Florette Blackwood, Senior Director, Sport Development and Monitoring Division in the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport (right) was on hand yesterday (Thursday) at the Norman Manley International Airport to welcome the group of seven coaches along with their team leader and translator.

KINGSTON, Jamaica — The first set of coaches being provided to Jamaica by the People's Republic of China for seven sports arrived in Kingston yesterday afternoon.

The coaches are part of a three-year technical agreement signed between the two countries last year and will be aiding in the following sports:

•        Synchronised swimming
•        Swimming
•        Basketball for females
•        Football for females
•        Volleyball for females
•        Badminton
•        Gymnastics

Speaking on behalf of the Sport Minister Olivia Grange, Permanent Secretary Denzil Thorpe told a reception held for the coaches that Jamaica intends to take full advantage of the project knowing that the athletes as well as the coaches and teachers will benefit through transfer of knowledge.

Thorpe noted that Jamaica is also grateful for the training equipment to be provided by China under the agreement.

The permanent secretary said congratulations were in order for the team that had been working with the ministry to ensure that this project of technical assistance in sport is indeed a reality.

He named the Planning Institute of Jamaica, the ministry of foreign affairs and foreign trade, the Sport Development Foundation and the GC Foster College of Sport and Physical Education.

The coaches will spend a month in Jamaica and the agreement also calls for 100 of the athletes in the programme and their local coaches to go to China mid-year.