AEL, Tearfund Graduate 125 Ebola Survivors

first_imgThe Association of Evangelicals of Liberia (AEL) in collaboration with Tearfund, yesterday graduated 125 Ebola survivors in the art of soap making. At the closing exercise at the New Life Bible Church in St. Francis Community in Jacob Town, which included activities such as drama, singings and recitation of poems, some of the graduates walked away with several gifts.The Director of Banking at the Central Bank of Liberia, Richard Walker, who served as the guest speaker, described the training as a milestone that will help provide livelihoods for the beneficiaries and their families.“I want to appreciate you for taking advantage of this training opportunity to improve yourselves and become self sufficient,” Mr. Walker said.He admonished the graduates to take advantage of the training opportunity to explore other avenues that would help them create jobs for themselves and others.In remarks, Tearfund Country Representative, Tizazu Adamu, expressed appreciation for the hosting of such a training aimed at supporting Ebola survivors as part of the Association’s recovery initiatives.“Every long journey starts with a single step, and now that you have started the process we believe that you have acquired great skills that could transform you and your families to obtain a better life,” Mr. Adamu told the graduates. Tearfund, he said, is partnering with AEL in providing clean water, sanitation and hygiene education, confronting gender based violence, and reducing the prevalence and effects of HIV and AIDS.Reverend Dr. Nuwoe-James Kiamu, President of AEL Board of Governors, told the graduates that their decision to acquire additional skills shows that they are heading for development, adding, “You are a part of the solution to the country’s problems and not part of the problems.”Rev Dr. Kiamu said while others are sitting and complaining about opportunities that have not come their way, “you are standing and channeling your challenges into opportunities by adding beauty to life through the skill you acquired.”“I challenge you to remain intuitive, focused and industrious as you step out to change your life and the lives of many other Liberians.” Reverend Ebenezer M. Binda, Project Coordinator of AEL, said 18 communities are currently benefiting from the Ebola Recovery Project, which started in April 2015 with the aim of providing livelihood to Ebola survivors in Margibi and Montserrado Counties.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Excellence, intrigue, adventure at Dusi 2014

