Jamaica set for at least 11 sporting disciplines at inaugural Junior Pan Am GamesSunday, October 03, 2021
Jamaica will be represented in at least 11 sporting disciplines at the inaugural Junior Pan American Games which will be held in Cali, Colombia, November 23-December 5, the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) announced last week.
After the initial 10 events were announced earlier in the week, another — archery — confirmed yesterday as Jamaica is set to make its presence felt at the event that will be open to athletes between 17 and 22 years old.
At first, taekwondo, weightlifting, artistic gymnastics, fencing, badminton, triathlon, tennis, track cycling, skateboarding, and squash were announced and according to Christopher Samuda, president of the JOA, it is “by far the largest number of sports that the local Olympic movement has ever had at a multi-sport regional or international games.
According to Samuda, the strong showing was “proof positive that the JOA's policy of equal opportunity, parity in investment and empowering the next generation is encouraging and having results”.
The two-week extravaganza will be the first multi-sport event globally that will have spectators since the onset of the novel coronavirus pandemic in March 2020, a release from the JOA pointed out, with 50 per cent capacity allowed at each venue.
The Junior Pan American Games will be the first of several multi-sport games over the next few years with the Commonwealth Games set for the United Kingdom in 2022, the 2023 Senior Pan American Games in Santiago and the Paris 2024 Olympic Games following closely.
“The JOA views the Cali Games as a critical milestone,” the release said and quoted JOA Secretary General Ryan Foster as follows: “Cali is a dress rehearsal for our juniors. If you want to be at the senior shows, you have to, from now, dress for the shows, study the scripts and be able to deliver yourself on the big stages.”
Over 3,800 athletes from the Caribbean and Americas — north, central and south — who will compete across 315 events in 28 sports will participate in Cali, and “Jamaica will be there, centre stage and the objective is to have a leading role in this historic event,” President Samuda said.
— Paul Reid
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