JIS News

Story Highlights

  • New Zealand High Commissioner to Jamaica, His Excellency Simon Tucker, says he is impressed with construction work taking place on the Hamilton Gardens Cricket Oval in Portmore.
  • The funding for the project, which is slated for completion in March, is being provided through the New Zealand Aid Programme.
  • he Hamilton Gardens Oval is the third such project in Jamaica to benefit under the aid programme, which has provided funding for two other sports facilities in Manchester.

New Zealand High Commissioner to Jamaica, His Excellency Simon Tucker, says he is impressed with construction work taking place on the Hamilton Gardens Cricket Oval in Portmore, which is being funded by his government at a cost of $2 million.

Speaking with reporters on Thursday, February 6, while on a tour of the facility with Member of Parliament for East Central St. Catherine, Hon. Arnaldo Brown, Mr. Tucker said “it is very impressive”.

“I can see that a lot of hard work has gone on, and I am full of admiration for the people, who have worked so hard to make it happen. The next time the ‘Black Caps’ (New Zealand cricket team) or maybe our women’s team come to Jamaica to play cricket, we should encourage them to play here as well, or use it as a practice facility,” he said.

The funding for the project, which is slated for completion in March, is being provided through the New Zealand Aid Programme.

The Hamilton Gardens Oval is the third such project in Jamaica to benefit under the aid programme, which has provided funding for two other sports facilities in Manchester.

Mr. Brown, who is also State Minister for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, said that Portmore has been doing well in youth cricket, and the facility will help to build on the community’s achievements in the sport.

“It has given us a very excellent start and our intention is to continue to put in further infrastructure – pavilions, changing rooms, stands, lights, and parking area. Our target is to make it the first (world) class field in Portmore, with the hope of having a national side playing in the national league, and provide a platform for the development of the local players,” he said.

Mr. Brown said that the community has taken ownership of the project and residents have been volunteering their efforts during the construction phase.

“It is, and has been a community project. The fence was (erected) in the most cost-effective way, the residents have worked to put up the side screens and the score boards, and the pitch was a collective effort with volunteers from the community. I encourage the residents to protect, secure, and maintain this facility,” he stated, while thanking the New Zealand government for funding the project.