first_img17 February 2014 The 2014 Dusi Canoe Marathon produced excellence, intrigue and adventure as Andy Birkett and Sbonelo Zondi sped to a dominating victory in the men’s race and Abbey Ulansky and Robyn Kime held off Abby Adie and Anna Adamova for the women’s win. The hard preparation work put in by Birkett and Zondi was well rewarded as the pair won all three days of the 120 kilometre marathon, which takes place between Pietermaritzburg and Durban. With luck working against them, the duo had finished fourth and third respectively in the 2013 Dusi, which was contested in singles (K1s), but within two weeks they had teamed up to win the Non-Stop Dusi and smash the record by over 17 minutes. Not long after that they announced their intention to take on the 2014 Dusi together, and it paid off as they turned in a faultless and spectacular performance.‘A really special feeling’ “The whole journey has been amazing. I’m super chuffed, especially with our discipline over this last year, and it’s a really special feeling to have won,” an elated Birkett said after claiming his fourth Dusi title. “It almost feels like this is the first Dusi I’ve ever won because of the whole change in start procedure here on day three and the finish is a really amazing experience.”‘A dream come true’ “At last! This is a dream come true for me,” exclaimed Zondi, who became the second black winner of the iconic canoe marathon, following in the footsteps of Thulani Mbanjwa, who claimed the honours in 2008 with “Dusi Duke” Martin Dreyer. Both Zondi and Mbanjwa are products of the very successful Change a Life Academy development programme at Nagle Dam, outside of Pietermaritzburg, which is headed up by Dreyer, a seven-time Dusi champion.Given up hope Birkett and Zondi led by almost 10 minutes heading into the final day and tellingly, when Hank McGregor and Jasper Mocke chose run over the Burma Road portage, rather than risk the paddle through the Graveyard, Molweni and Island rapids, it signalled that the second placed crew had given up hope of catching the leaders. McGregor, a three-time flatwater marathon world champion, and Mocke, one of the world’s leading surf skiers, gave it their all but could not stay with Birkett and Zondi on the race’s taxing portages, and even on the water Birkett and Zondi were a match for them. Cam Schoeman, a former doubles (K2) flatwater marathon world champion, teamed up with Czech star, Jakub Adam, one of the world’s elite flatwater paddlers, to take third place. It was a remarkable performance from Schoeman, who had to deal with a shoulder ligament injury, while Adam became the first international paddler in the 63 year history of the Dusi to stand on the podium.Women’s race In the women’s race, Ulansky and Kime were pushed all the way by Adie and Adamova and by the time they reached Durban only a minute and seven seconds separated the two leading boats. It was a women’s record ninth win for Ulansky (nee Miedema), a South African who now lives in Canada, and a fifth victory for Kime, with three of those being achieved with Ulansky. For Adie, it was an unfortunate sixth runner-up finish, while Adamova, the sister of Jakub Adam, became the first international to stand on the women’s podium.‘Over the moon’ “We are over the moon to make it three in a row,” Ulansky smiled afterwards. “Robs and I have paddled together for a while and formed a great partnership, and this year was more challenging for us as, number one, we had stronger competition and, number two, we have had other commitments, so we weren’t as strong as we wanted to be, but we had great fun and really worked hard,” said Ulansky. “We tried so hard and it’s a little disappointing to have come so close and not been able to win it, but we worked really hard, and in the end it wasn’t quite enough,” Adie commented. Third place went to sisters Tamika and Bianca Haw. Still in school, Bianca had finished fifth in the K1 race in 2013 and only three weeks before the 2014 Dusi had won gold in the women’s junior race at the African Continental MTB Championships in the Western Cape.An adventure The Dusi, however, is about a lot more than the elite paddlers. For the vast majority of the field it is an adventure: for former Natal flyhalf Graeme “Gudgie” Dixon, who paddled his 40th consecutive Dusi and his second in succession with his daughter; for people like brothers, Brad and Rowan White, who took time away from their families to team up for a second time; for people like Bob Harvey and Tony Ferguson, who missed a takeout and went downstream on the river, where no boats go, and who were rescued by helicopter after a four-hour wait. Behind the elite paddlers, the true heart of the Dusi beats strongly, with camaraderie, which one could almost term a tradition, the order of the day. It is seen not only in the paddlers, but in the army of volunteers that make it possible to host a 120-kilometre race over the course of three days in some extremely testing conditions and over challenging terrain.A place they treasure For many of the competitors, the Valley of a Thousand Hills, through which the race passes, has become a place they treasure and a place in which the Dusi organisers, Natal Canoe Club, has over the years paid back the residents by building schools and sports fields, and looking after the vegetation and river. Within the hearts of many Dusi veterans, there beats a love of this beautiful piece of Africa. On the rivers making their way to the Indian Ocean and over the steep hills many internal barriers are broken and many stories, which will last a lifetime, are experienced. There is something about the adventure that grabs those who have taken on and finished the Dusi. It remains more than a canoe marathon, it remains a definitive South African experience.last_img read more

