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Jamaican Sports culture


Permalink 07:30:06 pm, by Skillachi
Categories: Sports, Culture

Jamaican Sports culture

Earlier today I was listening to the radio when it came to the sports reports, while listening to the sports reports they went across all the major things happening, West Indies Cricket vs Austrailia coming up among other things, and it was at this point that I was inspired to write this post. You see I feel the need to highlight something that many people in the world are baffled by and that Jamaicans for some strange reason just fall into line and follow and that is simply our sports culture. I can be brazen enough to use the word culture because quite frankly sports are a major part of Jamaican culture. Every Jamaican person whether tall or short, fat or slim, left or right handed... all possibly have a sport that they have played, would like to play or watch so intensely that to question their knowledge would be no less than blasphemus. It is for this reason I believe that we have so many successful Jamaican men and women as far as international sporting goes.

But how far does this culture go really. Whereas in other regions of the world children start to take sports more seriously at the beginning of high school, in Jamaica it is quite different, we take it as far back as kindergarden level (age 4... sometimes earlier). This isn't to say that we all are hoping that if we train them early we will have a future Usain Bolt or Lebron James on our hands, no sort of pressure like that... its simply to instill in our children the value of sports in their lives and to introduce them to the world of competitiveness before they even learn their A B Cs. Dont believe me, Jamaica has a prep championships. These championships are an all island championship which consists of children (age 5-12) competing against each other in athletic events. Its so intensely competitive that prep schools carry 68 member teams to compete, and of course as is the Jamaican style, records are set and broken. Dont think however that since they are only kid's nobody will really pay much attention to them either, these championships have a fairly large following and while it doesnt pack the national stadium it does still garner a following. In addition to these prep championships we also have football(soccer) competitions, netball competitions and even swimming championships, which are so followed the chances are more than likely you will hear the results in the news.

running kids

But it doesnt end there, it is at High school level that our sports culture really heats up and begins to shine. As a matter of fact you will find most people aligning themselves more with their high schools than with any other institution that they have attended. I am one of the victims of this system as I find that during the school year I need to be kept up to date on everything that Wolmers (my high school) is doing and feel the need to rub it into the face of all my family and friends when we win and hide away when we lose. At the high school level sports like basketball, volleyball, swimming, table tennis etc begin to gain a following with rivalries going back to days long forgotten and "big" matches where 2 rival schools meet up. It culminates at the end with the Boys and Girls championships, this is where schools gain their bragging rights, where stars are born and where talent is seen. These championships are the biggest of their type in the world, and consist of over 150 high schools competing for the crown and the year worth of bragging rights. Dont believe me? Check out the history of the boys and girls championships and I guarantee you that any Jamaican athlete currently dominating on the world stage had their not so humble beginnings at the Boys/girls champs. Even international bodies such as the Iaaf have to watch out for the champs as this is where the future Otteys, Bolts and Powells all start.


Its things like this which make Jamaica such a unique and fun island to live in. Everybody in Jamaica has a champs story, everybody in Jamaica has a high school who they will defend to the grave (whether they like to admit it or not) and everybody is an expert in some level of sport. Heated debates can be heard at every dominoe table, every rum bar and every social gathering about which schools have the better football team, or which school will take champs and these arguments normally culminate in a group of people heartily singing their school songs even more proudly than we do our national anthem. Our sports culture is truly something of marvel but its something which I love.


ps: yes I had to post a picture of wolmers winning something. I'm a victim of the sports culture, AGE QOUD AGIS!!!!

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Reasons why I love my Jamaican Mom

1. My Mother taught me about ANTICIPATION.
"Just wait till we get home."

2. My Mother taught me about RECEIVING.
"You going get a ass'n when we get home!"

3. My Mother taught me to MEET A CHALLENGE.
"What di backside yu thinkin'? Answer me when me talk to you...Don't talk back to me!"

4. My Mother taught me CONSEQUENCES.
"If yu run cross de road an' cyar lick yu dung, a goin' kill yu wid lick."

5. My Mother taught me THE VALUE OF EDUCATION.
"If yu no go a school, yu a go tun tief or walk an' pick up bottle."

6. My Mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE.
"If yu tun over yu eye lid an fly pitch pan it, it a go stay so fi evva."

7. My Mother taught me to THINK AHEAD.
"Is not one time monkey goin' wan' wife"

8. My Mother taught me ESP.
"Yu tink a don't know what yu up to nuh?"

9. My Mother taught me HUMOR.
"If yu don' eat food, breeze goin' blow yu 'way."

10. My Mother taught me how to BECOME AN ADULT.
"Come an' tek yu beatin' like man."

11. My Mother taught me about SEX.
"Yu tink say yu drop from sky?"

12. My Mother taught me about GENETICS.
"Yu jus' like yu faada."

13. My Mother taught me about my ROOTS.
"Yu tink mi come from "Back A Wall?"

14. My Mother taught me about WISDOM OF AGE.
"When yu get to be as ol' as me, yu wi understan'."

15. And my all time favorite... JUSTICE.
"One day wen yu have pickney, a hope dem treat yu same way."


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