Minister with responsibility for Sports, in the Office of the Prime Minister, Hon. Natalie Neita-Headley, says the possibility of the country hosting a Diamond League event in Jamaica, is being explored.
“We have been, prior to the Olympics (in London), looking clearly at how we could stage world class events here, that would bring not only the sporting champions from across the world here, but also capitalise on the broadcast rights,” Mrs. Neita- Headley said.
The Minister was speaking recently in an interview on the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) television programme, ‘Issues and Answers’.
Mrs. Neita-Headley pointed out that currently, the country is not ready to host such an international event. “We do have some major things already in place. However, there are quite a lot of other things which would need to be put in place to be able to have it done,” she added.
The Sports Minister cited the availability of hotels and a stadium facility, although it needs to be retrofitted, as positive steps in the country’s ability to host a Diamond League event.
“I have been to Diamond League events where the stadium wasn’t bigger than ours, but certainly was far better equipped than ours. We have had proposals on how we could retrofit and we have had discussions with the team out of Brussels, which hosts the number one Diamond League event in the world, and we have indicated to the International Association of Athletics Federations(IAAF) our interest in staging such an event here in Jamaica,” the Sports Minister said.
The Samsung Diamond League is an annual series of track and field meetings held from 2010 onwards. It was designed to replace the IAAF Golden League, which was held annually since 1998.