Jamaica to surrender team title - Lack of funds hurts participation in Caribbean Championship
General secretary of the Jamaica Badminton Association (JBA), Antonio Bell, bemoans the fact the country will not be defending their team title at the Caribbean Badminton Championship, set to take place in Aruba from August 18 to 28 because of a shortage of funds, saying it is a big disappointment for the association.
He also believes that not being be able to send a full team can have adverse effects on the growth of the sport locally.
"It affected our plans because we would have been able to field a much stronger team if we had been able to garner the funds. The camp is disappointed because we are defending champions of the team event, so not being able to defend the team event is disappointing," Bell said.
"It will affect development, as in developing young players. We need them in training a lot, because the level they compete at is very high and only training and competition with proper funding will facilitate that, so it will hamper development. But we are seeking to overcome this (financial shortcomings) in short order," he added.
Bell said the council gave their best efforts to try obtain the required funds to send a full contingent and they are in debt to the Sports Development Foundation and parents.
"We sought assistance from the corporate community and various avenues, but it was a bit difficult. A lot of spend has been around the Olympics, that hampered us; we weren't able to get significant contributions to make it worthwhile for a bigger contingent.
"But once again, we have to really say thank you to the parents, who, without them, a lot of this wouldn't be possible and thanks to the SDF for seeing us through," he said.
Meanwhile, Bell expects the 11-member contingent - consisting of seven juniors and four seniors - to represent Jamaica well.
"I expect a lot, especially Matthew Lee (Under-19), one of our most promising juniors. We expect a strong showing from number one female player Katherine Wynter, as well as Mikaylia Haldane. We are looking for a lot from rising star Rihanna Rust (Under-11) and generally we are expecting a strong showing," he said.
The team leaves the island on the 22nd or 23rd of the month, since they will not be participating in the team event.
The members of the team are: Under-19 - Matthew Lee, Matthew Yee-Grant; Under-17 - Joel Angus, Rhys Reid; Under-15 - Zane Reid; Under-11 - Rihanna Rust, Jelanie Nelson; Senior women - Katherine Wynter, Mikaylia Haldane; Senior men - Samuel Ricketts, Kenneth Anglin.