Photo: Former OAJ President Vilma Charlton has implored more Olympinas to join the association
The first President and founding member of the Olympians Association of Jamaica, Vilma Charlton is imploring more of the countries former and present Olympians to join the association.
Charlton, who was speaking at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the OAJ and team Jamaica Bickle at Independence Park last Friday, believes that it is an opportune time for more of the athletes who have, or who are currently representing the country, to come onboard.
Charlton who remains an executive member of the organization, despite no longer being the president, believes that if more Olympians get involved in the OAJ, they will understand the sacrifices that others have made for them and as such would be more likely to help to serve as well.
“I am very happy and especially because it’s Irwine. Irwine over the years has been giving, sometimes out of what he doesn’t have. I wish that some of our Olympians will see the level of assistance that he would garner for them to operate.
“One of the things that generally speaking, Olympians, we love to complain and we say we don’t get this and we don’t get that, but we need more of them to be around us so that they can see the level of commitment that people have for them.”
Charlton has served sports in Jamaica, track and field in particular, since her retirement from active competition and credits her mentor and friend Herb McKenley, for not only her success as an athlete, but also for the role she now plays as an administrator.
“I learnt all of this from Herb McKenley. He gave out of what he never had. He sent me (away) on a scholarship that didn’t exist and when I graduated, he got the first invitation. He always wanted to say yes to everything, whatever you asked him and so that commitment has stayed with me.”
The three-time Jamaican Olympian pleaded for more of the countries Olympians to give whatever they can to the organization, so that future generations can benefit as well.
“I think life is like that. We get a lot, if I didn’t get an education I wouldn’t be standing here right now. So, we hope that we can encourage more Olympians to come onboard and to understand that it’s not what you can get out of an organization such as this, but it’s what you can give, so that others can benefit.”
The Olympians Association of Jamaica was formed in 2004 and serves former and current Olympians.