State Minister for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Hon. Arnaldo Brown, said significant strides have been made in the area of sports development in the newly formed East Central St. Catherine constituency for which he is Member of Parliament.
Making his contribution to the 2012/13 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (July 10), Mr. Brown informed that he has been working to implement a number of initiatives geared towards developing sports into a viable career option for the predominantly young people of the area.
Among these initiatives was the recent launch of three scholarships worth some $150,000 for the training of netball coaches, in collaboration with the University of Technology (UTech) and the Jamaica Netball Association (JNA).
He informed that he has also partnered with the JNA to launch the St. Catherine Netball Federation, which is headquartered on Grange Lane.
"We have also offered scholarships for the training of football coaches and will seek, over the coming year, to provide scholarship support for sports administrators, coaches, umpires, referees and other sports professionals,” he said.
Mr. Brown informed that a constituency-wide sports committee has also been established with a view to ensuring the upgrading and building of various sports facilities, play surfaces, and recreational facilities over the next five years.
He also said that the Newlands, Royal Lakes, Christian Pen football teams are poised for elevation into the premier league “and we will be working closely with them to build the capacity of these teams into full fledged self-sustaining clubs”.
Mr. Brown said he also welcomed news that the Lime Tree Oval will be upgraded and renovated in the near future, as “we intend to make it the home of the Portmore Metropolitan Cricket League, as well as a first class site for first class cricket”.
He noted that there are also plans in place for the development of the Hamilton Gardens cricket field.
By Athaliah Reynolds-Baker, JIS Reporter