The Honourable Olivia Grange, minister of culture, gender, entertainment and sport, yesterday announced former national football player Ian ‘Pepe’ Goodison and former national netball player and current coach Oberon ‘OB’ Pitterson-Nattie as ambassadors for the INSPORTS National Primary Football and Netball programmes.
Grange made the official announcement at the National Indoor Sports Centre as she spoke at the press launch and official draw for the play-offs in the INSPORTS National Primary School Football and Netball competitions.
The play-offs start tomorrow across the island among the schools in the draw.
Grange said: “Both Pepe and ‘OB’ by virtue of the way they have represented Jamaica in their two sports, are eminently qualified for the ambassadorial roles to which we are appointing them.
“They represent two of the best examples we could identify to assist youngsters at the grassroots level. Pepe as we know, is himself a grassroots man and it is also not unfamiliar territory for OB.
“Their roles will be to provide insights and knowledge about the game to the youngsters in a manner that will inspire player participation and a genuine focus to represent the country at the highest levels as they develop.
“In discussion with INSPORTS, they will develop strategies through seminars and workshops that will improve the overall grassroots programme for football and netball here.”
The Sport Minister said that the major purpose of these primary school competitions was to enhance Jamaica’s feeder programmes for all levels of football and netball, bringing to the fore the best talent in a competitive environment in line with the INSPORTS mandate of “unearthing talent.”
“There are many Ricardo Fullers and ‘Bibi’ Gardners out there. There are many Andre Blakes and Warren Barretts and Pepe Goodisons. And certainly there are many more Romelda Aikens, Simone Forbes, Oberon Pittersons and others. But we must use these youth initiatives to identify them and go on to provide as much assistance as possible for them to turn their potential into the next generation of great Jamaican footballers and netballers.”
This year sees the restart of the competitions, the last one being in 2013.