Kingston, January 14, 2019 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has said the Government of Jamaica is willing to provide funding support to the cricket franchise Jamaica Tallawahs, as it has done in the past.
However, Minister Grange said her Ministry is unable to provide the level of funding required.
Minister Grange said:
“I am in discussions with the Tallawahs and hope to find a way to give some support as I stretch the little that we have. The Tallawahs need in excess of USD 1 million each year for the next three years. We cannot find that. I have to be clear and up front about that. We cannot find that. In fact, it’s in excess of US$1.5 million. But, working with the private sector we could find a way. So this evening, I make a special appeal to corporate Jamaica to come on board with the Jamaica Tallawahs.”
Minister Grange was speaking at the Melbourne Cricket Club’s Annual Dinner and Awards ceremony.
The Minister disclosed that the government had been involved in efforts to court sponsors for the Tallawahs at the highest level.
“I must tell you we went as far as having the Prime Minister himself arrange a meeting with the Tallawahs and a private entity in Jamaica which also has an international connection. Several meetings were held. Unfortunately, just maybe a couple weeks ago, the Tallawahs were told that this company is unable to assist.”
The requirement of the Tallawahs is greater than the total subventions that the Ministry provides for more than 40 national sports federations each year.
Minister Grange said the if the government were to “give the Tallawahs what they need to keep the game in Jamaica, then we would have to shut down shop and give support to no one else — and that’s not possible. But we’re still trying. The little that we have, we will stretch it and give them something. Yes, we have put something in the budget for them.”
In response to requests for assistance from the Tallawahs, the Government was able to provide support in the sum of US$25,000 in 2015. In 2017, again in response to requests for help, we provided support in the amount of US$35,000. Last year, the request came in after the budget process was completed and the government was unable to give financial support.
Kingston, January 11, 2019 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, says that a committee has been established to oversee the execution of the development of the Drax Hall Sports Complex in St Ann.
Minister Grange was speaking yesterday (January 10) following a meeting with the Member of Parliament for North East St Ann, the Honourable Shahine Robinson; Mayor of St Ann’s Bay, Michael Belnavis; President, St Ann Football Association, Danny Beckford; representatives from the Mount Pleasant Football Academy and other key stakeholders to discuss plans for the Drax Hall Sports Complex.
“We have initiated a programme of sports infrastructure development and Drax Hall was one of those facilities identified as one of the Jamaica 55 Legacy Projects. We have set up a committee to see to the execution of the development of the facility,” Minister Grange said.
The Drax Hall Sports Complex is now being used by the Mount Pleasant Football Academy for training and for home matches in the Premier League.
The proposed development for Drax Hall included two football fields, a multipurpose court, swimming pool and a number of other facilities to accommodate other sporting disciplines.
Minister Grange said the committee will review the design in light of works done at the facility by the Mount Pleasant Football Academy.
“This is going to be a perfect example of private/public partnership,” the Minister added.
The committee will include representatives from the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Sport Development Foundation, Independence Park Limited, the St Ann Municipal Corporation, the St Ann Football Association and the Mount Pleasant Football Academy.
“This is really a broad-based group coming together in the interest of the development of football in this parish – working together to ensure that we have a first-class multipurpose sporting facility in St Ann,”
Minister Grange said.
Minister Grange said that the committee has been given a year to execute the development at Drax Hall.
Kingston, January 8, 2019 (JIS) - There are plans for the installation of additional running tracks in Kingston and central Jamaica.
Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, made the disclosure during her visit to observe repair work at the Stadium East running track in Kingston on January 7th.
The upgrading work is scheduled to be completed before the upcoming Gibson McCook Relays, the Minister noted.
Ms. Grange said that discussions regarding the installation of additional tracks have been “very fruitful”.
“Where we are now is that we are looking at a couple of other tracks being done, one at a high school, maybe in partnership with a private-sector entity, and another track, which will be sited to facilitate athletes in central Jamaica,”
Minister Grange said.
The Minister pointed out that the installation of the synthetic tracks will be two main objectives of the Ministry for the next fiscal year.
“We are still going to pursue our infrastructure development programme at various other sporting and entertainment facilities… but I hope we will be able to install two additional tracks in locations to be announced in the next fiscal year,” she added.
Ms. Grange said she has received reports with the possibility of developing four to six running tracks across Jamaica. She noted that the reports were done following visits to the locations by officials of the Sports Development Foundation and representatives from the BSW GmbH, the company contracted to repair the Stadium East running track.
Meanwhile, the Minister said that the running track at Catherine Hall in St James will be refurbished.
Kingston, January 7 - The Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, has said that she was pleased that the work to install a new track at Stadium East in the Independence Park complex started today (January 7) as previously announced.
The Sport Minister spoke from Stadium East where grading work started to remove the old track which will be replaced by a new Regupol running track.
