KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) – Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has given a commitment that the Government will continue to work to advance the wellbeing of Jamaica’s athletes as part of the development of sport in Jamaica. She says sport development remains high on the agenda of her Administration.
“That is why, in 2013, one year after taking office, my Administration introduced the National Sport Policy of Jamaica. The National Sport Policy acknowledges in a special way, the outstanding contribution which athletes make to our dynamic ‘brand Jamaica’,” the Prime Minister pointed out. Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, who is also chairman of the National Council on Sports, was speaking on (Thursday, January 28) at the launch of the Jamaican Athletes’ Insurance Plan held at the Office of the Prime Minister.
Prime Minister Simpson Miller noted that for the Government, sport also represents an integral part of the cultural and creative industries of the Jamaican economy. “We are serious about the business of Sport,” she declared.
Over the last three years the Government has spent more than $1.5 dollars on sport infrastructure across Jamaica.
In addition to the new all-weather, synthetic running track launched at Calabar High school last week and the recommissioning of a new synthetic track at G.C Foster College last year, Prime Minister Simpson Miller also highlighted other infrastructure developments undertaken by her Administration.
The investment of $250 million on upgrading sport infrastructure in high schools across Jamaica is a major part of the Government’s investment in sport. So too is the allocation to sport associations and an additional allocation to assist with athlete’s development.
“There has been the installation of flood lights at the Sabina Park Cricket Complex at a cost of US$3.2 million. The Stadium Pool has been repaired and upgraded. So too, has the Leila Robinson Court; and the Mona Hockey Turf was replaced.” Mrs. Simpson Miller added.
Furthermore the Prime Minister acknowledged that for sport to develop in a sustainable way, the wellbeing of athletes must be a priority. “Even as we strengthen the physical infrastructure for sport, our Government recognizes the importance of supporting the well-being of our individual athletes. Within the Sport Policy, the Government committed to a sustainable health and life insurance programme for all eligible national athletes. Today we are delivering on that commitment.” Mrs. Simpson Miller said.
Under the new athletes’ insurance plan, a total of 1,323 eligible athletes from across 28 sporting disciplines will benefit from health services, major medical, overseas medical emergencies, maternity benefits as well as dental and optical.