Thu | Sep 19, 2019

Help pours in for Kemoy

Published:Wednesday | February 13, 2019 | 12:15 AM
Kemoy Campbell (centre) competing for Jamaica at the 2015 IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China.

Minister of Sport Olivia Grange says the Government will assist Olympian Kemoy Campbell, who collapsed while performing pacesetting duties in the 3,000 metres at the Millrose Games in New York last Saturday.

Campbell, the national 5,000 and 3,000 metres record holder, has been hospitalised since the incident and is incurring increasing medical expenses. The sport ministry has followed in the footsteps of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA), Reebok, and a GoFundMe account that has raised funds for the athlete.

Grange announced yesterday that her ministry will be there for the long-distance runner, and she has mandated the Sports Development Foundation to provide any immediate assistance the runner may need.

In a release, Grange said that the ministry has reached out to the athlete’s family and management and that arrangements are being made to assist with his care. She also revealed that he is registered with the Jamaican Athletes Insurance Programme and will be able to access benefits under the scheme. The athlete’s agent, Ray Flynn, confirmed to The Gleaner early yesterday that Campbell is conscious and has been talking. Flynn said that as of Tuesday morning, Campbell was in stable condition and encouraged everyone to keep him in their thoughts and prayers.

“We continue to pray for Kemoy’s recovery and assure him and his family that Jamaica will be there for them during this time. We have been in discussions about what he requires now, and we are committed to doing what is ­necessary to see he gets the best care and achieves a full recovery,” said Grange.

Meanwhile, JAAA general ­secretary Garth Gayle says his association will also assist the former Bellefield High runner in his recuperation. “The JAAA is doing all that it can within its powers and ability to give assistance to one of our elite athletes and national record holders.


“We will, of course, give ­assistance to him. We have been maintaining communication with his family here in Jamaica, and we have also been working with ­members of the diaspora. He is one of our gems, and we want to ensure that he continues to shine,” Gayle commented.

Also providing help for the 28-year-old athlete is Matt O’Toole, Reebok’s president, who donated U$50,000. In a statement to Sports Illustrated yesterday, O’Toole said Campbell was an important part of the sportswear company, and they will assist with his medical expenses. “Kemoy is an important part of the Reebok family, and we are so happy to hear that he is ­making great progress. We will stand behind him and support him in his recovery. We are making a ­contribution of $50,000 to help with his medical expenses,” he said.

A GoFundMe account that was created to raise US$200,000 to assist the athlete topped US$41,000 last night with ­contributions from more than 580 people. Campbell competed in the 5000 metres at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and finished 10th in the same event at the IAAF World Championships in London, England, in 2017. Meanwhile, president of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA), Christopher Samuda, has expressed relief at news that Campbell has regained consciousness.

“This mortal life is never certain, but what we are assured of is that with constant prayer and vigil, healing will come in the morning,” Samuda said in a release.

The release added that the JOA had sent its support to the athlete’s family.