The oratory of Oliver Tambo: Ngoako Ramatlhodi on Oliver Tambo

first_imgRamatlhodi was the ANC president’s speechwriter. He recalls a sharp dresser who was meticulous in his attention to detail and unwaveringly dedicated to liberation.Ngoako Ramatlhodi remembers Oliver Tambo as meticulous, in dress and turn of phrase. (Image: Ngoako Ramatlhodi)Amukelani ChaukeThe late struggle stalwart Oliver Reginald Tambo was a perfectionist – he was so thorough and meticulous that in the late 1980s and early 1990s, he would make his speechwriters rewrite drafts until he was satisfied.In some instances, he would end up only reading the opening paragraphs of the speech and deliver the remainder of his address off-the-cuff.Before the era of computers, former public service and administration minister advocate Ngoako Ramatlhodi, who was a youth activist in his thirties at the time, was appointed speechwriter to the then exiled ANC president at a time when political parties were banned.Between 1987 and 1993 – during which time Tambo’s health took its toll following a stroke in the mid-1980s – Ramatlhodi, who had gained much political insight through his work in youth structures in exile, grew close to Tambo.The president was navigating sensitive political terrain while South Africa was on a knife’s edge and was on the verge of opening negotiations that would dismantle the apartheid regime.In an interview Ramatlhodi said that looking back on that period, writing for a selfless, great struggle stalwart such as Tambo was at times challenging and in some instances, very insightful.The advocate was part of a committee in the Presidency with veteran struggle stalwarts Jack Simons, Edwin Mabitse (real name Edward Mabitsela) and the first Speaker of the democratic parliament Frene Ginwala, who was based in London.“The two of us [Ramatlhodi and Mabitse] were made the president’s speech writers and secretaries and then we formed a committee in the Presidency with Jack Simons.“[We] would be faced with typewriters on a daily basis and the old man was a perfectionist – he would mark us red – there were no computers in those days. So if it is marked red, that means you are going to start afresh on the typewriter all over again.“But he would give us work quite ahead of time. Let’s say he was going to make a speech in May, he would then say a month before we should start drafting that speech, or a month and a half before. Then we kept on taking the drafts to him and he looks at them, asks you questions like ‘Do you understand what you are saying? Do you think the president of the ANC would say this like that?’“If you were properly dressed he would take off his glasses and say: ‘You look so smart.” (Image: Brand South Africa)“Then he puts you back in line and says I think you should articulate this thing this way and this way. And you would go and do a rewrite,” he said.In February, President Jacob Zuma declared 2017 the year of OR Tambo to recognise the struggle stalwart’s contribution to the liberation struggle. Ramatlhodi said Tambo was “a patriot” who cared about language.“He knew the politics, he had the content… He was very passionate about the liberation of our people and even in hard times, when he [fell ill] before 1985, he had a stroke and then we went to this conference in… Zambia and there he said ‘My body is weak; it is limping. But what remains of it shall be consumed in the struggle.’“He was definitely clear that he was going to fall with his boots on and I think that is what happened.”The rise of OR TamboBorn on 27 October 1917 in Kantilla, Bizana, in Mpondoland in the Eastern Cape, Tambo ran an attorney’s practice with Nelson Mandela in central Johannesburg in 1951 before Mandela was banned. This was after he joined the ANC in 1940.In 1953, Tambo’s profile as an anti-apartheid activist rose and he replaced the then national secretary, Walter Sisulu, who had been banned by the government for his role in the 1952 Defiance Campaign. In 1957, Tambo was elected deputy president of the ANC.Subsequent to the Sharpeville Massacre on 21 March 1960, Tambo embarked on a Mission in Exile to gain international support for the South African liberation movement. He became ANC president in 1969, a position he kept until 1991, making him the longest-serving president of the ANC.Ramatlhodi handed the penIn the late 1980s he recruited Ramatlhodi as his private secretary and speechwriter. At the time, Ramatlhodi was head of the ANC’s Regional Political and Military Council of the Zimbabwe Mission. He had spent time in Lesotho, where he was the student representative council (SRC) president at the National University of Lesotho. Former Reserve Bank governor Tito Mboweni was the secretary responsible for publicity in the same student body.Usually, Ramatlhodi would travel to Angola for military training and return to Lesotho to continue his studies. But on one occasion, he was told to go to Lusaka in Zambia because he “was needed” there.He was taken to the ANC’s headquarters in exile, where the liberation movement’s top officials were waiting for him, as was Mboweni.Ramatlhodi and Mboweni were briefed about what has taking place in Lesotho. Times were tense: the South African Defence Force had massacred ANC members in Lesotho, Botswana and Mozambique.Their appointment as envoys was mainly the result of the access they had to frontline leaders and ministers, including the prime minister of Lesotho at the time, through their SRC positions.Ramatlhodi was later deported from Lesotho and was sent to Russia. There, he did military combat work and on his return to Africa, he was put in charge of the council in the Zimbabwe Mission, when the ANC was devising a strategy to start negotiations with the apartheid regime.In 1987, he was appointed speechwriter to Tambo and formed part of the team that went on to draft the Harare Declaration.The Constitutional PrinciplesRamatlhodi said one of the most important documents he wrote under Tambo’s watch was the Constitutional Principles, which he co-drafted under the ANC Constitutional Committee to define a debate on the country’s new constitution.