Kingston 26 June 2019 – The Minister of the Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange says she’s seen major improvements in the performance of local sports people who have participated in first year of the sports cooperation agreement with the People’s Republic of China.
Minister Grange signed the agreement last year, under which more than 400 Jamaican sportspeople in seven disciplines will receive specialised training in China over three years.
The first batch of 138 athletes and coaches completed a 60-day training programme in September 2018.
Referring to early signs of the success of the project, Minister Grange said:
“Five of the [women’s] footballers trained have matriculated to the Under-20 national programme. Thalia Richardson from badminton has advanced to become the national female champion. It has also been shown that the times and techniques of the swimmers have improved since the training they have received through the project. We have seen that the gymnasts have shown great improvement performing in regional competitions.
“So the Report Card on the Jamaica/China Technical Cooperation Project on Sport Coaching so far is most satisfying…"
Minister Grange was speaking at the official send-off for the second batch of 138 athletes and coaches who will begin travelling on Saturday to specialised training facilities across China.
The schedule of departures is as follows:
29 June - Women’s Football
30 June - Women’s Volleyball
2 July - Gymnastics
3 July - Women’s Basketball
6 July - Swimming and Synchronised Swimming
7 July - Badminton
Minister Grange urged the athletes and coaches to make the most of this training opportunity. “Get as much as you can as you hone your skills. I know you will never be the same after China. You will be better for it; Jamaica will be better for it.”
Minister Grange thanked the Government of the People’s Republic of China for providing training and equipment under the agreement.
The Minister also revealed that on the recommendation of the Chinese coaches, the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport has acquired the services of a personal trainer to do strength training work among the athletes. The Ministry is also facilitating the use of a gym at no cost to the athletes or their national federations.
The official send-off for the athletes was attended by the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Jamaica, His Excellency Tian Qi. Minister Grange especially acknowledged the efforts of Ambassador Qi, the Chinese Embassy and the China Sport International Company (the state-owned sports cooperation agency) for facilitating the project.