Friday, May 30, 2008


I want to go to South Africa, somewhere between June 11 and July 10, 2010, so I can have lots to tell my friends about the wonderful world of football. Fans from all across the world will gather in the major cities in that country for 'The Greatest Show on Earth'. These fans can be considered sport tourists, as they travel to participate in or watch a sport.

Think about a major sporting event being held in Jamaica and a tourist who comes here, writes back to a friend to relate the wonderful time in Jamaica for the typical five/six days for an average stay.

Dear Louise:

Got in on Thursday for a Saturday event, so I could have a whole day to look around and soak up the IRIE Jamaican feeling.

Day 1

I landed in Montego Bay at the Sangster International Airport in what seemed to have had recent renovations. I spotted a picture of the great fast bowler, Courtney Walsh, as I walked through the halls. I got my duffle bag pretty quickly as the airport is fully equipped with staff. A JUTA bus picked me up and took me to my hotel. I asked the driver to roll down the window so I could smell and feel the wonderful Jamaican breeze - magnificent. First time in this place, WOW!

Day 2

Off to Negril where the road race is scheduled to be. My driver is early, said it would take about 45 minutes to get to my first destination. Nice, hot day, but 'sweet' breeze. Driver, whose name was Tom, said, "You feel good this early in the morning!" I gave in. It was the most refreshing drink I have had in a while.

Cars, trucks and buses whisked by us, but Tom takes his time, while trying to give me a guided tour. His accent is interesting, not to say the least. We reached Negril. Lots of action, mopeds, roller skaters, taxis, buses, and the town was hopping.

I got to the registration area to confirm that I was in the race and picked up my passes.

The race was on the next day at 5 a.m., so I didn't plan to walk around much - had to rest the legs. I told Tom to walk with me through the town for a while. So we parked and walk.

Day 3

I am up at 3 a.m., excited about competing in the Reggae Marathon for the first time. Tom is prompt and we leave at 3:30. I report to the starter by 4:30 and I am ready.

I placed 50th in my category, and was pleased; even more pleased that I could finally have a Red Stripe.

Day 4

Days three and four slipped into each other as we partied all night, grooving to the sounds of sweet Jamaican music, reggae, dancehall and some good old '70s hits.

Day 5

Back to Michigan I must go. Tom bid me goodbye, "Mek sure you buy a bottle of Appleton rum on your way out." I did. And I tried some patties, too. I had a great time!

How many times are these stories told and to how many people? Let's plan for more major sporting events in Jamaica so the stories can be told.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Thinking outside the box: Sport Tourism

Sport Tourism and its ability to attract visitors to the island should not be limited to traditional events, like golf, tennis, polo or even beach volleyball; it can instead look at the specific features of Jamaica and create events which can be ‘culturally inspired’.

We can also take traditional competitions like a triathlon and tweak it so the country can benefit from visitors and residents getting the opportunity to see more of Jamaica, while enjoying the offerings of cuisine and various entertainment packages.

Jake’s Resort, recently completed Triathlon is a great example of a sport tourism product which can attract a new type of sport tourist and the island is able to benefit tremendously from media exposure at the same time.

The very-exciting 500 metres swim, 25 kilometer bike ride and the seven kilometer run along Jamaica’s south coast is a physical challenge; however for the spectators it is an opportunity to watch and cheer, while enjoying the tropical weather in Jamaica, even if it rains. Good job Jake’s and I look forward to an annual event. Let’s get major sports network on board to broadcast this so we can have bigger and better events.


Years ago, Jamaica was host of the Snapple Superstars where American superstars participated in swimming, weightlifting, kayaking, golf, basketball shoot-out, cycling, half mile run and a 100-metre dash. Jamaica is not short on stars and I am sure we could have our own “Superstars” event.

Imagine for a moment Asafa Powell, Ricardo Gardener, Elaine Davis, Winston Griffiths, Oberon Pitterson, Brigitte Foster Hylton, Kali McCarthy, Simone Forbes, Paul Lalor and more competing in such an event. Outside of the media frenzy it would create, it would be a ‘made for TV event’.

It is also an additional opportunity for spectators and fans to get to see another side of some of their favourite people; while it gives the superstar an opportunity to relate to their peers in other sporting areas. Even in the preparation/training for the challenging event, there would be an opportunity for interaction.

I challenge the Western Hotels Association to re-organise this event, under the Jamaican banner for next April/May, a full year to plan, so we can host this fabulous event. I know it can be a success. If this comes on the calendar every two years then we have something to look forward to. We could throw in one international sport star as special guest, to create international appeal.

The US Model featured Jason Sehorn (New York Giants); Tim Raines (New York Yankees), Erik Williams (Dallas Cowboys) and Michael Westbrook (Washington Redskins). It was aired on ABC and a number of international journalists came. Win win for all.

