Jamaica Olympic Association covers salaries for OIympic football coaches

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July 15, 2019

The Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) on Tuesday presented the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) with a cheque for JMD$3.5million that will cover the salaries of the coaches of the men’s national Under-23 football team – Donovan Duckie and Merron Gordon.

The cheque was handed over at Olympic Manor, the JOA Headquarters at Cunningham Avenue in Kingston.

The financial commitment by the JOA is an ongoing investment in the team’s quest to create history by qualifying for the Olympic Games for the very first time.

“They say third time’s a charm. Jamaica and Jamaicans love the excitement that accompanies our sporting exploits and our participation in global events. We look for numerous opportunities to don our national colours and to hoist our flag,” said Ryan Foster, General Secretary of the JOA while reflecting on Jamaica’s historic qualification to respective FIFA World Cup tournaments – in 1998 when the men qualified, and this summer’s Women championship that will also be hosted by France.

“Being the apex body with responsibility for sports, we feel compelled to support our sporting bodies and so we, the JOA, have invested heavily in helping the Jamaica Football Federation have the Under-23 football male team qualify for the 2020 Olympics scheduled for Tokyo, Japan.”

Foster said that in 2018, the JOA announced its Olympic Programme geared towards the development of the team for the qualification competitions that should see Jamaica being one of the two teams from CONCACAF to participate in the 16-nation Olympic Games tournament.

“The investment, in large part, has seen the top tier Under-23 players being provided with access to training camps and practice games, nutritional support, transportation, gear and match-related costs,” Foster said.

“The CONCACAF qualifiers begin later this year and so the JOA will continue its investment in the coaches for the Olympic period. We are pleased with the guidance being provided to the team by Mr Donovan Duckie (head coach) and Mr Merron Gordon (assistant coach) and are providing the remuneration required to assist them in giving of the talent in this way for the remainder of the Olympic period.”

JOA President Christopher Samuda said the cash contribution is in keeping with the association’s agenda and implored the youth to stay committed and compete in the spirit of Olympism.

“We are in the business of creating solid partnerships and therefore it was not difficult for us to establish this partnership with the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) and I want to thank President Ricketts (Michael) for his accommodation for that,” said Samuda.

“So as we go forward in this camp, as we go forward on this journey to the Olympic Games, I have no doubt that we will see you in Tokyo. But in order for us to see you in Tokyo, there has to be a commitment, a commitment that goes beyond self, with the nation, a courage as I’ve indicated that goes beyond self and resides with the nation.

Meanwhile, Ricketts welcomed the support and expressed hope that its fruits will ripen with Olympic qualification. He lauded the JOA for its foresight and vision and a continued commitment to sports development.

“We want to ensure that this joint venture between the JOA and the JFF provide some more historic events,” Ricketts said. “You must be ambassadors. The JFF selected two of who we think are the best coaches in this country and it is up to you to reward us and to reward the JOA. You must commit yourselves, you must be disciplined and I’m absolutely sure the talent is there.