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Commonwealth Youth urged to 'do your best'

Published:Tuesday | August 18, 2015 | 12:00 AMMarc Stamp
Minister Without Portfolio with Responsibility for Sports, Natalie Neita-Headley (left), knocks fist with hurdler Junelle Bromfield (second right), while giving encouragement to team members following a press conference announcing Jamaica's team to the Commonwealth Youth Games. The event took place at the Jamaica Olympic Association offices in Kingston yesterday. Looking on are (from left) Jauavney James, Lushane Wilson, Kevin Nedrick and Satanya Wright.

The Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) named eight athletes who are involved in a camp in preparation for participation at the fifth Commonwealth Youth Games in Apia, Samoa from September 5-11.

The announcement was made by Alan Beckford, JOA director and chef de mission of the team, at a press conference held at the JOA offices yesterday. Joan Rattray will double as assistant chef de mission and medical officer.

The athletes are all national junior champions at the recently held National Championships and also World Youth Games representatives.

The list include: (Females) - Junelle Bromfield (400m hurdles), Satanya Wright (400m). Males - Michael Bentley (200m, 4x400m relay), Lushane Wilson (800m, 4x400m), Jauavney James (400m, 4x400m), Leonardo Ledgister (300m hurdles, 3x400m), Leon Clarke (800m, 4x400m) and Kevin Nedrick (discus, shot put). The coach is Michael McIntosh.

Track and field athletes apart, swimming will be represented by Annabella Lyn and Joseph Black. The coach is Wendy Lee.

Natalie Neita-Headley, minister with responsibility for sports, urged the athletes to give of their best.

"We have grown accustomed as a country to doing well in everything that we do as we only want the best. While we have great expectations as a people, we want you to do your best as that will be good enough," the minister encouraged.

"You give of your best and if you remain disciplined, if you remain dope-free, we are happy to have you represent Jamaica, so as you go off, remember this. Congrats to the JOA for creating the opportunity for you. Take this journey seriously for your life depends on it, your future depends on it," she added.

Michael Fennell, JOA president, spoke a bit of the history of the Commonwealth Youth Games, that started 15 years ago in Scotland.

"The Commonwealth Youth Games has attracted seven sports, but has been growing steadily. It is not at the level of the Youth World Games or Youth Olympics," Fennell shared. "UNICEF will once again partner with the Commonwealth and will conduct a number of workshops during the Games in Samoa for the young people. In addition to the sports, the focus will be on the athletes' personal development. This we are very happy for."

The team will leave on August 31 and is slated to arrive in Samoa on September 2.