President of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), Witold Bańka, addressed over 140 athletes and support personnel at the ninth annual JADCO Symposium, which was held at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel, in Kingston on Thursday, January 26, 2023. The symposium was held under the theme, “Introduction to ADEL: 24-hour Access to Anti-Doping Education”. Witold Bańka is the first WADA President to visit Jamaica and attend a JADCO workshop.
Hongyang Gracie Li, Manager, Learning Management System (ADEL), a representative of WADA, delivered a virtual presentation on the Anti-Doping Education and Learning Platform (ADEL) at the symposium. ADEL is a global platform that provides 24-hour access to education and learning opportunities.
Speaking at the event, President of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), Witold Bańka, said, “WADA has always recognised the importance of partnership in clean sport. JADCO and the Government of Jamaica are valued partners for WADA. We have been working closely with JADCO for many years. It is crucial for us that you play a leadership role in this region, you make a significant contribution to the Anti-Doping landscape. This is why I want to thank JADCO for running this symposium.”
He added, “JADCO has always embraced innovation and has shown excellent creativity when it comes to education. Education is the single best long-term solution that we have for protecting the values of clean sport. It is a critical component of the global Anti-Doping system. More and more we are seeing the real results that education delivers in preventing doping and supporting athletes in their efforts to compete clean throughout their careers.”
Also speaking at the event was Minister of Culture, Gender Entertainment and Sport, The Honourable Olivia Grange who said, “I think we really should applaud JADCO because they have done quite a bit and they intend to do much more. I want to reiterate that all of this work is being done to help to protect the integrity of clean sport.” She added, “I want to encourage our athletes, support personnel and sport federations to continue to support the work of JADCO by attending the workshops, keeping abreast of new information by following updates in the world of anti-doping by setting up your own ADEL account and learning all you can, so you can stay current and be empowered in the role you play as a sportsman or sportswoman.”
Chairman of JADCO, Alexander Williams, who also spoke at the event said,“This year, the theme for our symposium is, “Introduction to ADEL: 24-hour Access to Anti-Doping Education”. We chose to focus on this theme not only for this event but also our Junior Athletes Anti-Doping Education Workshops and Senior Athletes Anti-Doping Education Workshop, which were held last year.”
In addition, he said, “The beauty of ADEL, is that you can complete the courses at your own pace, in your own time. There is no pressure involved and ADEL enables you to complete courses which will increase your knowledge of anti-doping.” He further stated, “Here at JADCO, this is a significant year for us because come July 25, we will be celebrating our 15th anniversary. We look forward to the events that will occur and ask for your support as we celebrate all that we have accomplished in the field of anti-doping in Jamaica over the past 15 years.”
While sharing his thoughts on the symposium, President of the Jamaica Table Tennis Association (JTTA), Andrew Lue, said, “I think the JADCO Symposium was well organised. I definitely want to implore all the sporting bodies to get educated about anti-doping in sport and attend the JADCO events. The ADEL system is great and we need to get more hands on with it.”
Teacher at Bellefield High School, Shemeka Jenkins, noted, “It is my first time attending the JADCO Symposium and I think it is very informative and I would like to encourage student athletes and coaches to attend these events because they enlighten us about doping and its effect on athletes. I like the fact that the ADEL platform is beneficial not only to the athletes but also to the wider society.”
Participants at the symposium included members of sporting associations and federations, professional groups, school principals, coaches, sport administrators and athletes. The JADCO Symposium has been held annually since January 2015 to facilitate continuous dialogue with athlete support personnel. The next staging of the event will be in January 2024.