by Alecia Smith-Edwards
KINGSTON, Jamaica -- A new commercial sports business model is to be developed for Jamaica, under a Sport Entrepreneurship Project being implemented by the University of Technology (UTech).
The project, titled ‘Development of Sports Business Value Chains in Jamaica’, which is to commence in September, was formally launched last week during a ceremony at UTech’s campus in Kingston. It will be carried out through funding from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
During the ceremony, the university and the multi-lateral agency formalised their partnership with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to undertake the project.
Country representative, IDB, Ancile Brewster, said the bank is happy to support the Jamaican sporting sector as well as "youth who are at risk and of lesser means and also youth with latent sporting talent."
"We're here to sign a technical co-operation for the development of sports business value chains in Jamaica. Through this programme, the bank will leverage approximately US$150,000 in grant resources to the creation of a sustainable sports business model that will address particularly the youth in our inner-city and rural communities in Jamaica,” he said.
According to a brief on the project, the initiative will pilot, in at least three new and/or existing sports clubs, a newly designed business for sustainable sport entrepreneurship. The document noted that one of the success indicators for the project will be the engagement of a minimum of 20 youth from poor inner city and/or rural communities as professional, semi-professional and national athletes in sustainable sports enterprises, two years after the project has ended.
Giving an overview of the project, vice president, development and community service, UTech, Professor Rosalea Hamilton, said the long term goals of the initiative are to increase employment in the sporting realm; to establish links between sport and other economic and social sectors; to launch sporting institutions and programmes; and to provide opportunities for increased participation in world class sporting events, both locally and internationally.
Hamilton pointed out that the project, which is to last for 12 months, is expected to “touch the lives of young people and their communities and give them hope of a lucrative future in sports and sports-related activities.”
“We want to contribute to the development of new areas of sports. We want to, for example, do some work with beach sports. We want to strengthen existing (sports) organisations that have real potential that are in need of assistance. We also want to develop new sport-related courses,” the professor added.