JOA salutes affiliate members on Olympic Day

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June 23, 2020

President of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA), Christopher Samuda has magnified the call in commemoration of Olympic Day for persons to ‘stay strong, stay active, stay healthy’ during this COVID-19 pandemic.

At a time when Jamaica signalled its grand entry on the global sporting stage with legendary athletes Arthur Wint, Herb McKenley, Leslie Laing and George Rhoden, Olympic Day was introduced in 1948 to commemorate the birth of the modern Olympic Games on June 23, 1894, at the Sorbonne in Paris.

The goal was to promote participation in sport across the globe regardless of age, gender or athletic ability.

Samuda, in his Olympic Day message, said: “Today we celebrate as Olympic Day, but the Olympic Spirit transcends the hours of our lives lived today. It transcends generations of lives lived yesterday and those that will be alive tomorrow.

“It embodies values which are invaluable to life. It kindles light, which gives humanity more than a sense of brotherhood and mutuality. It defines and gives meaning to lives lived in sport and deepens our understanding of the ideals which inspire us in sport to be good stewards of talents,” he continued.

The JOA is the country’s umbrella organisation of sport and Samuda, whose executive has been hugely transformational in its support of local sporting bodies, expressed gratitude for his leadership role in the nation’s sporting agenda.

“I am grateful to be a servant leader of fine men and women who continue to give life to the Jamaica Olympic Association; who serve sport with commitment and conviction and who understand that today’s labour of love is tomorrow’s sweet reward,” said Samuda.

“Stay strong, stay active and stay healthy are the admirable watchwords of a global campaign celebrating Olympic Day during the current pandemic, he shared. “We must now, as a people, challenge ourselves in ensuring that when tomorrow comes we shall be alive and will remain alive to that faithful and compelling calling in civil society to nationhood.

As a highlight of Olympic Day, the international Olympic Movement would generally stage what is classified as Olympic Day Run, which promotes mass participation of sports that are held in June under the banner of National Olympic Committees such as the JOA. However, the global viral illness has also impacted that activity.

Notwithstanding, Samuda paid tribute to their Olympic affiliates and encouraged them to be game-changers.

“On this day, Olympic Day, I salute you, our members, with a spirit that is grateful, with a spirit that is kindred, with a spirit that lives beyond today for tomorrow’s generation of sportsmen and women. I salute our people who continue, with conviction, to not only change but, more importantly, to transform the game in the university of life,” said Samuda.