“We used to write [a lot of documents] but one of them had to do with the conditions for negotiations, which was a statement issued by the ANC on the conditions of negotiations, release of political prisoners, the unbanning of political organisations, all those things.“There are many, many documents that I wrote. For example, the Constitutional Principles of the region, which I participated in even when I was in Harare.”The Harare DeclarationIn 1989, Ramatlhodi was part of the team that drafted the liberation movement’s Harare Declaration, a historic paper that laid the basis for negotiations between the apartheid regime and the liberation movement.He said this was one of the most important pieces of writing that he was part of as Tambo’s speechwriter.“When we were drafting the Harare Declaration in 1989, we did a tour of the frontline seat – …Tanzania, Zimbabwe… for a week.“What happened was we wrote a draft… and sent it to people in South Africa and the neighbouring states for their comment and then we followed up to engage with the authorities so that they made their inputs into the final outcome of that document.”After the roadshow, they returned to Luanda in Angola to draft the final document before proceeding to Lusaka. In the group was former president Thabo Mbeki; ANC strategist and former head of policy and in the co-ordinating advisory unit in the Presidency Joel Netshitendzhe; intellectual and activist Pallo Jordan, former member of parliament and minister; and former justice minister Penuell Maduna.Ramatlhodi said Tambo was of the opinion that the document underemphasised the role of the armed struggle in the liberation war. He instructed Ramatlhodi to return to the team and raise the view as his own.“That’s Oliver Tambo for you. He did not want it to come from him because they would easily be persuaded because the president said so. So I had to go argue on that point on his behalf. So it illustrates the point that he was not self-imposing,” he said.The stroke and the comeback speechTambo suffered a mild stroke in 1981; eight years later, on 9 August 1989, he suffered a more severe stroke in Lusaka and was rushed to London. During his recovery, Ramatlhodi was sent to the British capital to help him regain his speech, as Tambo was only comfortable with people familiar to him.“Towards December that year the ANC was going to have a conference in South Africa, so I went back to help him regain his speech because he was comfortable with familiar surroundings.“We prepared the speech, which was a comeback speech, after 27 years, and he delivered it at the ANC conference at Nasrec, which was the first legal ANC conference in South Africa since 1960.“I showed him that speech on the machine manually. But the good thing about him – he was a fighter – by the time he returned [to South Africa], he was reading the speech. And he made many other speeches across the country subsequently,” said Ramatlhodi, who was 39 at the time.This followed then state president FW de Klerk unbanning all anti-apartheid political parties in February 1990, paving the way for negotiations that would end apartheid.Tambo delivered the speech on 16 December 1990 at a rally following the close of the ANC elective conference. It was at this gathering that Mandela was elected Tambo’s deputy president.In his speech, Tambo said: “South Africa is at the crossroads. Our struggle, complemented by efforts of the international community, has rendered apartheid unworkable. Thus, those who rule us without our consent have been compelled to accept the humanity of a black person in this country. For the first time in a period of 70 years, the legitimate aspirations of the overwhelming majority of our people have possibilities of being realised.”Tambo made several more speeches written by Ramatlhodi and at the ANC’s 48th National Conference in Durban in July 1991, he delivered what seemed to be a farewell speech in his opening address. He later told delegates of his intention to step down, urging them to support Mandela as his successor.After he declined a nomination to be president again, delegates created the national chairperson position in honour of Tambo.In the early hours of 24 April 1993, Tambo suffered his third and fatal stroke – two weeks after the assassination of Chris Hani, then leader of the SA Communist Party and Umkhonto we Sizwe chief of staff.Tambo the smart dresserRamatlhodi said while it was usually all hard work and putting pen to paper to craft speeches and document what would later become the liberation movement’s most-prized possessions, he remembered an ANC president who was a smart dresser.“He loved his clothes. And he wanted us to dress very well. If you were shabbily dressed he would look at you and [ask] ‘Ngoako, don’t you have clothes?’“I remember on one trip [during] the Harare Declaration, I don’t think I had enough suits with me. He called the late Stanley Mabizela and said ‘Take this man to town and buy him clothes.’ He gave him money. I got about three nice suits that day.“If you were properly dressed he would take off his glasses and say: ‘You look so smart.’”One of Ramatlhodi’s favourite phrases from the speeches he wrote was “United in our diversity”.“That line comes from a paragraph in our speech where we say: ‘We seek to create a united, democratic and non-racial society. We have a vision of a South Africa in which black and white shall live and work together as equals in conditions of peace and prosperity.’ Tambo made this speech at Georgetown University in Washington, DC on 27 January 1987. At this time, South Africa was at the height of the armed struggle.”Following his time as Tambo’s speechwriter, Ramatlhodi stayed on in the office of the Presidency when Mandela for about six months after Mandela took over. This was while Mandela, affectionately known as Madiba, embarked on a world tour as ANC president.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Death By Lawsuit: SCO Resurrects And Insanity Is Restored

