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.