Fifteen hundred sports ambassadors across all disciplines, who sweat, toil and push their bodies to the limit for the cause of national representation, are set to benefit from ‘a first of its kind’ Jamaica Athlete Insurance (JAI) plan, to be implemented in December this year.As such, Jamaica’s athletes will now be fitted with health insurance coverage tailored to each – their unique needs – for the first time ever.Appropriation funds in aid of $50 million will go towards providing this insurance coverage.”Following consultations with the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA), an inter-ministerial committee established by the prime minister to include the Opposition and members of the athletes’ fraternity, it has been agreed that we will forego an elaborate celebration (Jamaica’s IAAF World Championships success in Beijing) to facilitate the provision of additional resources for athlete development and welfare fund,” Minister with responsibility of sports, Natalie Neita Headley, told a press briefing at Jamaica House yesterday.Having identified that funding from the 2013/2014 financial year, the Government said it intends to protect the country’s sports assets.Requests for proposals for the provision of health insurance were made on August 11 and the deadline for bidders’ responses is today.”Our efforts will continue as we seek to create the best environment possible for the health, well-being, security, safety, high-level performance and prosperity of our sportsmen and sportswomen who bring so much glory and fame to Jamaica,” she continued.Neita-Headley stressed: “The Government remains fully committed to assisting our athletes in every way we can.”Contract in DecemberThe next step will be to have those bids tabled, evaluated and have the process completed, following which actuaries will make recommendations to the Government, which will be expected to award a contract by or in December this year.The Government also outlined that it will be looking to support the JAAA, through the Sports Development Foundation (SDF).Looking to the future, it assured that a monthly stipend to a pool of approximately 70 athletes going through the developmental process – for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – in 2016 will be nurtured and financed.The Government’s partners are the Tourism Enhancement Fund, and Culture, Health, Arts, Sports, Education Fund, which joined forces with the hope of making sports investments and its returns a sustained reality.
Royal Challengers Bangalore with a star-studded batting line-up and batsmen putting up a show should not come as a surprise. AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli took centrestage and what followed – carpet bombing. (IPL Full Coverage) Put into bat, RCB didn’t look at home after getting off to a slow start but once de Villiers walked in after the fall of Chris Gayle, runs started to flow. On seeing his batting partner at the other end going ballistic, Kohli took a back seat as the South African notched up his century in no time off 43 balls. (Also read: Suresh Raina in awe of Virat Kohli-AB de Villiers masterclass) Then a sedate Kohli decided to shift gears and he too raced to his third century of the season. The carnage was too hot for the Gujarat Lions’ bowlers to handle as de Villiers and Kohli put up a record 229-run stand, highest in T20s. Gayle’s poor outing in IPL 2016 continued as he fell cheaply for 6 and then de Villiers (129*) and Kohli (109) feasted on the bowlers to power RCB to a mammoth 248. ABD’s secret is out De Villiers credited his partnership with Kohli as crucial but at the same time put importance on his own shot selections. “A lot of things have played a role today. We were very calm as a team and I walked out almost feeling careless, not afraid to lose wickets, but still play good cricket shots. We timed our innings and the partnership really well,” de Villiers said. “My secret is very very simple. My wife came here to watch me today,” de Villiers said. “I faced too many dot balls,” (laughs, when asked if this was his best T20 innings) ‘Pleasure to bat with de Villiers’ Kohli had a slow start to his innings but took off once de Villiers joined him at the crease. The RCB captain said the thought of making a century never crossed his mind while batting. “It’s always a pleasure batting with AB. He gave me a lot of confidence after I had a slow start, but he just took over. I did not think about the hundred, but when I hit Shivil for three sixes, there was hope,” Kohli said. Everything went fine “I think everything went very well according to plans. There was a good feeling in the dressing room, our preparation was good,” Kohli added. Kohli, who is now the holder of the Orange Cap leading the batting charts with 677 runs and three centuries this season, was confident of his side doing well. Moreover, he is relishing the challenge where RCB need to win every match in order to stay afloat for the playoffs. “We know we are a good batting unit and today was just one of those days we just do what we know best. We played smart cricket. “I love the situation that we are in. Everyday is a new challenge,” Kohli on RCB’s status quo.advertisement