first_imgTags:#Apple#Google#Java#lawsuits#litigation#mobile#Oracle#Patents#Samsung#SCO Group Matt Asay IT + Project Management: A Love Affair If ever we needed confirmation that markets, not courtrooms, should decide the technologies we use, witness SCO Group’s reborn dream to sue all of UNIX-dom into its wallet. It was a specious lawsuit in 2003 when SCO Group (now Xinuos) first launched its $1 billion broadside against IBM. It’s even more farcical today. Sadly, it’s not clear that the legal fights between Apple and Samsung, or Oracle and Google, are much better.First, to SCO Group.SCO Is Like A CockroachYou can be forgiven for thinking bankruptcy, unsympathetic judges and the truth would have killed SCO’s chances of getting its $1 billion IBM payday. That is, you can be forgiven for thinking that occasionally common sense prevails in the courtroom. But as Groklaw notes, a judge has just granted SCO Group (Xinuos) a new lease on its litigious life. Basically, Xinuos wants a “redo,” suggesting that its bankruptcy proceedings unfairly foreclosed its ability to troll.And let’s be clear: this is all about trolling.It’s perhaps fitting that the company that acquired SCO Group’s assets, Xinuos, lists four members of management, three of whom are operations and sales-focused (read: keeping costs down while they swing for the litigation fences), and only one is an engineer. That engineer is too embarrassed to show his face: Related Posts 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… This is a company set up to sue. In common parlance, it is a troll. Fittingly, it’s headquartered in Las Vegas, where the culture of rolling the dice on speculative “investments” pervades.SCO Group reborn as UnXis renamed to Xinuos should be dead. The lawsuit that tormented the industry for years should have been declared stillborn when first launched. And yet we continue to live with this silly charade.More Respectable LawsuitsNot that industry litigation between respectable companies fares much better. Samsung just got a ban on Apple’s importation of old iPhones. Previous to this, Apple won $1 billion from Samsung plus an injunction against Samsung shipping certain phones. The injunction was subsequently wiped out and the damages were trimmed 43%.It’s a tit-for-tat with no end (or victor) in sight.The same holds true for Oracle’s lawsuit against Google over the use of Java in Android. The two parties trade victories and defeats, then appeal, and cross-appeal ad nauseum. The only winners in this and other lawsuits are the attorneys collecting fees.The Market Rolls OnDespite all of this nonsense, consumers and businesses continue to make purchasing decisions based on quality and value, not lawsuits. Linux has eclipsed UNIX and threatens Windows. Android dominates the mobile landscape. Not one of these inane lawsuits has changed these facts.So why do credible firms like Apple and Oracle follow the lead of trolls like SCO Group?Perhaps they hope to delay the inevitable. If Apple can slow Samsung’s market share gains, it stands to make even more profits. Or perhaps they hope to get paid for others’ successes. Microsoft makes serious money on Android, despite not contributing anything of value to its development. Oracle may hope to achieve the same in its lawsuit with Google, but part of its strategy may simply be to ensure that others continue to license Java, even if Google refuses, as I’ve written before.In some cases, technology firms sue in order to discover competitors’ trade secrets in the course of the litigation.Or maybe, just maybe, they’re all suing, as Gizmodo opines, because the patent system is irretrievably broken and so much money is at stake in these emerging markets like mobile. In the case of Xinuos, however, there’s just one reason for its cockroach-like existence: to roll the dice one more time in the hope of getting something for nothing. Let’s hope it fails in a way that it finally, truly dies.Image courtesy of Shutterstock. Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of…last_img read more

