Minister Grange gave the assurance when members of the Reggae Boyz squad along with their manager, coach and assistant coaches, paid a courtesy call on the Minister.
The Minister was responding to what members of the group said were matters which were of some concern to them.
Team Captain, Andre Blake said better practice pitches were needed to put the Reggae Boyz on par with other international players who practise and play on the best pitches in the world. The Reggae Boyz Captain said improvements were not just about more money.
Miss Grange spoke of the Jamaica 55 Legacy in Sports, giving the reminder that under the programme four min-stadia would be built and would be of top class quality. She said also that artificial turfs were coming. “My government is determined to make sure the country has the kind of facilities that would equip our sports people to compete with the best in the world,” she said.
The Minister also pointed to her open-door policy. “You can call me at any time and I assure that I will respond. Any sports person is free to ask for dialogue with me as the Minister with portfolio responsibility for Sport,” Miss Grange told the gathering.
The Sport Minister also encouraged those Reggae Boys who were not registered with the Jamaica Athletes’ Insurance Plan to hurry and send in their names.
She said that every sports person competing for Jamaica ought to make sure that he or she is on the Athletes’ Group Life and Health Insurance Plan.
The Reggae Boys courtesy call coming as it did on the eve of the Team’s departure to participate in the Gold Cup competition in the United States, Minister Grange told the members to stay focused and apply what she termed, “the edge” to their game and they would excel. She reminded the group that Jamaica is seen as that “awesome little dot on the map and sports helped to make it that.”
Coach Theodore Whitmore thanked the Minister for agreeing to meet with the Reggae Boyz as a motivational ‘send-off’ to the Team to the Gold Cup.
Jamaica’s opening match in the Gold Cup is against Curacao in San Diego in California on July 9.