Celebrating 50 Athletes and 50 Years

12/07/2012  -  11.09am

Theresa Welch

It’s not long at all now before the Jamaican Track and Field teams arrive in this region for their pre-Olympic training.

The team is expected to include five-time World and three-time Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt as well as current 100 metre World Champion Yohan Blake and women’s Olympic 100m champion Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce.

How exciting! Approximately 50 Jamaican track and field athletes will be staying in Birmingham in the run up to the opening ceremony.

This is so significant to our region and great for our own aspiring athletes, particularly those with Jamaican heritage; ever since Arthur Wint won the 400m in the 1948 Olympics Jamaica has the most success per capita of any country in track and field.

Co-incidentally, this year will also see the 50th celebration of Jamaica’s independence; the Jamaican national flag was first raised on August 6, 1962.

To mark this event and the run up to it, the Jamaica Information Service has created an official web page, Celebrating Jamaica at 50. Not surprisingly, the site currently has sport in focus.

I’ll be following commentary on the Jamaican teams there, and finding out about the celebrations around being 50 at the same time.

There is also information about some of what is happening regionally to celebrate the occasion.

Like so many of us, I can’t wait. I’m excited about the Olympics, excited about our guests, and excited by the prospect of much celebration this year…

Theresa Welch, Chair of the Black and Minority Ethnic Staff Network (BMESN) at the University of Wolverhampton