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Jamaica’s Sports Accomplishments

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Justice Patrick Robinson, C.D. President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, (ICTY) and author of the book ”Jamaican Athletics…A Model for 2012 and the World”, has said that Jamaica’s sports accomplishments should be recorded as part of Black History because of its roots and ancestry.

Speaking at the book signing at Nova Southeastern University, Davie, last Saturday (Feb. 14), Mr. Robinson said that the 140-page publication elaborates on the success story of Jamaican athletes with particular emphasis on Jamaica’s triumph at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Under the distinguished patronage of Jamaican Consul General, Mrs. Sandra Grant Griffiths, the event was hosted by the faculty of the Shepard Broad Law Center of the Nova Southeastern University, as part of the Black History Month activities on campus.

Praising the success of Jamaican sportsmanship, Mr. Robinson, said that with little resources, a small nation such as Jamaica’s performance was outstanding against the larger countries like the United States, boasting that Jamaica has produced the fastest man in the world, some of the best coaches along with other giants in athletics worldwide.

According to Mr. Robinson, Jamaica’s worldwide success at sports can be attributed to the philosophy of National Hero Marcus Garvey about our ambitions to accomplish what we set out to achieve. He added that we should aim to do likewise in all spheres of national life.

Using the Jamaican sports model as a potential industry for providing services in athletic training worldwide, Mr. Robinson said that we already have in place the assets – best coaches, outstanding athletes and administrators, calling for a framework for sports management so that we can build on those assets, maximizing the profits.

Described as a sports enthusiast, Mr. Robinson said he was encouraged to document aspects of Jamaica’s outstanding performance in athletics at the national level, having observed the natural talent and how the performances have evolved over the years.

He also recorded the talents of those athletes of Jamaican nationality by birth or descent, noting how they represented other countries successfully.

According to Judge Robinson, the cover, in its design, was a reflection of the “old and new” referring to the iconic images of former gold medallist, Arthur Wint (1948) and current world champion athlete, Usain Bolt (2008) in colours of the Jamaican flag.

The book also covers Jamaica’s dominant position in global athletics, using historical data and reminding reader of our sports heroes, who captivated international audience.

Lauding the work of Judge Robinson, Law Professor, Mr. David Rowe, guest speaker at the event, said that the book would remind us of our proud Jamaican heritage as it was an important contribution to Jamaican sports development and culture.

Saluting the works of ‘one of our Jamaican sons’ in International Law, Mr. Rowe reiterated the call for recording achievements of our Black heroes “unless we will lose our history”.

Consul General Grant-Griffiths also echoed praises for Justice Robinson in his work in analyzing and documenting the process of Jamaica’s outstanding performance in international sports, at the same time projecting a path for athletes.

She reminded her audience that “we need to convert our interest into an exploration of contributions each of us can make to an eminently worthy cause for advocacy, funding and other support activities.”

She also remarked that the event was an appropriate celebration in Black History month recognizing the history of achievement in athletics at Olympic level, dating to gold medallist Arthur Wint (1948) and also the outstanding performance of National Hero, Norman Manley in 1911, at the genesis of Champs movement (now Boys and Girls Athletic Championships).

Supporting the author’s call for support and development of sports culture, the Consul General pointed to the Government support network now in place, supplemented by the Social Development Commission and the CHASE Fund, adding that more needs to be done to expand the resource base.

Following the book signing, Judge Robinson guest lecturer to law students at the Law Auditorium on the Campus.

Judge Robinson has had a distinguished career in public service in Jamaican and internationally, particularly in the filed of International Law, having served on the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (IACHR), the United National International Law Commission and on the Legal Committee of the UN General Assembly.

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