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Minister Grange Lauds the Jamaica Amateur Softball Association


Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Alison McLean greets members of the Dunrobin Primary School softball team at the Opening Ceremony for the Jamaica Amateur Softball Association 2016 Primary Schools’ League. The event took place at the Mico University College on Friday, April 29, 2016.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Alison McLean greets members of the Dunrobin Primary School softball team at the Opening Ceremony for the Jamaica Amateur Softball Association 2016 Primary Schools’ League. The event took place at the Mico University College on Friday, April 29, 2016.

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Friday, April 29, 2016 – Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange has applauded the work being done by the Jamaica Amateur Softball Association (JASA) and expressed confidence that softball can be developed in Jamaica

In an address delivered by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Alison McLean, at the Opening Ceremony for the 2016 Primary Schools’ League on Friday, April 29, 2016, Minister Grange said, “As Minister of Sport, I am especially elated at the launch of a softball competition. For us at the Ministry, every sport played in this country is very important given the powerful role of sport in the social and economic welfare of our people for more than a century.”

The Minister also said she is very pleased by the progress that JASA has made within the last two years and acknowledged the work being done at the high school level. She noted that there are a number of international scholarship opportunities available to students and that being exposed to softball can be beneficial.

“If we are going to be serious about establishing the game in the psyche of Jamaicans then we must constantly look at empowering our own people in the areas of coaching, umpiring and administration. The GC Foster College of Physical Education and Sport – the only institution of its kind in the English-speaking Caribbean – is a key partner in this drive to entrench softball in our schools,” Minister Grange added.

“We must insist on getting the sport into the over 800 communities spread across all parishes by way of establishing clubs from which a national amateur league can be promoted and implemented yearly.”

In highlighting how much can be gained through the expansion and development of softball in the schools, the Minister said, “not because softball is seen as a “minor” sport should we major in the minor, in terms of our thinking. We must think big and demonstrate to our regional and international partners that we are doing great and wonderful things in Jamaica. In doing so, you are strengthening your position to receive greater support in both cash and kind from our international partners who are keen on spreading the game all over the world.”

Twenty two primary schools will be participating in this year’s competition. There are currently four softball clubs in Jamaica and with an increased popularity of softball in schools, a greater level of competition and heightened school spirit will be developed among students.

Commentary

Softball is not the most popular sport in Jamaica W.I. but the Primary School students seem to want it as a sport … it will take on as long as children take to it. At that age 8 to12+ they have a lot of energy so this game will keep them fit and hopefully out of trouble.

It is a lovely game that I played in Canada. Softball is a north American game … very popular in Canada and the USA.

It is a close cousin of baseball and we know how popular that is up north.

With adequate funding for gears this game will do well in Jamaica.

We wish them well.

Commentary by Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie is Senior International Correspondent& Photojournalist for Vision Newspaper Canada.

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