Jamaica celebrates Melaine Walker

KINGSTON, Jamaica: Olympic and world 400-metre hurdles champion Melaine Walker has received praise for her performance in sports and contribution to community development from Chairman of the Sports Development Foundation (SDF), David Mais.

“We would like to say that Melaine Walker is truly an outstanding track and field star,” Mais said at a press conference held Tuesday at Norman Manley International Airport to welcome Walker back to Jamaica.

Walker, who arrived with her manager, Juliet Campbell, expressed gratitude for the support shown by her relatives and the nation during the IAAF Track and Field World Championships in Berlin, Germany, last month.

“I couldn’t have done it without any of you guys,” Walker said.

Walker was met at the airport by her parents Japheth Walker and Jennifer Wilson, sister and brothers, and a team of officials, including representatives from the sports ministry, the Jamaica Amateur Athletics Association (JAAA), the SDF and the club she trains with, the Maximizing, Velocity and Power Track Club.

Mais lauded Walker’s contribution to the Maxfield Avenue community where she grew up, and her ability “to make things happen” in the area.

“Not only have you changed your community, you have helped change Jamaica, because of the warmth and the love that the people of this country have shown in welcoming you and recognizing your hard work and accomplishments,” Mais said. “Truly, you are an outstanding representative of Jamaica.”

Advisor to the Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Ali McNab, praised the performance of Walker and the Jamaican team at the World Championships.

“Keep up the good work. Continue to work hard. Continue to understand that you are our role model for the rest of Jamaica,” said McNab.

McNab said the SDF, JAAA and the ministry were committed to the development of the nation’s athletes. The government is planning homecoming celebrations from October 2 to October 4 to show appreciation to the athletes. (JIS)

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