“Today as we start the process to replace this track we must remember that Stadium East has provided the training ground for some of Jamaica’s top class athletes including the legendary Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell, Veronica Campbell Brown and Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce among others. Indeed, it may have nurtured and produced the best athletes in the world.
“I must express gratitude to the Ministry of Finance and Planning for their level of cooperation with my Ministry to make this project a reality.”
Minister Grange added that the Ministry hopes to put in new running tracks in central and eastern Jamaica in the next fiscal year.
Meanwhile, the contractor on the project, Peter Breuer, Director Export, BSW of Germany, said that the company was creating history in Jamaica by using newly developed durable material at the request of the Minister. The material will also be used for other locations in Jamaica.
Regupol running tracks which are manufactured in accordance with the IAAF quality standards are suitable for both international professional sports as well as for school and popular sports.
Kingston, January 7, 2019 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, says her Ministry has begun promotion of the National Calendar of Festivals.
Minister Grange was speaking at the celebration of the 281st signing of the Treaty with the British and the birthday of Captain Kojo in Accompong Town, St Elizabeth on Sunday, January 6.
“We have begun our promotion of our National Calendar of Festivals, of which Accompong must play a signature role. Festivals worldwide are a source of economic advancement and cultural and community development. This celebration carries great promise for culture, heritage, community and eco-tourism,” Minister Grange said.
The calendar which will be marketed by the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport and the Ministry of Tourism includes entertainment activities and festivals that take place across the country.
The celebration of Sam Sharpe Flames of Freedom Festival in St. James; celebration of Captain Kojo and Accompong in St. Elizabeth; Rebel Salute in Richmond, St. Ann; Reggae Month, including the birthdays of King of Reggae Bob Marley and Crown Prince of Reggae Dennis Brown were some of the activities outlined by Minister Grange that are already included in the calendar.
“Our culture is what makes us who and what we are. It is the fuel of our creativity and innovation, the platform for the rise of Brand Jamaica, the glue that ties us together with our large and enduring Diaspora, and the energy that will propel us to even greater heights of global acclaim. It is what we celebrate every time we say the word Jamaica,” Minister Grange said.
Minister Grange invited the Maroon Colonels across the country to meet with the staff of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission, Institute of Jamaica, Jamaica National Heritage Trust and the National Council on Reparation “to develop a plan to revitalise and expand the various Maroon Festivals.”
Kingston 7 January 2019 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange has expressed shock and sadness at the death of entertainment entrepreneur Walt Crooks.
Minister’s Statement follows:
“Walt Crooks was part of a special team that believed that Montego Bay as a tourist destination should benefit from high class entertainment. Even while there were major annual events that took the spotlight, he offered year-round entertainment at his club, Disco Inferno, and hosted almost all of the big names in Reggae music as well as foreign acts. Disco Inferno helped to set the standard for night time club entertainment and also did very well as a live music venue.
Walt was part of the team that started Reggae Sumfest and was very committed to its growth and development.
I must pay tribute to him for his visionary approach to the music industry and his desire to see music evolve from just an art form into an economic commodity that has benefitted so many people in Western Jamaica and beyond.
He will be sorely missed.”
Mr Crooks died on Friday. He was 69.
Kingston, January 2 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, is urging participating sports associations in the Technical Cooperation Project on Sport Coaching between Jamaica and China to make the best use of the opportunity.
Minister Grange was speaking today as she welcomed a new batch of Chinese coaches at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel.
“I want to charge the associations to ensure, as much as possible, that training starts on time, that athletes embrace the values of hard work and discipline and that your coaches learn as much as they can from this visit,”
Minister Grange said.
Seven coaches, representing seven disciplines: Synchronised Swimming, Gymnastics, Swimming, Badminton, Women’s Volleyball, Women’s Football and Women’s Basketball, a team manager and an interpreter are now in Jamaica to commence year two of the project which started last year with the arrival of the first batch of coaches.
During the summer of last year a delegation of 138 athletes, coaches and managers also travelled to China for a period of 60 days for specialised training and competition.
“I want to remind the associations of the goals that you set for yourselves – to qualify for and improve Jamaica’s ranking in major regional and international competitions including the PanAm Games this year and the Olympics next year,” Minister Grange added.
Under the agreement, the Chinese government has also donated equipment for the seven sporting disciplines. The donations include a completely outfitted gym for gymnastics, which is already landed.
“On behalf of the Government and People of Jamaica, I want to express our sincere gratitude to the Government and People of the People’s Republic of China for the equipment. They are securely stored and my office is working out the details with the Chinese Embassy for an official handing-over ceremony to be held before the end of the month,” Minister Grange said.
Kingston 31 December 2018 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange says she is happy to receive word that the Jamaican sculptor, Basil Watson, has been selected to create a monument in honour of the American civil rights icon, Martin Luther King Jr.
