MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica – Jamaica’s Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, has emphasized the importance of sports in the development of the individual and Jamaica.
“As a country that is seeking to develop positive values and attitudes in young people, we need to understand and appreciate the value of sport. Sport is the most powerful and unifying force in the world. “Sports brings joy to many people and provides an outlet for their energies, talents and skills. I therefore have a vision of Jamaica and how we can develop sports in this country,” she added.
Speaking in Montego Bay Friday, (October 6), at the closing ceremony for the just concluded St. James Intermediate and Westmoreland Super Netball Competition, where teams and team members were awarded for their outstanding performances, the Prime Minister underscored the achievements of the national netballers, which “have forced the rest of the world to sit up and take notice of Jamaica in the sport”.
She commended the Jamaica Public Service Company Limited (JPSCo), for sponsoring the competition, which has started to unearth talents among young women across western Jamaica.
“Our Sunshine Girls make the entire country shine and I would like to thank JPSCo for its sponsorship. I note also that apart from the competition, the company also sponsored a coaching seminar and arising from that seminar, there are some 14 coaches who will move on to be fully certified later this year. I would also like to commend JPSCo on the ‘Rally Day’ that will focus on healthy lifestyles and HIV/AIDS awareness,” the Prime Minister said.
“I want to endorse the game of netball as a wonderful way for our young women to find expression for their talents and to develop self confidence, some of you, I am sure, not long from now, might very well find yourselves representing Jamaica internationally, wearing Jamaica’s colors and carrying the flag,” Mrs. Simpson Miller told the participants.
“So, the investments of the JPSCo and the Jamaica Netball Association have paid off. I want to encourage you all to take the lessons you have learnt into every area of your lives. Continue to take care of your most important asset – you. Those of you who are still in school, I encourage you to make the best use of this opportunity and never become distracted. Go forward, you are our champions,” she told the netballers.
President of the Jamaica Netball Association, Marva Bernard also had words of commendation for the western netballers and their achievements in the competition, and urged them to continue doing well in the sport.
“All resources and opportunities being made accessible to you in western Jamaica are part of our national drive to lift the level of this sport in Jamaica to world class standard. We believe that it is possible for a developing country such as Jamaica to be the number one team in the world,” she said.
She also thanked the JPSCo for its sponsorship and appealed to other companies and businesses across the country to give their support to the national program of netball development.