Kingston, 7 February 2024 (JIS) - The Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, will be providing grant funding of $500,000 to each Member of Parliament to jumpstart holistic efforts to promote physical activities and sport at the grassroot level.
The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, made the disclosure during a statement to the House of Representatives on February 6.
Minister Grange noted that as a member of UNESCO's Intergovernmental Committee on Physical Activity and Sport, Jamaica must demonstrate its commitment to promoting the Fit for Life programme.
Fit for Life is UNESCO's Sport flagship programme, aimed at increasing participation in physical activity and sport through targeted investments.
“Physical activity and sport can yield a wide range of benefits to individuals, to communities and society at large. In each jurisdiction, the Fit for Life programme will have a different look and feel. In Jamaica, Fit for Life will be multifaceted and proposes to be a harmonised approach to sport development,” Minister Grange informed.
She explained that the disbursement of the funds will allow for community-based projects aimed at improving physical activity and increasing sport in the communities.
“The grant may be used for the hosting of community sport competitions, purchase of sport gear and equipment. Everywhere a Member of Parliament goes, somebody's asking for a ball, a football, field preparation or upgrade of sport facilities,” she said.
The grant will be accessible through the Sport Development Foundation following successful submission of a proposal detailing the community sport development project to be executed.
Grant proposals must identify how community members will benefit from the initiatives and the methods that will be employed to document and track the impact of the investment.
“Proposals should be submitted no later than March 1… because the fiscal year ends the end of March. So, we would want you to use those funds before the end of the fiscal year. The letters will be distributed shortly. Payments will be made on submission of a pro-forma invoice by a registered or bona fide community-based organisation or to a supplier on behalf of the community-based organisation,” Minister Grange said.
“The guideline, it's not stringent, as long as you can prove that you have an organisation. There are a lot of clubs in your communities, and you can go ahead and get your Pro-forma invoice in the name of the club and the SDF will process it,” she added.
Meanwhile, Minister Grange said the intention is to expand and continue the programme, “because we believe in community sports development and community cultural development programmes”.
“In fact, I will be meeting next week with the Sports Development Foundation to look at what their plans are for this year. They are limited in terms of funds because you know that the funds also go to Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund. However, we want to ensure that the funds that SDF gets, that we make sure that the country benefits, that we maximise those funds,” she emphasised.