018
- Members of team depart Jamaica
Kingston, December 10 – The Minister of Culture, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has congratulated Kadijah Robinson, Jamaica's representative to the Miss World pageant, for her stellar showing as she finished in the top five of the competition held in Sanya, China.
Minister Grange said:
“It was an amazing feat securing a top 5 finish and gaining the Miss World Caribbean title, while being a wonderful exponent of our culture. Miss Robinson had the entire Asian continent doing Ding Dong popular dances to an authentic dancehall beat...simply amazing.
She has contributed to the brand of Jamaican excellence that has dominated the world. Kadijah is a true ambassador of our rich cultural heritage on the international stage.”
Vanessa Ponce de Leon from Mexico was declared the winner, becoming the first Mexican queen to win the coveted title.
Miss Robinson’s emphatic top five finish and the dance video have ignited widespread praise from Jamaicans across the Diaspora who have commended the daughter of Black River, St Elizabeth on her performance.
Robinson, a physiotherapist at the Black River hospital in St Elizabeth, was also crowned Miss World Caribbean.
Kingston, 7 December 2018 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has likened West Indies cricket to an element of cultural heritage that is in danger and in need of protection.
Minister Grange made the comment at the St Catherine Cricket Association Awards Ceremony where she expressed satisfaction that the local cricket programme “was at a good place”. But the Minister said she was concern about regional cricket following a string of poor performances by the West Indies team, including the recent poor performance against Bangladesh.
“Let me say, straight up, that I am a lifelong supporter of West Indies cricket. I cannot think of a reason to ever withdraw my support from the West Indies. The Windies represent us. They are a part of who we are. They are a part of me. So you know exactly how I feel when I saw the recent results against Bangladesh.”
Bangladesh completed a series sweep against the West Indies in the recent two test series — each time defeating the Windies within three days.
“West Indies cricket, the men’s game, is into a time of intense difficulty and a proud part of our heritage — our cricket — is in danger. And it needs protection,” said Minister Grange.
She drew a contrast between the performance of the men’s team and the women’s team. West Indies women were a force to be reckoned with in the recent T-20 World Cup where they went to the semifinals before falling to the eventual champions Australia.
“Why do the women look so good — even without adequate support? And why aren’t the men doing better? Is it leadership? Is it talent? Is it commitment?” Minister Grange questioned.
Minister Grange said it was now urgent for all stakeholders in West Indies cricket to come together to protect the people’s game.
Minister Grange said: “It is time to forget the egos, to get over ourselves and to focus on fixing and bringing back West Indies cricket. There is enough blame to go around. Let us end the blame game and show our commitment to eliminating the problems that prevent West Indies men from consistently producing good results. We must all remember, that for our people, cricket is not just a game. It is part of our heritage. It is part of who we are."
Kingston, 7 December 2018 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has announced that the Jamaica Cricket Association will be among the first set of national sports associations to roll-out a national programme for safeguarding and protecting children in sports.
Minister Grange made the announcement at the St Catherine Cricket Association Awards Function in Twickenham Park on Thursday (December 6).
The national programme for safeguarding and protecting children in sport is being coordinated by the Inter-Ministerial Task Force established by Minister Grange earlier this year, among other things, see to it that “children in sport are not harmed in any way; and that fit and proper people are involved in all areas of children’s sport.”
Minister Grange said the Task Force has been considering several initiatives to safeguard and protect children in sport including mechanisms being implemented through the Jamaica Cricket Association in collaboration with UNICEF and Cricket West Indies.
“Based on the assessment of those initiatives and following discussions, I am pleased to announce that the Jamaica Cricket Association has agreed to be part of the first set of national sport associations to roll-out a national programme for safeguarding and protecting children in sports,” said Minister Grange.
The Task Forces comprises several stakeholders including the Child Protection and Family Services Agency, the National Parent Teachers’ Association, the various schools' sports associations, local sports governing bodies, as well as government ministries and agencies.
Kingston, December 5, 2018 – Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport and Chairman of the Jamaica National Commission for UNESCO, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has announced that the Youth Advisory Committee of the Jamaica National Commission for UNESCO has received a grant for US$15,000.
Minister Grange made the announcement at a ceremony during which the Universal Service Fund (USF) handed over laptops and tablets to the Committee on Wednesday at the Ministry’s Trafalgar Road offices.
The grant was given under UNESCO’s Participation Programme.
The Participation Programme functions as a vital complement to UNESCO’s regular activities by analysing, evaluating and facilitating the implementation of national, sub-regional, inter-regional and regional projects submitted by Member States and NGOs directly related to the activities of the organisation.
“Youth is one of the priority areas of the Participation Programme and this grant will equip the Youth Advisory Committee and enhance the work of its programmes,”
Minister Grange said.
In commenting on the donation from the Universal Service Fund, Minister Grange said that it follows representation at all levels in support of the work of the Youth Advisory Committee Secretariat.
“The Secretariat is moving to implement projects towards empowering youth at risk, including young boys between the ages of 5 and 18 who struggle academically; and teenage mothers who need to be steered towards the programmes of the Women’s Centre of Jamaica Foundation,” Minister Grange added.
The Women’s Centre of Jamaica Foundation was recognised by UNESCO for helping adolescent mothers to continue their education and was awarded US$50,000 to help further its work.
Kingston, December 5, 2018 – The Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport says Gaynstead High School in taking both the Senior and Junior titles in the ISSA Urban Area Netball Competition, “was simply magnificent.”
Minister Grange’s comment follows the Finals of the Competition which took place at the Leila Robinson Courts at the National Stadium yesterday (December 4) and which saw Gaynstead Senior Team beating St. Catherine High School and the Junior Team topping Norman Manley High School.
“My feeling is one of ecstasy but this accomplishment by Gaynstead has been coming given the way their netball teams have been performing in recent years and I would like to think that their play has been aided even further by the netball court that we provided the school in 2017 through the Sports Development Foundation.”
Miss Grange, also a past head girl, said she was looking forward to Gaynstead representing Jamaica in the second staging of the regional AFNA Champion of Champions High School Netball Tournament as result of being crowned Jamaica’s urban area “school girl netball queens”.
“While I am still cheering for my alma mater, I wish also to commend St. Catherine High School and Norman Manley High School for their competitive play in the Finals and I say well done to all the schools and coaches.
London December 2, 2018 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment & Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has congratulated Jamaica’s Dalton Harris on winning The X Factor talent competition in the United Kingdom on Sunday (today).
Minister Grange said Harris’ win was a “well deserved victory for a young man with immense talent who works very hard.”
Minister Grange — who attended the final of The X Factor on her way from a meeting of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in the Republic of Mauritius — said Harris’ victory “caps a very good week for the promotion and celebration of Jamaican musical talent.”
Minister Grange said:
“Dalton’s victory comes at a time when the world is celebrating Jamaica’s most important musical creation, Reggae, which UNESCO added to its list of intangible cultural treasures for humanity. And here comes another Jamaican treasure in the form of Dalton Harris who has now won The X Factor, after winning our local Rising Star, has shown to the world the kind of talent we produce in Jamaica and is now set to become a global megastar. I couldn’t be happier for his success.”