JIS News

The Government of the People’s Republic of China is funding the construction of a multi-purpose sports complex in Sligoville, St. Catherine at a cost of $222 million.The massive structure will offer a range of sporting activities including football, cricket, track and field, basketball and table tennis. The football field will be built with seating for 1,500 spectators, the basketball and netball courts will accommodate 600 persons, while the running track and cricket oval will seat 1,200 spectators.
Construction is expected to start in May and should be completed within 10 months.
The sports complex will be built in the Sligoville square and the scope of work will include the upgrading of existing recreational facilities and the demolition of the post office and police stations to make way for new ones, explained Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister, K.D. Knight, at the signing ceremony held yesterday (Jan. 3) at his office in Kingston.
He pointed out that the project was expected to enhance sports tourism in the East Central St. Catherine and provide long and short-term employment for residents.
“We envisage the complex being a specialized sport camp all year round serving at the international level as a standard field for cricket practise gearing up for the 2007 World Cup of Cricket”, he stated.
He expressed gratitude to the Chinese government for funding the project, noting that it had come about after visits by two Chinese delegations to Jamaica in 2003 and his subsequent visit to China in February of last year.
In his address, Chinese Ambassador Zhao Zhenyu said that the project was the culmination of a long but fruitful process.
He noted that once signing has been completed and “everything goes smoothly, it will take only ten months for the Chinese to finish the project,” noting that the work would be completed in “Chinese speed”.
Describing the complex as “probably the best multi-purpose, community based-complex in Jamaica”, the Ambassador promised to donate two to three table tennis tables and the services of Chinese coaches to give demonstration matches to the people of Sligoville and the surrounding communities to give luster to the sports complex.
The site of the complex is located near to the first free village in Jamaica and is of great historic importance. The entire cost of the construction will be borne by the government of the People’s Republic of China.

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