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  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, is encouraging partnership in order to better position Jamaica to tap into the multi-billion global sports industry.
  • She noted that sports entrepreneurship is an area that is ripe for development and which could generate significant earnings and other benefits for the economy.
  • The Prime Minister underscored these points in a speech read by Minister with responsibility for Sport, Hon. Natalie Neita Headley, during Wednesday’s (October 7) commissioning of the new running track at the G.C. Foster College of Physical Education and Sport in Angels, St. Catherine.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, is encouraging partnership in order to better position Jamaica to tap into the multi-billion global sports industry.

She noted that sports entrepreneurship is an area that is ripe for development and which could generate significant earnings and other benefits for the economy.

The Prime Minister underscored these points in a speech read by Minister with responsibility for Sport, Hon. Natalie Neita Headley, during Wednesday’s (October 7) commissioning of the new running track at the G.C. Foster College of Physical Education and Sport in Angels, St. Catherine.

The new track was constructed at a cost of approximately $171 million by German manufacturer, BSW Regupol, through funding from the Sports Development Foundation (SDF).

Mrs. Simpson Miller said sport continues to generate the “biggest revenue slice” of global tourism earnings which, she noted, totalled approximately US$7.58 trillion between 2006 and 2014.

In light of this, she said, Jamaica must give more than “passing attention” to developing sports tourism as major part of “ensuring continued growth in our tourism sector.”

Mrs. Simpson Miller said Government is positioning Jamaica to earn from sports tourism through the launch of Jamaica Sport. The initiative aims to bring more sport-focused events to Jamaica and market the country as a major sports destination, which, it is anticipated, will boost tourist arrivals.

The Prime Minister said G.C. Foster College, as Jamaica’s sole sports training tertiary institution, along with the Sligoville stadium in St. Catherine, and Trelawny multipurpose stadium, “will be important parts of this focus to market the sports component of brand Jamaica.”

Work on the new G.C. Foster College’s running track commenced in April and was completed in August, within the stipulated timeline.

The track has received global certification from the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), having met all technical requirements and stipulations, consistent with the IAAF’s Rule 140.

This designation now enables the college to stage national and IAAF-sanctioned regional, and international track and field meets.

The G.C. Foster College of Physical Education and Sport was built by the Government of Cuba in 1980, as a gift to Jamaica.

The institution was named in honour of Gerald Claude Eugene Foster, a native of Spanish Town, St. Catherine, who is credited as the father of modern Jamaican sports, through development of a cohesive and well-designed system and programme of physical education, coaching, and sports training.