Commentary Jamaica Magazine

Jamaica’s home-based track and field programmes working

Written by CaroleBeckford

The success of Jamaica’s track and field programme over the last two Olympic Games can almost be credited to the decision of MVP Track Club and in recent times Racers Track Club’s decision to keep its athletes here in Jamaica for training. The business model speaks to

  • Base in Jamaica
  • Training and Preparation in Jamaica
  • Enrollment in collegiate academic programmes
  • Collaboration with local gymnasiums
  • Attraction of local/regional sponsors
  • Participation in local meets
  • Financial Planning with Jamaican financial institutions
  • Local Management Teams

Technical officials continue to build capacity by attending and even conducting workshops to grow and develop others while improving on their own skills. I am of the firm belief, the inclusion of the collegiate system’s input has played a significant role in the country’s development in sport and that continues 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil should bear more fruit. I also hope that the other sporting disciplines will follow…some of which are already putting plans in motion. The competition has their tertiary level programmes in tact and provides the basis for the mature athlete to flourish. We must encourage this programme and invest human, financial and physical resources to achieve the success it does deserve.

Would be interested to do the case study of:

  • Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce
  • Hansle Parchment
  • Jason Young …just to name a few. All of whom have used the Collegiate academic and sport systems to their benefit.

Therefore to say we are not capitalising on our strengths, is real rubbish. We have to trust ourselves to manage ourselves FIRST as you know Jamaica has an affinity to trust more from outside. The sport industry requires building of trust initially then the rest will flow as those technical capabilities are plenty. I ask the private sector to support the efforts of the tertiary level programmes and invest accordingly. It is the answer to Sport Development in Jamaica – grow from within. We will attract the business thereafter.

About the author

CaroleBeckford

Carole Beckford is an author. Her second book - Jamaica is In - Sport and Tourism was published in November 2016. She is head of marketing for West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) she is based in Antigua. She has been a journalist for 30 years.