Jamaica Gleaner
Published: Monday | December 10, 2012
Home : Sports
'A magnificent achievement', says Prime Minister
Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller - File

Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller was one of the first persons to congratulate new World Boxing Association (WBA) feather-weight champion, Nicholas Walters, after his victory over Darius Prescott of Colombia at the National Indoor Sports Centre in Kingston in the wee hours yesterday morning.

Minister with responsibility for sports in the Office of the Prime Minister, Natalie Neita Headley, was at the venue and joined in the after-fight celebrations. But the prime minister also gave Walters an early call.

His father, Job, who was with him at the time, said: "When the call came in the early morning, they were tired and sleepy and nearly did not take it, but finally decided to. When the person said who was calling, I did not hear clearly and asked again, 'who?' When I heard 'Sister P', I got fully awake and shouted to Nick, 'the prime minister' and put the call on speaker phone.

"She had a nice, long chat with us and congratulated Nick. She said the victory was a great 50th Independence and Christmas gift for Jamaica," he added.

Speaking to The Gleaner yesterday, the prime minister said: "I am walking on air right now. This is such a magnificent achievement for this young boxer and for Jamaica. For it to happen in this our 50th Independence anniversary year makes it even sweeter and I want to commend not only the boxer, but his family, especially his father Job, his community and the Jamaica Boxing Board.

"This achievement, following on the performances in London by our athletes, including the Paralympians, says a lot about our country and the importance of our sports and music. The earning power that we possess in these areas must be fully exploited."

Prime Minister Simpson Miller added: "I was also thrilled to hear this young man saying thanks to the people in Panama for the assistance they have given to him, and doing so in their language, Spanish. I could not be prouder of him and it says a lot about his character that he knew that it was important to say thanks to all those who have assisted him to be where he is today.

"This is another great day for Jamaica."

- Leroy Brown

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