Jamaica Gleaner / President of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA), Christopher Samuda, says his organisation will be throwing its support behind the Jamaica Cycling Federation (JCF) to help the country’s cyclists qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games.
Samuda, who was in attendance at the JCF Development Meet One at the National Stadium on Sunday, said the JCF is one association that shows promise and potential and the JOA will support the Joylene Griffiths-Irving-led administration in its bid to reach the next Olympics.
“For me, cycling is growing and one of the prospective sports for the 2020 Olympics. So it’s critical for me to familiarise myself with operations, get to know the players, and offer the encouragement and tell them that the JOA is here to support them,” Samuda said.
He noted that the sport, once famous locally, has a proud history of Olympic qualification and that the JCF had the infrastructure and administration for the sport to do well.
“We have not had an Olympian (cyclist) since David Weller (1980), and therefore, it is important that we have an Olympian (from cycling). The JOA is looking at sports we know have the prospective talent to make the transition and the cycling federation has infrastructure. The president is doing exceptionally well, she has a solid team behind her and it seems it has all now come alive.
“The JOA supports the efforts of the JCF. They are garnering the interest of their athletes, and once they do that, they will be in a better position to attract sponsorship, so we applaud them and we are behind them,” Samuda added.
The JOA boss has been doing the rounds recently, visiting various sporting events and bodies to get a first-hand feel of what each sport and their administrations are about, and he says he has seen what’s needed and who needs assistance.
“We realise sport is a business, but you can’t achieve results overnight. We have to work with the teams, share their objectives and monitor them. That takes time – three to four years.
“But I see the infrastructure here (cycling). I see and understand what the sport is about and what needs to be done to grow the sport,” Samuda added.