Jamaica Observer / Olivia Grange, minister of sport, announced yesterday that the statue to be erected in honour of Jamaica’s leading female sprinter, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, is now in the island. Minister Grange made the announcement at the launch function for the 2018 National Junior and Senior Championships scheduled for the National Stadium from June 21 to 24.
“The statue will be unveiled at the end of this track and field season, but in the meantime the maquette will be unveiled by the end of this month. Shelly-Ann has seen the maquette and is quite pleased with it,” Grange told the audience at the Pegasus where the launch took place.
The statue will be erected close to that of Usain Bolt in Statue Park.
Saying that she brought even more “goodies”, the sport minister announced also that she had received approval from Cabinet for the installation of a new running track at Stadium East. The installation of the new track will also be at the end of the season.
Another announcement yesterday by Grange was that under the Technical Cooperation Agreement on Sport between Jamaica and the People’s Republic of China, 137 athletes would be leaving for China for two months at the end of June.
“Athletes in seven sporting disciplines – swimming; artistic swimming, football for females; volleyball for females; basketball for females; gymnastics; and badminton. Each team will have a coach and a sports officer and they will return to Jamaica with equipment for their sports, donated by China.”
Minister Grange said the National Junior and Senior Championships represent perhaps the most important event for local track and field athletes because it is performance at these Championships that determine who is selected to represent the country on the big stage such as the Olympics and the World Championships.
“We know that this time round, the National Junior and Senior Championships, popularly called the “Trials”, are being held to choose the senior and junior teams that will represent Jamaica at the newly/minted Athletics World Cup in Britain and the NACAC Senior Champs in Toronto, Canada. Both of these meets will take place next month. For the juniors it will be the IAAF World Junior Championships in Finland, also in July.
“I find it particularly pleasing also that the seniors and juniors will be performing together at this year’s trials. We get to see the young ones and the not-so -young ones performing in one package. It will be great.
“As the minister of sport, I am urging us to turn out in large numbers at the National Stadium to show our support for and encouragement to our athletes,” Grange added.