William ensures his mother’s friends invited

first_imgPrince William has ensured that close friends of his mother late Princess Diana are invited for his marriage to Kate Middleton atWestminster Abbey here on Friday.India will be represented at the wedding by the country’s High Commissioner to Britain Nalin Surie. Among thereligious leaders invited for the marriage include Anil Bhanot, afounding member of the Hindu Council UK. According to The Sunday Times, Sir Elton John, who sang at Diana’s funeral, is on the list along with Tessa Green, who used to chair the RoyalMarsden foundation trust – the cancer specialist centre which had beensupported by Diana.Sir John Major, former prime minister who was appointed guardian to princes William and Harry when Diana died, and William’s friend Joss Stone, the singer who performed at the concert for Diana, are also on the list.Diana’s family, including her brother Earl Spencer and his fiancee Karen Gordon, will sit behind the Middletons and their friends at the abbey, rather than on the royal family’s side of the aisle.Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, has not been invited.Among the foreign royals on the guest list are the Sultan of Brunei, PrinceAlbert II of Monaco and Princess Lalla Salma of Morocco.KingGeorge Tupou V, the ruler of the small Pacific nation of Tonga will also attend. The rulers of Middle Eastern countries are also invited. Theyinclude Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa of Bahrain.Besides Bhanot, the list of religious leaders and representatives attendingincludes Lord Sacks, the chief rabbi; Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor,archbishop emeritus of Westminster.Bogoda Seelawimala, acting head monk of the London Buddhist Vihara, will be among the guests. He is the first Buddhist monk to be invitedto a royal wedding in Britain. Seelawimala has already offered someadvice to the couple, recommending meditation as one of the keys to asuccessful marriage. “Discuss your problems and meditate together eachmorning,” he said.The world of sports and entertainment are well represented with a list that includes Rowan Atkinson, the comedian andfriend of Prince Charles, and Guy Ritchie, the film director friend ofthe couple.The sports stars include Mike Tindall, the England rugby player and fiance of Zara Phillips, William’s cousin; David Beckham, the footballer and his wife Victoria; Ian Thorpe, the Australian Olympic swimmer; Gareth Thomas, the Walesrugby player who has spoken publicly about his homosexuality; Sir CliveWoodward, the former coach of the England rugby team; and Simon Johnson, head of England’s failed 2018 World Cup bid.Mario Testino, whotook the couple’s engagement photographs will also attend along with Tom Bradby, the ITN journalist who carried out their engagement interview,and Ben Fogle, the television presenter.A selection of cabientministers and their spouses have been invited including Prime MinisterDavid Cameron, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Foreign SecretaryWilliam Hague and Home Secretary MsTheresa May. Ed Miliband, the Labourleader, will also attend.A war veteran who suffered near-fatal injuries including 75 per cent burns during anambush in Afghanistan will be at the royal wedding. Martyn Comptonserved alongside Prince William as a lance-corporal in the HouseholdCavalry.Also on the list are Susie Roberts, the widow ofWilliam’s friend Major Alexis Roberts who was killed in Afghanistan in2007, and Holly Dyer, whose sister Joanna, a close friend of William’sat Sandhurst, was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq in 2007.Bryn and Emma Parry, founders of the charity Help For Heroes, and William’scolleague Sergeant Keith Best, a search and rescue winchman at RAFValley, are invited as well.advertisementlast_img read more

Jacques Kallis rested for ODI series against England

first_imgSouth Africa have rested Jacques Kallis for the one-day international series against England.The 36-year-old Kallis, who scored an unbeaten 182 to help South Africa win the first Test against England by an innings and 12 runs at the Oval on Monday, has been replaced by the uncapped Dean Elgar.In naming their 15-man squad, Cricket South Africa(CSA) announced that Kallis is “being rested ahead of the ICC World Twenty20 in September.”The other changes to the squad that claimed a 3-0 ODI series win in New Zealand earlier this year sees spinner Imran Tahir and all-rounder Ryan McLaren recalled.last_img read more

PM Says Athletes Performance in Moscow Beyond Expectations

first_imgStory Highlights The Jamaican team was once again able to stamp its authority as the sprint capital of the world My heartiest congratulations on a performance which went beyond our wildest expectations Let us as a people continue to give all the necessary support to our athletes From China, where Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller is now on an official visit and with the Jamaican athletes returning home from the 14th IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia, the Prime Minister has issued the following congratulatory message:“I wish to extend to the entire team, the coaches and management staff, on behalf of a most grateful nation, my heartiest congratulations on a performance which went beyond our wildest expectations.Let us not forget that when the team departed Jamaica the discussion, at home and abroad, largely centered around the unfortunate and regrettable developments involving some of our senior athletes.Despite such developments the Jamaican team was once again able to stamp its authority as the sprint capital of the world at the World Championships, indicating the fierce determination, competitive spirit and never say die attitude of our people.As I commend the entire team for their proud and commendable representation of Jamaica at these Championships, I wish, without taking away from the contribution of all the athletes, to single out the superhuman efforts of Usain Bolt, Shelly- Ann Fraser-Pryce and the young Javon Francis.Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce between them were largely responsible for Jamaica’s six gold medals. In both the male and female sprint categories they were the performers at the Championships, once again demonstrating that Jamaica has the capacity and capability to outperform larger and more powerful countries at this level.From a Jamaican perspective, it would be difficult not to rank Javon Francis’ unbelievable 400m run at the Championships, with that of some of the Jamaican greats, in whose footsteps he now follows.Let us as a people continue to give all the necessary support to our athletes and use their performances as a motivation in our personal lives. As they donned the black, green and gold colours on the track at the World Championships it was clear that they were not only about personal success, but also about representing their country proudly and passionately.As a Government, we will continue to play our part in ensuring that, in keeping with available resources, track and field is given the attention and support it deserves, as we pursue policies and programmes  to further develop the country’s rich sport programme”.last_img read more