Government jumps on board for triple jump ace Jah-Nhai Perinchief
Triple jumper Jah-Nhai Perinchief was recognised for his outstanding recent accomplishments yesterday when the Government presented him with a cheque for $4,500 to assist him during the upcoming season.
The presentation of the outstanding athletic performance award was made on the lawn of the Cabinet Office by Lawrence Scott, the Acting Minister of Youth, Culture and Sport, along with David Burt, the Premier.
The Government sees it as a good investment in one of the island’s top athletes, with Perinchief, 24, going on to win bronze at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, last month before capturing silver at the NACAC Senior Championships in Freeport, Bahamas, two weeks later.
The success came after the Government presented Perinchief with a cheque for $25,000 in May to assist him with his expenses as he trains for and travels to top meets.
“We’re here today at the Cabinet Office to welcome Jah-Nhai home and to congratulate him on his historic bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, last month,” the Premier said.
“We also recognise and celebrate that just two weeks later Jah-Nhai followed that bronze medal with a silver medal at the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletic Association Senior Championships in Freeport, Bahamas.
“Jah-Nhai’s consistency, tenacity and self-belief are an inspiration to all those who are aspiring to enter athletics in Bermuda. And we’re excited at the thought there is still so much more to come from this 24-year-old.”
The Premier added: “The Government is proud to continue to invest in our elite athletes who represent our country so proudly, and we do our best to support them in their efforts to help them succeed.
“We have made sure that we supported Jah-Nhai, whether it is cash support or support for travel to various events. I did have an opportunity to sit inside with Jah-Nhai to speak and I’m confident the best is yet to come.
“He started here, he’s going to bed down his training overseas and I’m certain we will see additional strong performances. We look forward to what is going to come from you in the future, young man.”
Scott said he was honoured to be involved in the presentation to Perinchief, who also had his mother, Janita, Freddie Evans, the president of the Bermuda National Athletics Association and Mia Bean, the BNAA general secretary, present for support.
“Jah-Nhai, you are an example of what can be accomplished with determination, commitment and dedication and we are all so pleased that we are able to give you the Outstanding Athletic Performance Award on behalf of the Ministry of Youth, Culture and Sport,” Scott said.
“Congratulations and I wish you continued success in the next chapter of your life. I believe we are looking at a future gold medallist in Jah-Nhai Perinchief!”
Perinchief will use this year’s accomplishments to build on as he strives for more success next season. “I want to say thank you for this opportunity and thank you to the Premier and minister Lawrence Scott for presenting me with this cheque,” he said.
“I want to thank the BNAA for supporting me as well as the Government and everybody else, and I will do my best to make the country proud. I also want to thank my mom and my whole family for supporting me.”
Perinchief admits he has set the bar high with his success this year. “This is my first year as pro after coming from a collegiate system and I feel like I stepped up,” he said.
“I have a great coach and a great support team and they always make sure I’m ready whenever meets come around. At the Worlds, I didn’t do as good as I wanted to, but that was a small flaw in my approach that I fixed the next day and rewarded myself at Commonwealth.
“Hopefully next year I can build on it. Most of the time I’ve been running and jumping, but I think I’ve learnt enough about triple jump that I can build off.
“I feel next year I’m going to be a lot more consistent, around 17.50 [metres], and hopefully that will put me in medal contention for all the Diamond League meets.”
He added: “The Worlds was a learning experience. I was nervous in the beginning but once I did that first jump I was OK. I fouled a jump that would have had me in the final.
“You just build off stuff like that, I don’t really dwell on it. I just figure out what I need to fix, learn and go from there. While I’m jumping I just have fun, stay focused and let whatever happens happen.”
Perinchief is based in Arkansas, where he will soon begin autumn training under coach Travis Geopfert.
“The funds help a lot, especially for me an unsponsored athlete,” said the 2021 Bermuda Male Athlete of the Year.
“’I’m working towards getting sponsored; I just have to perform when I need to.
“My agent is working on that with me now. Having the help from Government really helps.”