Other countries envy Jamaica - Fennell

December 14, 2015
Chairman of the RJR Sports Foundation Gary Allen (left) and president of the Jamaica Olympic Association Mike Fennell the media launch of the 2015 RJR National Sportsman and Sportswoman Awards at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel on Thursday.

Using the 13 athletes nominated for the 2015 RJR Sports Foundation's Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year Award as flag bearers of global sporting excellence, Jamaica Olympic Association president, Mike Fennell said Jamaicans don't appreciate or understand their assets, of which other big countries are jealous.

"Sport is the life and blood of this country and I hope the country understands that and starts to recognise it," he said.

He noted that while countries admire Jamaica's sporting success, there are others who envy it.

"They certainly do. We should also be aware that some of them are very jealous of us and will stop at nothing to point fingers and accusations which are totally false and without foundation whatever, so let's continue to be proud people with the performance of our athletes," the JOA president said.

"I don't know if people understand how proud we are as Jamaicans to have those sorts of performers. Many large countries would give their eye teeth to have performances like that and we must be proud Jamaicans," he added.

When asked if Jamaica is capitalising economically on its sporting process, Fennell said to some extent, but added that more work is needed.

"There is always that question and Jamaica has undoubtedly benefited immensely to the strength of our brand by the athletes but the benefits have to do with other things in place, not sports.

"You have to link those things and make it attractive for investors, and make it investor friendly to do business with that's another side that's outside of our remit," the administrator added.

Sports persons from seven categories will be up for awards on January 15.

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