JOA backs Olympic aspirations with $6m in scholarships for 5 athletes Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

The Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) has announced $6 million in scholarships for five track and field athletes to support their qualification efforts for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

The scholarship recipients are triple jumper Shaneika Ricketts, 400m hurdler Malik James-King, high jumper Christoff Bryan, discus thrower Samantha Hall, and hammer thrower Nyoka Clunis.

The announcement came three months after Clunis started a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for her preparation for Paris. The campaign has a goal of $15,000 and has so far raised $1,550 from 28 donors.

Last year, the 28-year-old Clunis created history by becoming the first Jamaican to represent her country in the hammer throw at the World Athletics Championships when she competed in Budapest, Hungary.

“The JOA scholarship programme serves as one of our legacy objectives,” said JOA’s secretary-general and CEO, during the sports’ local apex body Paris 2024 Olympic Games media launch at the Terra Nova Hotel last night. “We want to leave a legacy for our members and an initiative that advances our athlete-first perspective. We believe in the future of our athletes, and we have focused on objectives that are not just event-specific or aligned to a game, but ones that will have a far-reaching impact on the lives of our athletes and administrators.”

The JOA noted that the scholarship program complements the Olympic solidarity scholarships, which have provided over US$300,000 to eight athletes since 2021. Additionally, the JOA has awarded more than $6 million in scholarships to three other athletes and implemented a $6 million coaching scholarship.

“For far too long, our athletes have been placed at the back of the line, and we are pleased that through our sport-for-all concept, we have invested over $500 million since 2018 in our athletes and member associations across various sports. The successes are evident in the results over the past six years, and we will continue this journey,” added Foster.

The Paris Olympic Games are scheduled to run from July 24 to August 11.