Minister with responsibility for Sports in the Office of the Prime Minister, Hon. Natalie Neita-Headley, says communities have been brought together through sports, and partnerships must be built to achieve success from those unions.
“Sports has that potential to unify us around a common goal and a common dream for us to be a better Jamaica,” the Minister said, while giving the keynote address at the Noranda Bauxite Community Football League awards ceremony, held at the Cardiff Hotel and Spa, in Runaway Bay, St. Ann, on February 15.
Emphasising that communities prosper best in unity, the Minister said that, “as Jamaicans, we are more together when we play together and when we pray together."
She pointed out that tourists are attracted to sporting events like the one organised by Noranda, and that this can generate earnings for communities. “It is also a means for our country’s economic development,” the Minister said.
Superintendent of Police in charge of St. Ann, Gary Griffiths, in lauding the football league, cited the low crime rate in the communities which participated.
He expressed the hope for more sporting activities to lift the image of the parish, noting that they would also provide avenues for young people to harness their talents, and for them to take part in events that are meaningful.
“We are proud of what Noranda Bauxite is doing for this area. We hope that other areas of the parish can emulate what is happening on this side, so that we can safely say St. Ann is the most peaceful parish on the island. And, we are counting on our partners and communities to assist us to reach that point,” Mr. Griffiths told his audience.
Members of Parliament for North West and South West St. Ann, Dr. Dayton Campbell, and Keith Walford, pledged their support for the community football league.
Some $1 million was spent by Noranda on the league, which saw 36 teams participating. Retreat United Community Club was awarded the Champion of Champions trophy, as well as a cash prize.
By Garfield L. Angus, JIS Reporter