Weightlifting is firmly on the strategic agenda of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) with both eyes on the sport’s reappearance on the Olympic stage.
The Commonwealth Games is now underway in Birmingham and Jamaica is present and is well accounted for with Sky Norris, who has created history being the first female weightlifter at these Games, Sientje Henderson, Chloe Whylie and Omarie Mears.
Whylie and Henderson made history in February when they both medalled at the 2022 Canadian Invitational in Ontario, Jamaica’s first medals at an international weightlifting competition in 40 years.
JOA President Christopher Samuda, in articulating support for the sport, said: “The JOA and the Jamaica Weightlifting Federation (JWF) are lifting the bar higher and the JOA is putting its weight behind a sport the athletes of which are progressively demonstrating muscle and credentials.”
The sport may have taken a leave of absence over the years but is now answering the roll call of the JOA to action.
JOA Secretary General/CEO Ryan Foster was equally focused on the future.
“This sport is transitioning with purpose. The JOA is investing and innovating as we build and look forward to successive generations of accomplished sportsmen and women who are giving kilograms to our capital in sport.”
JWF President Dr Mark Broomfield reflected on the three years since the JWF became a member of the JOA under his watch.
“History has been made and the public commendation of our weightlifters and the JWF by the commentator at the Games, which went viral to millions of viewers, speak to the tremendous progress we have made,” he said.
The Olympic Games is surely on the radar of the JWF and the JOA is taking note of the sport and sharing the confidence of its leaders.
“It will not only punch above its weight but is destined to be the ‘record breaking’ script of sport historians,” Samuda said.
The local governing body, the JWF is already hoping to fast-track plans to improve the sport locally, based on the successes of the four representatives as the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
“We are certain that the performance of our athletes in Birmingham will be a boost to the athletes we have in training locally and we also hope that this will bring even more people to the sport, especially females, as there were three women on show here at the Games,” Bloomfield concluded.
— Dwayne Richards