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SDF’s Wilks wants Jamaica in Olympic skeet

Published:Wednesday | November 26, 2014 | 12:00 AMShayne Fairman

Denzil Wilks, the general manager of the Social Development Foundation (SDF), is hoping Jamaica can soon have representation in skeet shooting at the Olympic Games.

"We (Jamaica) want to be able to compete consistently at the international level, because this is an Olympic sport," Wilks said.

"I am confident, as Jamaicans have special skills in this discipline, just like we do in sprinting," he continued.

Wilks was present at Sunday's Digicel Cup 2014-Inter School Clay Challenge at Portmore Range, St Catherine. Twelve schools competed in the challenge, where the top finishers were Hillel Academy with 310 points, followed by AISK with 100 points. Rounding out the top five were Manchester High, 60; Campion College, 50; and St George's College, 20.

expanding the sport

As the sport continues to grow and is popular among mainly schools across the Corporate Area, Wilks would also like to see it spread into rural Jamaica.

"We (SDF) want to see more schools from the rural areas competing," he stated.

He added that sporting clays, as it is also called, will grow and get better once ranges are implemented across the country. The SDC manager also described the sport as having the ability to train people's minds and aid self- discipline.

"SDF's idea of the sport is to have it spread islandwide and impact people's lives. We give support to sporting associations once they are organised and have the necessary contact with international bodies."

He added that there must be a plan to expand the sport.

The SDF currently assists the skeet federation with part funding and importation of items.

Khaleel Azan, who is national coach and president of the Jamaica Skeet Club, is hopeful Jamaicans will reach international renown.

"Skeet has been growing year by year. We have great young talents here in Jamaica," Azan underlined. "We are pushing to have a team to the Pan-American Championships and other international tournaments."

Azan added that his organisation has been contacted by the Scholastic Clay Shooting Program in the United States, and plans are in place to try and obtain scholarships for Jamaicans in that country.