National cyclist visa barrier | Sports

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Jamaican Cycling Federation (JCF) VICE-PRESIDENT Adrian Clarke is angry with the German Embassy, ​​which has twice refused visa applications from national cyclist Llori Sharpe.

Sharpe, who recently signed a one-year contract with the German women’s cycling team Canyon / Sram Generation, is due to leave the island on January 13 in order to start a training camp on the 15th.

However, her second visa application was rejected on Tuesday, and Clarke is puzzled by the refusal of European embassies to grant visas to national representatives to represent their country and enhance their careers.

He referred to the world road championships in Belgium in September when Sharpe and two other riders, Kevan Pryce and Brandon Baker, were denied visas and missed out on the championships, and he calls for Sharpe to be given this opportunity to advance his career.

“She signed for a women’s team based in Germany. She will benefit from housing, a salary, training and shopping across Europe.

“But we have a problem – the same problem we had with the team that was supposed to go to the world championships without getting a visa.

“I don’t know which Jamaican wants to run away to Europe, but they are giving us some visa time,” he said.

He noted that everything was in place for Sharpe to travel on the 13th in terms of plane tickets, itinerary and accommodation.

REQUEST FOR OTHER CHECKS

However, despite letters from the Jamaican Olympic Association (JCA), Ministry of Sports and JCA, the German Embassy is still asking for further checks.

“We don’t act as individuals, we act as a sports organization. We received a letter from the JOA. We contacted the Minister of Sports and she gave us a letter. We also received one from our administration, the Jamaica Cycling Association.

“So we have letters of approval and authentic letters from various agencies

“Yesterday (Tuesday) they say they want to see things like a salary preview and a number of other things, which I find ridiculous,” he said.

“Twice we went to the embassy and they refused us. Llori is in her final year at (West Indian) university finishing her bachelor’s degree (sports science) and her parents are businessmen, so we see no reason to refuse her.

“It was the same problem we had when we had to go to Belgium, and we missed this opportunity to show our talent to the world,” he continued.

Clarke revealed that two men’s teams in Europe also have Jamaican riders on their radar, and he said it was important for local riders to be able to seize these opportunities.

“We need opportunities for our riders, and the fact that European teams can take an interest in Jamaican riders, who are not traditionally a powerhouse, means we are making our presence felt.

“But it shouldn’t be like that. Give him the opportunity. Her cause is genuine and she has trained hard.

“She’s very disciplined and she shed sweat, tears and blood. Now she has the opportunity to have a career and a living from cycling, and we cannot kill her dreams, ”he said.

Sharpe, who is the first Jamaican cyclist to secure a contract in Europe and the second in the Caribbean, said that while the situation is unfortunate, she is optimistic that she will receive the visa in time to leave on the 13th.

“The problem I have with getting the visa is being sorted out as we speak. So hopefully I get it in time for my departure as we will have a training camp to leave. of the 15th, ”she said.

“Belgium’s problem was unfortunate, especially since I was supposed to go to the World Championships, and it would have been an incredible achievement for a Jamaican to be on the world stage.

“But we cannot dwell on the past. What’s done is done, and we want to move on to bigger and better things, and being part of this team means moving to bigger and better things.

“We have to get the support of some famous people, and with their support I think I should be fine,” she added.

livingston.scott@gleanerjm.com


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