HomeJOA NewsJOA, SVL enabling athletes to rise through Olympic stage

JOA, SVL enabling athletes to rise through Olympic stage

Prize money may not necessarily number among rewards for winning a medal at the Olympic Games but the value of simply participating at the ultimate sporting spectacle is quite enriching.

Athletes have already started their preparations indoors as they prepare to battle for Olympic spots in Paris, France, this summer, and major players locally that facilitate the quest have pointed to the real benefits that come with competing at the Games. The issue of prize money and the Olympics was raised at a recent sponsorship engagement.

Commenting on Olympic values as conceptualised by its founder Frenchman Pierre de Coubertin, Ryan Foster, the Jamaica Olympic Association’s Secretary General/CEO, outlined the Games’ focus on human development.

“The modern Olympic movement as we know it was championed by a Frenchman who believed in the importance of sport in human development and the attainment of world peace. It was his view that success was not measured by winning but by consistent effort and that when all else fails integrity should hold true,” Foster shared.

Gary Peart, executive chairman, Supreme Ventures Limited (SVL), addressed sports’ potential as a change agent.

“Whilst the Olympics does not give you a specific dollar reward, the fact that you’ve competed at the Olympics you’d have already started to benefit from the Olympics,” he noted, while announcing renewed support of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA).

The value of the sponsorship is $75 million for five years, an increase on its previous three-year $45-million deal.

Peart, who is also a JOA director, expanded on the opportunities that competing at the Olympics present.

“So there is post (Olympic benefits) and there is pre. In terms of post, once you become an Olympic champion your appearance fee will immediately go up, your potential contract re-signings will be going up because you’re an Olympic champion,” he explained.


“The pre is the value that the Olympic association earns from the Games; they contribute it back through their solidarity programme, which goes with the grassroots of all the different sports, and then also the funding that they provide to member associations which further pass that funding down to the individual associations.

“So the value accrues in different ways and I can argue that the Olympic value is significantly more than the other values out there,” Peart stated.

The chance afforded in changing lives was reinforced by Foster as being big in their realignment.

“The extension of this partnership is a testament to the values that both JOA and SVL place in using sport as a vehicle for change,” he said.

At the local level, the JOA, Mayberry Investments and SVL pooled $41 million for an ‘Olympic Rewards Programme’after the Tokyo Games that ensured a $6-million award for an individual gold medallist, $4m for silver and $2m for bronze; with relay medallists sharing $6m for gold, $4m for silver and $2m for a bronze finish.

Coaches were also rewarded for individual events with $1m for each gold medal charge, $750,000 per silver medallist and $500,000 for bronze.

Marathon Insurance Brokers also provided free insurance for one year for all medallists.

Some athletes by virtue of Olympic qualification earned corporate sponsorships, but the biggest prize for participation rests in securing an appearance in the lucrative professional ranks of sport, which is a focus of the JOA’s ‘Sport for All’ policy, to create increased value for the nation’s athletes across all sporting disciplines.

Boxer Ricardo ‘Big 12’ Brown is now a professional and earning big money because his value went up by just being an Olympic champion.

Then there is diver Yona Knight-Wisdom, who has become a fixture at international diving meets; and gymnast Danusia Francis, whose stocks have skyrocketed.

For track and field athletes, many of whom have been cradled in the JOA’s programmes through the Central American and Caribbean Games and Pan American Games before gaining Olympic status, there are meets such as the Wanda Diamond League and Continental Tour, which offer appearance fees.

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