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JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The facility is being established to celebrate the achievements of Jamaica’s sportsmen and women.
  • The Committee has identified a number of possible sites to house the museum.
  • The Committee has commenced the selection of artefacts for the museum.

The committee spearheading the establishment of the national sports museum is looking to complete the project within the next 12 months.

The facility is being established by the government to celebrate the achievements of Jamaica’s sportsmen and women.

Chairman of the Capacity Building and Infrastructure Committee of the National Sports Council, which is in charge of the project, Don Anderson, told JIS News that “we have been very aggressively pursuing particular activities over the last four weeks.”

He said the decision to set a timeline for the completion of the museum was taken at a recent meeting of the committee. He noted that a number of small countries already have such a facility and lamented that “Jamaica, which has a rich history of achievements, does not have one.”

Mr. Anderson said the Committee has identified a number of possible sites to house the museum, including space in the New Kingston Shopping Centre, a facility in downtown Kingston, and a vacant lot adjacent to the National Stadium.

“We have a number of areas that we are looking at. But none has been selected yet or even narrowed down, and we are opening up the considerations to a number of other government properties so that in a very short while, we can identify a location and begin the next stage, which is the collection of the artefacts,” he informed.

So far, he said, the Committee has commenced the selection of artefacts for the museum, some of which were showcased at an exhibition held at the National Arena during the London Olympics last year.

“That was pulled down. It was a temporary structure, but we hope shortly to be able to identify a suitable location and then to move into the next phase of aggressively collecting artefacts from wherever we can,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mr. Anderson is appealing to the public to donate or lend sports-related items to the museum.

He said items such as audio and video tapes of interviews done with athletes as well as spikes and garments of the athletes will be part of the collection. “We are looking also at getting whatever material we can from relatives of persons, who competed in the 1948 Olympics, whatever is available, and we’ll build the stock from there,” he said.

He said the museum will be interactive, fun and entertaining while being educational and informative.

“The intention is to make this national sports museum an interactive sports museum, so you will build in there a number of interactive games where you can actually race against yourself, probably or do something fun,” he noted.

Additionally, Mr. Anderson said the museum will be a commercially viable venture and is “not expected to be a drain on the government’s pocket.” In this regard, he said the Committee will have to work out the budgetary factors to ensure that the project is feasible.

“It’s all part of Government’s thrust to attract new tourists. People will come just to see the national sports museum; people will come from several places to look at Usain Bolt’s spikes and Shelly-Ann’s spikes,” he added.