Photo: The Hon. Natalie Neita-Headley
The Hon. Natalie Neita-Headley announced on Thursday May 1, that several High Schools across the island will benefit from state of the art sporting infrastructure facilities under a programme pioneered by the European Union.
“Sports today is high tech, it is a big business," said Neita-Headley.
The minister speaking at the Business of Sport Conference said that her aim is to change the course by extending the borders of sport in Jamaica beyond sprinting. She also said that “We have a lot to learn and a way to go” while mentioning an initiative developed by the European Union called the High School Sports Infrastructure Programme.
The programme will incur a cost of US$2.3 million and will target secondary institutions across the island. Mrs. Neita-Headley noted that the demand for facilities is growing and that we need state of the art gym facilities. She mentioned that her department has already started to install lights at Sabina Park and implementing new facilities at GC Foster.
At the same time the minister believes that, “We must change the rules to fit the new realities of the game.” The minister spoke about the Jamaica athlete’s insurance plan which is a policy she hopes will be in place before the end of the year. Tertiary institutions have begun to foster a programme in training athletes how to interact with the media in a bid to heighten sponsorship appeal and investments.
Above all the minister said that the need for gender equality in the sports arena should never fall out of focus indicating that sometimes female athletes are unappreciated and underpaid.