THE EDITOR, Sir:
Let me hasten to join in congratulating our Reggae Boyz football team and their administrative support machinery on their historic performance in the Azteca Stadium in Mexico recently.
Of course, there was much talk and trepidation about the altitude of that stadium and the possible negative effects on our players.
But did you know that our Blue Mountains are higher than the said Mexican stadium? Duh! All we have to do is to build a training facility somewhere on the slopes of our Blue Mountains in order to mimic certain prevailing conditions elsewhere in the world!
The 'Office' (National Stadium) already represents the coastal hot, dry, humid and low-altitude conditions. Up in our mountain ranges, we have very low temperatures, incessant rainfall (see Guinness Book of World Records regarding the rainfall frequency and intensity on the Portland side of those mountains), etc.
For the prevailing training conditions, I am referring to those said low temperatures, high winds, sparse rarified air based on the altitude (up to and, in some instances, more than 7,000 feet into the sky), rugged hiking trails, steep, slippery slopes, forests, poor visibility, etc. Throw in periodic isolation, hunger and thirst for family and we have a perfect training ground! Why do you think we send our soldiers through the Corn Puss Gap, and maintain our Newcastle training depot?
As a commissioned cadet officer (Jamaica Combined Cadet Force), and having been in this organisation nearly all my life, I can attest that we do take pride in jogging to the Blue Mountains every so often as a test of endurance and an almost rite of passage. It makes or breaks you.
Let us build an integrated training facility in the Blue Mountain area. I strongly feel that our Reggae Boyz and other sporting teams can use our God-given Jamaican conditions to prepare for any outside situation!
JOHNATHAN LAMEY (Major)
President, Portland Environment