Gov’t Spends $614 Million on Sports Development

Photo: JIS Photographer Minister with responsibility for Sport, Hon. Natalie Neita Headley, makes her contribution to the 2013/14 Sectoral Debate on June 5 in the House of Representatives.

Minister with responsibility for Sports, Hon. Natalie Neita Headley, has informed that the Government spent a total of $614.18 million on sports development in 2012.

The Minister, who made the disclosure while contributing to the 2013/14 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on June 5, said the funds were expended through the Sports Development Foundation (SDF).

Of the sum, she said $57 million was given as grants to government sport agencies; another $121.9 million for infrastructure projects, including funds sourced from the Constituency Development Fund ($8.73 million) and the European Union ($79.1 million) and an additional $24.2 million for athletes’ welfare.

She added that a number of multipurpose courts, playfields, and fencing of facilities were also completed last year, at a cost of approximately $79 million by the SDF, under the (EU) fund for areas defined as sugar dependent.

“Several other such projects are underway, many of which will be completed in this fiscal year,” the Minister informed.

Additionally, the Sports Minister noted that the SDF paid out subventions totalling some $200.4 million to 42 national associations to support development programmes, administrative expenses, training of athletes and administrators, and for participation in national and international competitions.

This, she said, represented a contribution of approximately 25 per cent of the budgets submitted by the national associations.

Mrs. Neita Headley said the SDF continues to be critical to the development of sport and the provision of funding to all associations in Jamaica.

“Our continued success in sport relies heavily on the financing provided by (this agency),” she pointed out.

The SDF, which is funded from 40 per cent of the cess on lottery revenues, was developed in 1995 as an independent body to contribute to the development of sports in Jamaica.

Contact: Athaliah Reynolds-Baker.

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