Sports is business in Jamaica

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Thursday, September 6, 2012 – The University of Technology (UTech) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) are combining resources to develop a Sport Entrepreneurship Project that will see a sports business model developed for Jamaica.

The project, ‘Development of Sports Business Value Chains in Jamaica’, commences this month at UTech’s campus in Kingston through funding provided by the IDB.

At the recent signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to effect the project, the IDB country representative for Jamaica Ancile Brewster said the bank is happy to support the Jamaican sporting sector as well as “youth who are at risk and of lesser means and also youth with latent sporting talent.”

“We’re here to sign a technical co-operation for the development of sports business value chains in Jamaica. Through this programme, the bank will leverage approximately US$150,000 in grant resources to the creation of a sustainable sports business model that will address particularly the youth in our inner-city and rural communities in Jamaica,” he said.

The initiative will pilot, in at least three new and/or existing sports clubs, a newly designed business for sustainable sport entrepreneurship. One of the success indicators for the project will be the engagement of a minimum of 20 youth from poor inner city and/or rural communities as professional, semi-professional and national athletes in sustainable sports enterprises, two years after the project has ended.

Vice president for development and community service at UTech, Professor Rosalea Hamilton, said the long term goals of the initiative are to increase employment in the sporting realm; to establish links between sport and other economic and social sectors; to launch sporting institutions and programmes; and to provide opportunities for increased participation in world class sporting events, both locally and internationally.

Hamilton pointed out that the project, which is to last for 12 months, is expected to “touch the lives of young people and their communities and give them hope of a lucrative future in sports and sports-related activities.”

“We want to contribute to the development of new areas of sports. We want to, for example, do some work with beach sports. We want to strengthen existing (sports) organisations that have real potential that are in need of assistance. We also want to develop new sport-related courses,” the professor added. Click here to receive free news bulletins via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)