Chinese Coaches Arrive

A team of Chinese coaches arrived in Jamaica on January 11 for a 30-day training programme with coaches and athletes in seven sporting disciplines.

The coaches will provide technical assistance in the areas of swimming, synchronised swimming, badminton, gymnastics, volleyball, football and basketball.

They will commence their first session today (January 12) with coaches and representatives of various sporting bodies in the conference room of the Jamaica Football Federation, in Kingston.

The programme is part of the first phase of a three-year technical cooperation project on Sport with Jamaica, following the signing of a Letter of Exchange between the Government of Jamaica and the People’s Republic of China in October last year.

A welcome reception was held on their arrival at the Chinese Ambassador’s residence in Kingston.

Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, in her message, said the Ministry intends to take full advantage of the project.

“We know that the athletes who are targeted by the associations will benefit as well as the coaches and teachers through transfer and the sharing of skill sets,” she said.

In the message, read by newly appointed Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Denzil Thorpe, Miss Grange said the Ministry and the nation expect to see improved performances by the athletes in the sporting disciplines included in the programme.

Additionally, she said the Ministry is expecting “higher levels of technical sport coaching consequent on the lessons imparted by the programme.”

In his remarks, Chargé d’Affaires of the Chinese Embassy, Yang Wenxu, said the project will further strengthen “our bonds of friendship and cooperation.” He said the two countries have enjoyed good bilateral relations over the last 45 years.

The Chargé d’Affaires said that his government is committed to helping Jamaica and cited several projects and exchange programmes in the area of education being undertaken by China in Jamaica.

“We are committed to working together and helping each other,” he said.

Acting President of the Jamaica Basketball Association, Calvin Martin, told JIS News that basketball training will be conducted islandwide with students from the primary to college levels.

“We are hoping that when they leave, we will have a lot more girls playing because women basketball at the local level is not as strong and popular as in former years,” he said.

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