In six months the Deacons community should have a new multi-sport facility through a collaboration between the Urban Development Commission, JADA Construction and Preconco Limited.
MP for St. Michael North West, Christopher Sinckler said the community had been waiting for some time for the return of a central location where they could congregate and play sports.
He hailed the interest of the private sector in the venture, noting that it could only help to return some of the community spirit that such sporting interaction fostered.
“It was the desire of those of us who are from around here, even when we were not in office … to see that this project be re-engineered, restarted and contributing to this and also the surrounding communities, because it is not just for Deacons but to serve the surrounding wider urban corridor and beyond as well,” he said.
Phase one of the project, he said, had been started and completed by the UDC, where classrooms were established for the Vocational Training Board to conduct courses on the premises in various disciplines, but noted that there was still a need for a sporting area.
He said often the clubs that needed sporting facilities in the area would have to use whatever grants and subventions they might receive from Government to rent space. This facility, he explained, would reduce the burden of shopping around, seeing that some of the available sporting areas are either no longer available or have to be shared with other events.
“We feel that a sub-facility like this can give an additional option to those community sporting organisations that they can be able to practice their discipline in whatever sport that might be, but it also does an additional thing in that it rekindles community life which is extremely important in the type of areas that we know we have to deal with in the urban corridor,” said the MP.
He added: “Poverty reduction and alleviation, social development and expansion is not just about building a house for a person or repairing a house, that is important for living quarters. It is not just about sending someone to the welfare department to collect a cheque every month to pay a light bill or whatever the case might be. It is about personal human development.
“You want people to be able to feel good about themselves and their community, to express themselves through sports and culture and other types of activity that develops the human spirit and human body, that is what you want to have happen and in as much as sport and culture are two of the activities that contribute to that, we believe that it is an additional way to bring young people into more constructive and productive activity,” said Sinckler.
Preconco’s Mark Maloney noted that the facility should take six months to be constructed, though the officials declined to reveal how much the venture would cost to complete.
Once completed though, he stated that it should facilitate games including basketball, volleyball, netball and other ball related sports at the venue. (LB)