Attended by an enthusiastic and supportive audience, the launch was an intimate wine and cheese affair, which included the author’s family, friends and colleagues, members of the media, key principals in national sporting organizations and Olympians.
In her overview, Miss Beckford first paid homage to key individuals who helped influence her initial love for sport and named others that impacted on her subsequent activism. She then shared her reasons for deciding to write this book, stating that she felt investing in sport as a business was crucial to the country’s long-term development. In her view, sport can be used as a multi-faceted approach to solve complex social issues, encourage active citizenship and improve the general quality of life.
The evening kicked off with a dramatic presentation by students from St. Hugh’s High, who used the opportunity to underscore the importance of physical education in schools. Michael Hall, Chairman of RJR Sports Foundation and writer of the book’s foreword, gave opening remarks.
Emcee Jermaine Deans kept the programme on track and Stephen Bell, General Manager of Caribbean Shipping Association and keen supporter of community football programmes in particular, also got into the action. Yvonne Kong, Principal of GC Foster College, and one of Miss Beckford early mentors, gave a glowing endorsement of the book. In between addresses, audience members were invited to compete for spot prizes after various displays of athleticism.
Keeping Jamaica’s Sport on Track targets policy makers, physical education teachers and students, as well as administrators. The book will be available at Monarch’s Pharmacy from June 30, 2007 and the price is very affordable at $1500 each. A school tour is planned for sometime later this year.