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Sports Complex to be Developed in Norwood, St. James

By: , March 13, 2023
Sports Complex to be Developed in Norwood, St. James
Managing Director, Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), Omar Sweeney.

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The Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) will be developing a sports complex in Norwood, St. James, as part of the Zone of Special Operations (ZOSO) now in place in the community.

JSIF’s Managing Director, Omar Sweeney, tells JIS News that the undertaking will form part of upcoming youth engagement activities in Norwood.

The complex, which will be developed under the ZOSO’s build phase, is being done under JSIF’s Integrated Community Development Project II (ICDP II).

Phase one of the development will cost $28 million, and is programmed for implementation between March and June 2023.

“It will include hard courts and recreational facilities on a field there [in Norwood] identified to be upgraded. It will create the infrastructural facilities we need now, for future and larger competitions,” Mr. Sweeney indicates.

He adds that “we have, in the zone, a focus on youth engagement; and that has come out of some of the surveys that we have done.”

It is in this vein that the Norwood Netball League was conceptualised. The league was launched on February 12 and runs until March 19.

The competition is being undertaken in partnership with the Social Development Commission (SDC), Norwood Community Development Committee (CDC), Sandals Resorts International, HEART/NSTA Trust, the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), and the area’s political representatives.

Matches are being played at the Greens Netball Court in Norwood, which was rehabilitated by the Sports Development Foundation (SDF) in 2022.

Six teams from the community, with a total of 65 participants, are taking part in the tournament.

The league is aimed at increasing youth participation in sport, specifically netball, as a part of a wider youth engagement strategy, and fostering the development of skills and competence in the sport.

JSIF also aims to support community development and cohesion, as the event brings together teams and volunteers from areas in the community.

Mr. Sweeney says the residents’ response has been great, noting that over 100 persons attended the first match.

“We have been getting tremendous responses and, similar to when we had the Christmas tree lighting event in December, people are saying it’s the first time they are seeing this type of thing happening in the community. So they want to see more of the interventions rolled out, and that’s why we have been so strategic about rolling out these interventions, because we don’t want to start and stop,” he points out.

Mr. Sweeney advises that once infrastructure work is completed on the field where the sports complex will be developed, more sporting activities, such as football and basketball, will be introduced for males in the community.

Meanwhile, water supply improvement will also be undertaken in Norwood during the ZOSO build phase.

“We are currently working on infrastructure designs for improving the distribution of the water supply… that’s a big issue there. They have some main line infrastructure for water. But the lateral distribution to the houses… is something that needs to be upgraded. So we’re working with National Water Commission (NWC),” Mr. Sweeney informs.

He further tells JIS News that road work will also be done during the ZOSO build phase.

“There are a couple of key connecter roads that we believe would add to better policing of the neighborhood and better movement of people through the neighborhood, that we are also looking to upgrade under the infrastructure programme,” Mr. Sweeney informs.

He says JSIF will also be working with the Ministry of Education and Youth to discuss the possible establishment of a school in the community.

Norwood was declared a Zone of Special Operations by the Government in June 2021.


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