Senegalese company JSPORTS consolidated its position as the leading African sporting goods manufacturer by providing kit for 18 National Olympic Committees (NOC) at last month's Summer Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, the company has revealed.
Since being launched in 2012, the brand, owned by Dakar-based event management company JAPPO, has provided kit for two other leading multi-sport competitions, the London 2012 Olympic Games and the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games earlier this summer.
It wields particular significance in the French speaking world, with 11 of the 18 countries partnered with in Nanjing having benefited from receiving joint funding of the International Organisation of La Francophonie and the Francophone Association of NOCs, part of the drive to increase the performance of French speaking nations on the continent.
But, in what can be taken as evidence of the growing influence of JSPORTS, non-French speaking nations, including Somalia, Tanzania and Zambia, were among the 18, with the company's involvement in Glasgow 2014 further illustrating this growth into new markets.
As well as traditional equipment, ranging from tracksuits and tee-shirts to bags, JSPORTS also provided sport-specific kit for athletics, table tennis, and, for the first time, hockey.
It is hoped this will help increase sporting opportunities throughout the continent as well as generating improvements at the elite level, with the gold medal won by Comoros' 1500 metres runner Daou Aboubacar, as part of the victorious mixed-nation 8x100m relay team in Nanjing, one example of this.
"JSPORTS congratulates its partners and clients and wishes to support more and better their efforts in the hope of increasing sports performance through Africa," said Diamil Faye, the owner of JSPORTS brand, as well as the President and chief executive of JAPPO.
"For the second time, JSPORTS is the first African brand during the Olympic Games and aspires to supply about 30 African delegations, or even NOCs from other continents, during the Rio Olympic Games in 2016."
As well as Somalia, Tanzania and Zambia the other 15 NOCs to partner with JSPORTS consisted of Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Comoros, Congo, Ivory Coast, Djibouti, Mali, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Cape Verde, Niger and Chad.
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