LIGHTNING “BOLT” was in true form on Saturday, May 3, and if you were not there to see it live and living colour, well there are a number of places you can see the race. The 21-year old lit up the track with a spectacular 9:76 seconds in his third major competitive 100 metres. I also saw the 10:03 a few months ago, so I knew he had it in him. FYI – by Sunday, May 4 up to 7:00 p.m. over 10,000 hits were on for just that race. Phenomenal! Good luck in Beijing!

Polo – another option for sport in Jamaica. Jamaica recently hosted the 19th ICWI international ladies tournament with players from Singapore, Argentina, Britain and Zimbabwe and Lesley-Ann Masterton Fong Yee was one of the most valuable players. She also performed creditably in the NCB Tournament on Sunday, May 4. Non traditional game with a specific market appeal…why not?

Jamaica has the goods, look at the diversity. Let’s deliver.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Get a Professional Certificate in Sport Management

The GC Foster College of Physical Education and Sport, Spanish Town, Jamaica, is offering a course in Sport Management to begin Wednesday, June 4, 2008 in Kingston. The 27-year old teacher training institution, which currently offers courses for certificate, diploma and degree students for teacher training is adding the professional certificate course to diversify its offerings as it steps up its promotion for the 2008 to 2009 school year.

The course is comprehensive 30 hours programme which will look at functional areas of sport management, hisotrical, cultural features of sport management and how to identify and manage the current trends in sport management.

Principal of the College, Yvonne Kong, is pleased that the college is meeting the demands of the market. She also noted that the institution is prepared to ensure that the sporting sector gets all the support it needs to maintain and enhance its cuurent status. "Jamaica has to much of a rich history and sport and continues to do well, not to have the necessary support in place. GC Foster can assist in meeting that need."

The Principal added that the course is expected to be offered in the Masters' Programme which will be offered in the near future.

Applications are now being accepted at the College by calling 748 3227/984 2328
The course is being offered for J$35,000 + a registration/processing fee of $1,000

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Bolt sizzles in 100 metres dash

Usain Bolt posted a world leading time of 9.76sec - second fastest time in history - to win the 100m Saturday at the Jamaica International Invitation athletics meet, held at the National Stadium in Kingston (May 3)

Jamaica's Bolt, following two false starts, won ahead of USA's Darvis Patton and Antiguan, Daniel Bailey, who were second and third respectively on 10:08 and 10.12 seconds.

American Wallace Spearmom faded into fifth place.
World record holder, Asafa Powell did not compete. He is out due to injury.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Sports tourism is good for the Caribbean

Bevan Springer
Friday, May 02, 2008

While the 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup may have helped economic expansion, boosted infrastructure investment and furthered functional cooperation across the region, many in the tourism circles did not reap the kind of dividends they expected from the sporting spectacle because of the unexpected early defeat and exit of major cricketing nations such as India and Pakistan and the absence of traditional winter visitors, many of whom who chose to stay away from the Caribbean during the Cup's staging.

Nevertheless, the Caribbean has been left with an awesome opportunity to market state-of-the-art sporting facilities to a booming international sports tourism community during the cricket season and beyond if we are to capitalise on the millions of dollars that have been invested in them.
Carole Beckford, writing in the Jamaica press, said international bodies have long realized the value of sport to tourism and the money it can take into developing countries.

"Jamaica should therefore decide to host major sporting events in the future only on the following bases: To ensure the continuing economic and lifestyle values for local communities. The importance of building both quality and sustainability standards to meet all patrons' expectations and to make use of current facilities and infrastructure.

"The intense global media and Internet exposure that can affect a country's tourism competitiveness, its visitor appeal and its entire international image. (And) the increasing public interest and the specific interest around travel to major sporting events. When we are able to achieve all four of the objectives listed above then we are good to go."

According to St Lucian author Peter Adrien, "Sport Tourism calls for a paradigm shift in our conception and development of sports in the Caribbean. And this new vision must become part and parcel of our personal, national and regional development vision.

"Policy-makers must clearly define the role of recreational and commercial sports in the development strategy. The first is an imperative, and forms an integral part of the program for building a harmonious and productive society, and lays the foundation for the successful growth of the political and economic systems, while the second is selective and targeted towards foreign exchange earning."

The St Lucia Tourist Board (SLTB) and more recently the Barbados Tourism Authority (BTA) have made some major inroads into tapping into the expatriate markets of cricketing playing nations living in North America by wooing them to come to the Caribbean. Before the Cricket World Cup last year, the SLTB, along with Cricket World Cup St Lucia Inc, hit the road to tap West Indians, Kenyans and New Zealanders living in North America to entice them to visit the Caribbean for cricket.