Jamaican Sports, contributed by Tracie Blake
Jamaica has a legion of extremely talented people and sports is one of the many areas they exude their abilities.
We enjoy several type of sports. Here are the most popular ones:
- This wonderful 'gentleman’s' sport got its origin from Europe- England to be exact. Depending on the type of match, it may be an all day event, or even up to 5 days, but then, in addition to lunch, thee is a break for tea! Cricket is a highly popular sport, particularly in the commonwealth and no less in Jamaica.
- Known globally as soccer, this is a magnificent sport which requires strong physical tenacity. We have been doing extremely well in football. In fact it is perhaps the most popular sport in Jamaica. You would have heard about the indomitable "Reggae Boys" right?
- We embrace this sport from the school level onward. We have reaped great talents as Herb McKinley, Merlene Ottey, Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell, Veronica Campbell, Juliet Cuthbert and a host of other amazing track stars who have made us very proud on the international scene.
Basketball: This is still seen as an ‘overseas’ sport but one which has caught on rapidly in Jamaica. We have local basketball teams who vie for spots and prizes beginning at the high school level. We currently a few potent local basketball club teams that can take on any other, anywhere now!
- We've never had snow here, but this sport became very easy to us as it ties in with our tradition of "go-cart" racing which involved a wooden cart on 4 wheels being driven and steered around steep corners and down long hills :-). The Jamaican Bobsled Team is featured in the movie "Cool Runnings". The team have been an inspiration to all.
- This is a very popular Caribbean sport which is enjoyed by all. This sport has branched out from back yards, church halls, living rooms, verandahs and street corners onto the large market in competitions.
- This is a sophisticated sport which has become very popular in Jamaica over the past 20 or so years. Great Jamaican golfers were minimal but that has changed. Ask about one Maurice Foster, my favourite sportscaster.
And by the way, Jamaica is a premier golfing destination for visitors.
- Netball is a female sport for which we have gotten acclaims both locally and overseas with our team of ladies who proudly represents us in international Netball competitions. Jamaica has been doing well, our team has never been ranked lower than 5th in the world during the last decade!
Boxing: We have a host of individuals who participate in this rigorous sport in all the divisions. Mike McCallum is one of our esteemed boxing stars.
Horse Racing: This is quite a long and popular sport in Jamaica. You will find locals packed at the oval- Caymanas Park, to bet and watch on their favourite horses. This started as a Sunday afternoon tradition but became so popular that there are now daily races.
Swimming: Located the midst of the beautiful Caribbean sea, it should be no surprise we have fish-like swimmers. Greater attention is now on swimming, so you’ll see lots more of us in the Olympics!
These are just a few though maybe the most popular one. There are many others that we play and still competes well, including badminton, fishing, body building, chess, cycling, discus & javelin, hockey, tennis (lawn & table), martial arts, polo (land & water), pool, volleyball, shooting, squash, and yacht racing.
One thing is certain, as Jamaicans we are very passionate about our sports and we put our all into it all times!
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