Prime Minister Bruce Golding has assured the sport sector that his Government will pump more funds into community level sports in next year’s budget.
Mr. Golding was speaking at the Fifth Annual Courtney Walsh Awards for Excellence at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, New Kingston, on Wednesday (October 14). This year’s award went to 2009 IAAF World Champion 100-metre hurdler, Brigette Foster- Hylton.
“I have said to Minster Grange that the resources of the State that go towards sports development, I want to rebalance those resources. I want to put more of those resources into communities, to develop the talent that is there,” Mr. Golding, the main speaker at the function, said.
“I believe that we have to get our private sector to take on more of the burden of dealing with the high level sports, the national level sports which I think are depending too much on state support at this stage. These are athletes who are interested where they can wear logos and promote commercial enterprises,” he stated.
Award winning elocutionist, Jahzan Mc Laughlin, shares a light moment with Prime Minister Bruce Golding following the Courtney Walsh Award for Excellence ceremony that was held at the Pegasus hotel in Kingston on October 14 in Kingston. Miss McLaughlin recited the poem, ‘I Believe’ at the event.
“I really want us to begin a programme where we can provide the support at the community levels, and the schools, the primary level and the secondary level in the community. Providing the coaches, the level of training that is out there, improving the infrastructure,” the Prime Minister added.
Mr. Golding admitted that his decision would not be popular with sports professionals and administrators, but said that it was a strategic decision that had to be taken to nurture the amateurs.
He congratulated the CHASE Fund on the commitment that they had to the Courtney Walsh Awards for Excellence. He also said that he looked forward to hearing more about the foundation that Mr. Walsh plans to establish to promote sports among boys at risk.