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Gov't appeals to corporate Jamaica to fund Tallawahs

Monday, January 14, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange says the Government is unable to provide the level of funding required to support cricket franchise Jamaica Tallawahs and is urging corporate Jamaica to assist.

According to Grange, the team needs more than US$1.5 million annually for the next three years but while the Government is willing to provide funding as it did in the past, it cannot afford the required sum.

“I am in discussions with the Tallawahs and hope to find a way to give some support as I stretch the little that we have. The Tallawahs need in excess of US$1 million each year for the next three years. We cannot find that. I have to be clear and up front about that. We cannot find that. In fact, it's in excess of US$1.5 million. But, working with the private sector we could find a way. So this evening, I make a special appeal to corporate Jamaica to come on board with the Jamaica Tallawahs,” Grange said.

She was speaking at the Melbourne Cricket Club's Annual Dinner and Awards Ceremony on Saturday.

The minister disclosed that the Government has been involved in efforts to court sponsors for the Tallawahs at the highest level.

“I must tell you we went as far as having the Prime Minister (Andrew Holness) himself arrange a meeting with the Tallawahs and a private entity in Jamaica which also has an international connection. Several meetings were held. Unfortunately, just maybe a couple weeks ago, the Tallawahs were told that this company is unable to assist,” she disclosed.

The requirement of the Tallawahs is greater than the total subventions that the ministry provides to more than 40 national sports federations each year.

Grange said if the Government was to “give the Tallawahs what they need to keep the game in Jamaica, then we would have to shut down shop and give support to no one else — and that's not possible. But we're still trying. The little that we have, we will stretch it and give them something. Yes, we have put something in the budget for them.”

The sports ministry said the Government provided support to the Tallawahs in the sum of US$25,000 in 2015 and US$35,000 in 2017.

It noted however that last year, the request for funding was submitted after the budget process was completed and the Government was unable to give financial support.

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