Thursday, February 19, 2009

Develop local market through sports

The local sporting industry can grow and develop into a bigger business if there are enough events on the calendar. This is possible once the patrons are willing to purchase tickets, products and services associated with the particular event.

Jamaica has a significant number of sporting events from as early as the first week in January right through to the end of the year to satisfy the demands of a wide variety of sporting patrons. Organisers and promoters of these events must however ensure that patrons have a safe and secure environment to enjoy their respective events.

The venues for these events must therefore be in ‘safe’ locations. Facilities should have secure gate/doors to encourage patrons to pay; therefore tickets should be available. If patrons see a value to the event, they will pay, eventually. The venues should also have sufficient parking facilities, clean toilet facilities and other relevant amenities.

Opportunities for small businesses

Vendors in various communities across the island also have an opportunity to earn from plying their ware. Apart from the regular food products which are popular and needed, patrons should have an opportunity to find a nice piece of Jamaican art or craft or even a fine piece of fabric. T-shirts are also a good idea.

While I am on the subject of food products, can we encourage the patrons to dump the plastic containers in the same place? I know there is a plan afoot to have the JAAA sign a deal with a local recycling company to claim the plastics we so often discard incorrectly. I wish we could have the blue drums all around the island soon.

Community empowerment has to be a focus as we try to create viable opportunities for micro and small businesses to grow. What better way we can do it than through sports? This can have a positive spill over to each community where jobs and even a chance for upgrade of service offerings take place.
For example, in the upcoming weeks, as the track meets, football games and some community cricket matches, move around the island and obviously draw huge crowds, let’s support the communities.

I wonder how Kingston did in the recent first test of the West Indies versus England match. We hope to hear the results soon. These are important in planning for future events.


Communities must be prepared to offer top class service to people. The agencies with responsibility for community development should enhance the current model to empower the people to offer the service demanded and required.

What could happen from this is community can then use their own resources to organise these events, build on their own skills and develop on the capacity to do bigger and better things. What a recognition the community would then receive?

Note: Gibson Relays should provide a great preview for what is to come for the rest of the year for track and field, Saturday, February 28.

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