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    Story Highlights

    • Calabar High School, in St. Andrew, will be the first such institution to receive a synthetic track.
    • Minister with responsibility for Sport in the Office of the Prime Minister, Hon. Natalie Neita-Headley, made the announcement while addressing the Sports Development Foundation (SDF) 20th anniversary and long service awards luncheon, held at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel, in Kingston, on May 21.
    • Mrs. Neita-Headley said this will form part of the $250 million high school sports infrastructure improvement programme, which will be carried out by the SDF in 24 schools across Jamaica.

    Calabar High School, in St. Andrew, will be the first such institution to receive a synthetic track.

    Minister with responsibility for Sport in the Office of the Prime Minister, Hon. Natalie Neita-Headley, made the announcement while addressing the Sports Development Foundation (SDF) 20th anniversary and long service awards luncheon, held at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel, in Kingston, on May 21.

    Mrs. Neita-Headley said this will form part of the $250 million high school sports infrastructure improvement programme, which will be carried out by the SDF in 24 schools across Jamaica.

    She noted that the projects under the programme are expected to be completed during this fiscal year.

    “Two years ago when this project was launched, it was inspired by the need to ensure that sporting infrastructure in schools across the country is improved to a level that students can truly grow where they are planted, not just in academics, but also in sports,” the Minister said.

    “Unfortunately there are no synthetic running tacks installed at any of our high schools, and it is believed that many of the recurrent injuries among our senior athletes occurred during the poor infrastructure on which they trained and competed during their early years,” she added.

    In the meantime, the Minister lauded the SDF for its sterling contribution to the development of sports across the island, noting that the SDF continues to play its part in improving the quality of sports across the island at various levels.

    “The SDF funds are carefully channeled to projects in specific areas, such as infrastructure, grants to the national support organizations, grants for the athletes, special application grants and funding for special projects,” Mrs. Neita-Headley pointed out.

    She informed that at the end of 2014, $1.455 billion was spent on sports infrastructure in Jamaica

    “This expenditure has facilitated improved performance of our athletes, camaraderie in the communities and the hosting of regional and international championships,” the Minister said.

    The Minister said that the SDF will be integral in funding Jamaica’s first sports museum to be located across from the National Stadium, in Kingston.

    Mrs. Neita-Headley explained that the SDF’s contribution to national development is in keeping with the Government’s efforts to partner with the private sector to aggressively undertake the expansion and upgrading of the nation’s sporting infrastructure.