Govrenment Facilitating Access to Sport for All

Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, has reiterated the Government’s commitment to make sport accessible to all.

This, she says, is one of the key objectives of the National Sport Policy, which aims to ensure that Jamaicans are healthier.

“We embrace the concept of sport for all, as it promotes the health and social benefits to be derived by all members of society through regular physical activity,” Ms. Grange said.

Her remarks were made in a speech delivered by State Minister, Hon. Alando Terrelonge, during the opening ceremony for the 8th annual Caribbean Conference on Sport Sciences at the University of Technology (UTech) in St. Andrew on April 13.

Ms. Grange said not only does sport bring people together and help to raise national pride and international profile, but it also aids in maintaining healthy lifestyles.

“Studies have shown the importance of engaging in regular physical activity from a young age, which means that physical activity not only produces an immediate benefit, but is also an investment for the future well-being and health of the individual,” she said.

The Minister noted that regular moderate physical activity, such as walking, cycling, or participating in sports, has significant benefits for health, including reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, colon and breast cancer, and depression.

She pointed out, however, that physical inactivity has been identified as the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality, causing an estimated 3.25 million deaths globally.
Against this background, Ms. Grange said the Government remains committed to ensuring that future generations benefit from efforts to have sport made accessible to all.

She said this was evidenced in the Administration’s continued provision of financing and other forms of assistance through the Sports Development Foundation and Institute of Sports.

Ms. Grange indicated that key infrastructural upgrades are being undertaken at the National and Trelawny stadiums to bring these facilities up to international standards.

“An important effect of these upgrades is that members of our national family who have disabilities will have greater access to the facilities,” she said.

The conference, which was held under the theme ‘Sport for All’, saw sport stalwart awards being presented to veteran sports journalist Patrick Anderson; noted football coach and analyst, Bradley Stewart; and former Boys’ Town and former national senior football player, Aldrick McNab.

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