Work in Progress on Stafanie Taylor Oval at Eltham High

Photo: JIS Photographer Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange (fourth left); Captain of the West Indies Women’s Cricket Team, Stafanie Taylor (fifth left); and President of the Jamaica Cricket Association, Billy Heaven (third left), break ground for the Stafanie Taylor Oval at Eltham High School, St. Catherine, on November 1, 2017. Observing are interim Principal of Eltham High, Ricardo Bennett (sixth left), and several students.

Story Highlights

  • To support the creation of the Stafanie Taylor Oval at Eltham High School, in St. Catherine, the Sports Development Foundation (SDF) is spending approximately $50 million to upgrade sporting infrastructure at the institution.
  • Work commenced last year at the institution, including the rehabilitation and re-fencing of three multipurpose courts to facilitate volleyball, basketball and netball; and the upgrading of the main playing field, which will be used for cricket, football and athletics; and the installation of a drainage and underground irrigation system.
  • General Manager of the SDF, Denzil Wilks, tells JIS News that the refurbishing of the multipurpose courts has been completed and plans for the rehabilitation of the main playing field are far advanced.

To support the creation of the Stafanie Taylor Oval at Eltham High School, in St. Catherine, the Sports Development Foundation (SDF) is spending approximately $50 million to upgrade sporting infrastructure at the institution.

The work is being done to honour the renowned world woman cricketer, Miss Taylor, who attended the school.

Work commenced last year at the institution, including the rehabilitation and re-fencing of three multipurpose courts to facilitate volleyball, basketball and netball; and the upgrading of the main playing field, which will be used for cricket, football and athletics; and the installation of a drainage and underground irrigation system.

Refurbishing of spectator stands, construction of dressing rooms and a practice net for cricket are to be done at a later date through funding by the school.

General Manager of the SDF, Denzil Wilks, tells JIS News that the refurbishing of the multipurpose courts has been completed and plans for the rehabilitation of the main playing field are far advanced.

Noting that the drainage of rainwater is a major challenge, Mr. Wilks says the installation of a proper system will channel the water from the field to be stored and used for irrigation purposes.

The Director anticipates that the upgraded infrastructure will strengthen the sports programme at the institution.

“With this kind of facility, there will be a number of sports that the school can give much more attention to. Having produced an outstanding cricketer like Stafanie, it means that the upgrading work will be able to facilitate competitive matches and provide a basis for the development of outstanding (athletes),” Mr. Wilks tells JIS News.

Meanwhile, Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Minister, Hon. Olivia Grange, says the oval aims to assist in producing “many more Stafanie Taylors.”

“If it’s not in cricket, it will be in other sports. I want to put her forward as a shining example of how young people can excel,” she says.

In her remarks at the groundbreaking ceremony for the oval on November 1 last year, Miss Taylor expressed her gratitude for the honour.

“I am truly honoured. I would never have guessed that my alma mater would ever bestow such an honour on me. I am truly appreciative of the Jamaican Government and the faculty here at Eltham. To see this facility being built in my name is a humbling experience. The best part is knowing it will play a significant role in developing the young talents and athletes that will carry on the great sporting legacy of Jamaica,” she said.

In 2017, the Government awarded Miss Taylor with the Order of Distinction, Officer Class, for her outstanding contribution to the game of cricket.

She has received several prestigious accolades throughout her career. Miss Taylor was named the International Cricket Council (ICC) Women’s cricketer of the Year in 2011; the ICC Women’s One Day International (ODI) Cricketer of the Year in 2012; the ICC Women’s T20 Cricketer of the Year in 2015; and West Indies Women’s Cricketer of the Year in 2016.

Miss Taylor is the only cricketer, male or female, to simultaneously hold the number one position in batting and bowling in the ICC rankings.

She was the first woman to lead a regional team to a world title in the Cricket World Cup Twenty20 in 2016.

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