While a majority of effort rightly goes into producing the champions of tomorrow and encouraging the next generation to embrace sport, the Jordan Olympic Committee has made a pledge to yesterday’s heroes who still contribute so much today.
The Youth and Sport Movement Pioneers is an association under the JOC’s umbrella which has played a crucial role in engaging with retired sportsmen and recognizing their contribution. Members are aged between 50-90 years old.
Recently the organisation held its elections and Mohammad Jameel Abu Al Tayeb was re-elected its President, and he says his next term of office will be about bringing all the expertise and experience of its members to benefit sports development.
“Our members are men who served the youth and sport movement, dedicating their lives to raise Jordan flag at Arab and International events,” he said. “They enjoyed great achievements in times where circumstances were very difficult as there were no financial or logistic support at all.
“These men are the ones who established and improved organizations that promote sports in schools, clubs and universities, predominantly as volunteers without a penny paid for years of work.”
Collectively, the members have centuries of sporting experience between them through competing, coaching, refereeing or as federation members or presidents. The association was set up to ensure that all this knowledge didn’t go to waste.
“These are the real pioneers of the sport and youth movement,” said Mr Al Tayeb. “The organization provides many privileges for its members and the headquarters allows them to have a ‘base’ for them to socialize. They also have health insurance provided by the Jordanian Armed Forces after HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein got the approval of HM the Late King Hussein Bin Talal.
“HRH Princess Haya also funded the annual Umrah trip for 50 passengers during Ramadan, which has now covered all members. She has also added all children and grandchildren to the Al Hassan Fund Scholarship, where 50 student got scholarships on her expenses.”
The JOC, under the Presidency of HRH Prince Feisal Al Hussein, funds the organisation which also relied on voluntary donations from the members
The new board is now looking to expand the association’s activities to embrace social and cultural events including courses and seminars. It is also keen to start a female section.
The organisation is celebrating its 25th anniversary, and without a doubt it will continue to play an integral role in recognizing the achievements and wonderful work that is carried out by an unsung group if heroes every single day.