JIS News

Ground was broken yesterday (March 15) for the construction of a multi-purpose sports complex in Sligoville, St. Catherine, by Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade K.D. Knight.
The complex, to be located close to the Sligoville Community Centre, will also house a new post office and a police station.
Funding for the project will come from a US$3 million grant from the Government of the People’s Republic of China.
The complex will include a 600-seat basketball and netball court with lighting facilities and fences. Additionally, there will be a 1,200-seat cricket oval, a 1,500-seat football field and a 400-metre track with 6 lanes around the football field. Work will be carried out by Shanxi Construction engineering (Group) Corp, a construction team from China, and the complex should be completed by May 2007.
In his address at the ceremony, Minister Knight, who is also the Member of Parliament for the area, said a number of benefits would follow, once the complex was established.
“There will be the improvement of the water supply system in Sligoville and its environs, because we have earmarked $21 million to help in that improvement,” he said, adding that some $78,000 would be spent for supplying water to the complex. The new water system will involve the erection of a water storage tank, and a piping system for irrigation around the football field and cricket oval.
Mr. Knight also spoke of plans for the renovation of the Sligoville Great House, the construction of a retirement village and the development of sports and eco-tourism in the Sligoville community.
The Minister was instrumental in starting the project when, in early 2003, he approached the Chinese Government on behalf of the Jamaican Government with the idea of building a sports complex by using the Chinese grant.
Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China, His Excellency Zhao Zhenyu in his remarks, said the building of the sports complex was an indication of the genuine friendship and sound relationship between China and Jamaica.
He spoke of the economic, trade co-operation and sport exchange programmes that have strengthened their relationship.
According to the Ambassador, the complex would not only be a world standard training base for football, cricket, basketball, netball, track and field and table tennis, but also as a “catering and sporting venue for both students and residents”.
“I also hope that the Jamaican Government and local people will facilitate the construction project by providing conveniences and security. I believe, with our joint efforts, we could gather in Sligoville again next May to celebrate the completion of the sports complex,” he said.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Sligoville Support Committee Benevolent Society, Daniel Smith, told JIS News that the building of the complex was a “huge opportunity” for young people in the area.
“We see this as an opportunity for young people to be inspired and to put a little more interest in their upward advancement, so that more opportunities could be opened to them, in terms of employment, in terms of scholarship and I’m certain it will impact on schools and it will inspire the youngsters also, to put their sports clubs in place and sustain them,” he said. Mr. Smith said executive members of the Sligoville Support Committee had met with James Mountain residents two weeks ago in an effort to set up a sports club in the community. He said similar meetings would be held with residents of Jackson, Cedar Valley and Mount Moreland.
Also in attendance were Minister of National Security, Dr. Peter Phillips; Minister of Commerce, Science and Technology, Phillip Paulwell, and the Minister of Water and Housing, Donald Buchanan.

Skip to content