Watson who has created sculptures of Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Frasier Pryce under contract with the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, was given the nod to design the tribute to Martin Luther King which will be erected in Atlanta, Georgia.
Minister Grange said:
“I am very proud that Basil Watson, an outstanding Jamaican artist, has been selected to develop a monument celebrating the life of Martin Luther King Jr. Basil has been one of our leading sculptors and this is a recognition of the great work that he does and an endorsement of Jamaican talent. I look forward to his design, which I know will be awesome and inspiring.”
Watson’s Martin Luther King monument is due to be completed by the end of 2019.
Watson is currently designing monuments in honour of Jamaican athletes Veronica Campbell Brown and Asafa Powell.
Kingston, December 18, 2018 (JIS):
Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Minister, Hon. Olivia Grange, has lauded a decision by the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) to establish a welfare fund to support five former football players who have fallen on hard times.
A former netballer will also benefit from the support.
“We have to find a way to ensure that those who have contributed to the development of Jamaica… when they get older and are no longer seen as the current stars, that they are taken care of and that something is in place to help them,” Ms. Grange noted.
She was speaking at a ceremony to present the national women’s football team, the Reggae Girlz, with the Key to Spanish Town, during a ceremony in the old capital on December 18.
Making the announcement on the welfare fund, President of the JFF, Michael Ricketts, disclosed that the last Sunday in every year will be reserved for a fundraising game, with the proceeds going towards assisting the former players.
“So, on the 30th (of December) the JFF has decided to have a fundraising game at Drax Hall (in St. Ann) and we’ve named a team comprised of all national masters. All of these players would have played for the national team in the World Cup qualifying era... We will have the national team, who will play against the Olympic squad,” he said.
A welfare committee has also been established and will be chaired by former President of Netball Jamaica, Marva Bernard.
Meanwhile, Minister Grange is urging the girls to prepare themselves for the future “so that when all the glory is over, you would have ensured that you are well prepared for it in your older years”.
Ms. Grange called for additional assistance from the private sector, especially the St. Catherine Chamber of Commerce, to assist the women’s football team in their World Cup journey to France next year, which received support from the JFF President.
The Sport Minister also announced plans for the phased development of the multi-use stadium, Prison Oval in Spanish Town, which is to commence in 2019.
Spanish Town Mayor, Councillor Norman Scott, in his remarks, expressed pride in the Reggae Girlz and congratulated them for continuing to make Jamaica proud.
The women’s football team Captain, Konya Plummer, thanked the Spanish Town Mayor for the honour bestowed on the squad.
The team has already received keys from the Mayors of Montego Bay and Kingston, and is scheduled to be similarly honoured by the Mayor of St. Ann’s Bay later today.
Kingston 19 December 2018 – The national celebrations in honour of the historic qualification of the Jamaican team to the FIFA Women’s World Cup were a huge success, according to the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange.
The Minister said, the four-day celebrations, organised by the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, had achieved the objectives of introducing the Reggae Girlz to the people of Jamaica, presenting them as role models for women across the country and set the stage for increased tangible support for the team ahead of the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
The Minister appealed for more resources for the Girlz:
“I want to use the opportunity to encourage the private sector to come on board. So far a few have come on board, but we need more. We want them to put their money where their mouth is. We don’t want after we come back with the World Cup they all coming on the wagon. We want it up front. We want the financial support to make sure that the Girlz have all they need to ensure that they are well prepared for France.”
The four days of activities which began on Saturday ended on Tuesday with the Girlz being presented with the keys to Spanish Town and St Ann’s Bay by the respective mayors.
His Worship Councillor Norman Scott, presented the Key to Spanish Town at a civic ceremony held in Emancipation Square while His Worship Councillor Michael Belnavis presented the Key to St Ann’s Bay at a civic ceremony held at Sandals Ochi Beach Club in Ocho Rios.
The Reggae Girlz captain, Konya Plummer, who accepted the Keys on behalf of her teammates said they were “deeply humbled and appreciative” of the honour bestowed upon them.
In between the presentations, the members of the national team enjoyed the attractions at Mystic Mountain and at Dunn’s River Falls and Park, where the Girlz were welcomed with singing and the waving of flags by craft vendors and members of the public.
Minister Grange reflected on the significance of the Reggae Girlz being presented with keys to Spanish Town and St Ann’s Bay — two towns whose impact on Jamaican history has been immense.
It is believed that Christopher Columbus first landed in St Ann’s Bay in 1494 with New Seville becoming the first Spanish capital of Jamaica in 1509.
Spanish Town became the second capital of Jamaica in 1534 after the Spanish abandoned New Seville. Spanish Town is the oldest continuously inhabited town in Jamaica.
The Reggae Girlz were also presented with Keys to Kingston and Montego Bay and hosted by the Prime Minister during the celebrations.