TOLL GATE, Clarendon — Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) president Captain Horace Burrell has renewed calls for the government to place greater emphasis on sports development, this time adding "a bold suggestion".
The CONCACAF executive committee member wants the government to borrow funds to finance the construction of 13 multi-purpose stadiums across the island.
Burrell, speaking at the recent Clarendon Football Association (CFA) Presentation and Awards Ceremony in Toll Gate, said he is confident this kind of investment would yield tremendous economic benefits for the country.
"In the same way the government borrows money to construct roads I am going to make a bold suggestion that they get some loans and build some multi-purpose facilities in every parish," he said.
"I am talking about mini-stadiums like the one at Catherine Hall that could seat 10,000 people... (each would have) a football field, running track, netball court and other facilities. I will continue to call for this because our youngsters deserve it," Burrell added.
"Currently, Usain Bolt is the most talked about athlete in the world and I believe we could have more Usain Bolts because Jamaica has an abundance of talent, but not the proper facilities, so all we are asking for is the provision of proper facilities to help them (harness) that talent," Burrell, who is also a CFA vice-president, told the audience.
Meanwhile, Four Paths FC and Summerfield were among the biggest winners at the awards ceremony.
The South West Clarendon side walked away with over $200,000 in prize monies for winning the Captain's Bakery Major League title and picking up three of the six major sectional prizes (Most Valuable Player, Leading Goalscorer, and Top Coach) in their division.
Summerfield received some $80,000 for winning the Division One competition and having the Most Valuable Player (Keenan Dyke).
Other winners on the night included Knock-Out champions Humble Lion, Major League Mid-season champions Jamalco FC, Doyen Tummings (Referee of the Year) and Lloyd Reader (Assistant Referee of the Year).
Special awards were also presented to FIFA assistant referee Stacy-Ann Greyson, who officiated in the 2012 London Olympics, Lennon High (for winning five consecutive ISSA schoolgirls football competition), and the National Under-17 quartet of Donald Francis (Clarendon College), Siegel Knight (Clarendon College), Roshane Sharpe (Denbigh High), and Ismale Currie (Garvey Maceo).