Jamaica’s Minister of Local Government, Community Development and Sports introduces Cuban Coaches

KINGSTON – The bilateral agreement signed between the governments of Jamaica and Cuba for the exchange of coaches in various sporting disciplines is well underway.

Five Cuban coaches, who have been in the island since late last year, were officially introduced by Minister of Local Government, Community Development and Sports, Portia Simpson-Miller on Tuesday, January 17, at the Offices of the Sports Development Foundation (SDF), in Kingston.

The coaches will be assisting in the areas of basketball, boxing, hockey, swimming and volleyball and will be focusing on strengthening the national sides of the respective sports as well as developing and enhancing youth programs.

Minister Simpson-Miller informed that the partnership resulted from the requests of sport associations for the assistance of the Cubans and urged the coaches and Presidents of the associations to ensure that the Cubans fulfilled their ambitions of raising the bar for the sporting disciplines.

“You requested and we can be proud to say we have delivered. It is now over to you to ensure that they [Cubans] do their very best and this will no doubt redound to the benefit of sports development in Jamaica,” Minister Simpson Miller said.

The coaches will be with the associations for a period of two years, after which time their performances will be evaluated and once successful, their stay will be renewed.

Cuban Ambassador, Gesela Garcea Ribera, noted that traditionally, Cuba had always exported numerous sport experts, and that the partnership would lead to the advancement of sports and the furtherance of unity between Jamaica and Cuba.

“For the advancement of sports and sense of solidarity, I have the honor of being here with the coaches that will be helping Jamaica,” she said.

Dr. Rolando Castro, who will be assisting with boxing, assured of the coaches commitment to sports development in Jamaica. “There should be no jealousy but co-operation and we’ll do our best for you,” he said.

The partnership will see Jamaica assisting the Cubans in the areas of sprinting and cricket.

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