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Caribbean sports journalists are making good on a promise to form an umbrella organisation

Plans to form an umbrella organisation for Caribbean Sports Journalists have been applauded by sporting confederations and former sporting icons.

The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF), the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletics Association (NACAC) and the Caribbean
Association of National Olympic Committees (CANOC) have congratulated the initiative by a group of sports journalists, under the acronym CASJA – Caribbean Alliance Sports Journalists Association.

“On behalf of CONCACAF, we congratulate the group of Caribbean sports journalists who had the passion and vision to create an association seeking to share best practice,” said CONCACAF President
Jeffrey Webb.

“We are certain CASJA will contribute to develop and professionalize football in the region,” said Webb who is also a Vice President of FIFA.

Under Webb’s leadership, CONCACAF has had a very cordial relationship with the media including active participation in activities of the confederation.

In a letter to the founding members of CASJA, Victor Lopez conveyed NACAC’s congratulations on the initiative.

“You can count with our support and we will talk in Nassau (Bahamas) about the possibility of expanding the organization to have few members from the other sub regions of the NACAC area.
The work you guys are doing is commendable and priceless. My admiration and respect,” he said.

Steve Stoute, the Chairman of CANOC also expressed support for CASJA and plans to discuss a relationship at the next Executive Board Meeting of CANOC. He said that CANOC is also exploring
some projects including a workshop for sports journalists and CASJA’s active participation.

The Grenada Football Association (GFA), headed by Cheney Joseph, who is also a Vice President of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU), is also commending the journalists on that important step.

“Your decision is a step in the right direction and we look forward to greater collaboration in regional football events. The Caribbean has provided a vast array of talent which the world has grown to accept and it is in this context that we implore on your organization to lift the standard of sports journalism within our region,” a statement from Joseph read.

There are also support and endorsements from Carole Beckford of Jamaica, Communications specialist and President of the Business of Sport and former Trinidad and Tobago international footballer Shaka Hislop, who now works for ESPN as a commentator and analyst on European and Mexican football. “I’d endorse the CASJA, and steps being taken,” Hislop said.

“The Caribbean has always been a haven for major sporting events especially in athletics, cricket, and football and there needs to be a united voice on the mounting challenges faced by the sports media,” said Michael Bascombe, an organising member of CASJA.

The idea of the association evolved out of a desire to provide a united voice for the sports media in the region.

Organising members include Brent Stubbs (Bahamas); Michael Bascombe (Grenada); Kwame Laurence (Trinidad & Tobago); and Anthony Foster, Kayon Raynor and Andre Lowe (Jamaica).
The launching, scheduled for Sunday May 25 in Nassau, Bahamas, is expected to be attended by sports journalists, administrators, coaches and other officials.

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