Building links with Jamaica

By on 30/09/2009 in News

Leader of Birmingham City Council Mike Whitby flies to Jamaica today for a 'whistle-stop' trip aimed at further strengthening business, sporting and cultural links ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games.

Before heading for Kingston, Cllr Whitby last night welcomed the Jamaican High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, His Excellency the Honourable Burchell Whiteman, OJ, to the Council House for a meeting with representatives of Birmingham's Jamaican business community.

With Jamaica Track and Field set to base themselves in the city ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games, Cllr Whitby aims to establish further links with the Caribbean nation.

He will be the guest of Prime Minister Bruce Golding and Minister of Information, Culture, Youth & Sports Olivia Grange and is also set to meet leading business figures, including media tycoon Oliver Clarke, owner of the Gleaner newspaper.

Cllr Whitby said; “We've worked extremely hard to attract high profile teams to Birmingham for 2012 but that's just the start of the process. We now have to make the Olympic Games work for the city on every possible level.

“The prospect if playing host to Usain Bolt and his team mates in 2012 has sparked real excitement in Birmingham's Jamaican community and it's important to harness that excitement.

“I've already opened talks with business leaders about significant investment opportunities and the Jamaican community in Birmingham is keen to make the most of our new links.

“We must do the groundwork now to ensure there's a 2012 legacy and that's why we're talking to everyone from senior government figures to business and community leaders.”

Last month Jamaican Amateur Athletic Association President Howard Aris confirmed Jamaica Track and Field will use Birmingham as a training camp ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games. With a contract set to be signed with USA Track and Field, Birmingham is well placed to make the most of its 2012 opportunities.

See flickr images of Councillor Mike Whitby, Leader of Birmingham City Council and Jamaican High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, His Excellency the Honourable Burchell Whiteman, OJ.

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