#Kingston, June 21, 2019 – Jamaica – Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, says the Government will be increasing investment in the upgrading of sports facilities.
These include the National Stadium in Kingston and the Trelawny Stadium in western Jamaica.
“As we focus on maximising the value of sports to national development, we are pursuing a comprehensive sports infrastructure programme with a focus on redevelopment of national sports facilities,” she said.
Minister Grange was addressing a session of the Eighth Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston on June 19. She noted that the investment will enable the country to attract and earn more from the hosting of international sporting events.
She said that currently, athletes from more than 20 countries across various disciplines train in Jamaica, and through the improvement of existing facilities, the country will be able to welcome more persons.
Turning to other initiatives in sports, Ms. Grange said that the Ministry is looking to develop sport enterprises such as the manufacturing of sport goods, and offering services such as sport administration and marketing and planning of events.
She further told the conference delegates that over the past two years, the Government has been improving the skill sets of museum professionals, “towards the goal of establishing the country’s first purpose-built museum to showcase our rich and expansive feats in sport and to help with the development of the sport industry”.
Ms. Grange said that the Government continues to find, nurture and develop athletic talent through the grassroots development programme.
“Our aim is to ensure that each Jamaican has the opportunity to succeed in sports from the grassroots to the high-performance level, develop the sports industry and encourage participation in sports as a way of life for our people,” she said, noting that increased focus is being placed on strengthening skills in non-traditional sports.
Meanwhile, Ms. Grange said that new rules were recently announced for local sports federations to access funding from the Ministry. The rules, she said, require federations to give greater support to special Olympians, paralympians and women and girls in sports.
“We have implemented a policy at the Institute of Sports where we are now awarding equal prize money for girl and boy teams for our primary school football and netball competitions,” she said.
Contact: Chris Patterson
Photo Caption: Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, addressing a session of the Eighth Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston on June 19.
Photographer: Yhomo Hutchinson