CHRISTOPHER Samuda, president of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA), said his organisation is looking to establish a brand new, multipurpose, indoor sporting facility in central Jamaica which will aid the further development of sport in the country.
Samuda said this sporting facility will host 15 sporting disciplines and that it will be very affordable for sporting associations in Jamaica to access the complex, which will be equipped with the latest technology.
“We want to establish a multipurpose complex that will house at least 15 indoor sports, because we really don’t have anything like that in Jamaica, and so it is indeed our long-term plan to have something like this in the not-so-distant future,” Samuda told the Jamaica Observer.
“We haven’t identified any lands to build on as yet but the feeling is that it will be outside of Kingston and St Andrew,” he said. “The fact of the matter is that sports can’t develop without proper infrastructure. You can’t have a swimmer and you don’t have a swimming pool… you can’t have a basketball player and you don’t have a proper court for him to play on, and so the infrastructure is important â€” and we realised that from day one,” Samuda stated.
The JOA boss shared that his organisation is serious about this new venture, therefore they are now hoping that this new facility will be commissioned within the next five years.
“Certainly we would want this to be a legacy of our administration, but even if it is not our legacy we have to put in the work from now and the foundation so that others can benefit from this venture,” Samuda noted.
“This will be massive for the development of sports in Jamaica because one of the things that we are big on is to ensure that this will be accessible to all people, and when you have a sporting complex like [this] it becomes available for talent across all sporting disciplines in Jamaica,” he added.
Samuda underscored that the funds to build this new facility will be sourced through corporate Jamaica as well as money that his administration earns from its various sponsorship deals.
“It has to be a combination of our public and corporate sponsorship and that is why we have been driving our revenue base, to ensure that we have the capital and finances to contribute to this venture.
“We are going to be in earnest early next year, but this is not going to come to fruition until the next five or six years because something like this has to be planned properly,” Samuda said.
“The infrastructure has to be sustainable and you will have to, of course, put in a management company, because what I think has failed us in the past is that we don’t have proper facility management experience and expertise,” he said.