Fennell appeals for more access to sporting facilities
JAMAICA Olympic Association (JOA) president Mike Fennell believes local sporting facilities are not accessible enough and should be made available to relevant groups once they are not being used for an official event.
"Facilities must be made available and at convenient times. Governments must play a greater role and accept their responsibilities of providing facilities for our citizens. We know very well the shortage of facilities in Jamaica but at times when the facilities are there they are not made available at times which are convenient to the people who want to use it," Fennell said, while addressing delegates during the 15th IOC Sport For All World Conference in Lima, Peru, recently.
Speaking to the Jamaica Observer Fennell said that sports stadia are often closed to those who most need them to use.
"There are facilities that are there and some of the facilities are not specifically prescribed for a particular sport but they're available and they're locked up. If they're locked up then nobody can use it," he said.
"What we must do is find out when they can be made available and use some of the same facilities for multipurposes. We don't have the resources in Jamaica or the money to have the ideal sort of facilities... but in the meantime we can make these facilities more readily available to the communities and the community groups."
Fennell added that the issue was twofold. Not only are facilities underutilised, they also tend to be poorly maintained.
"...We need to find the resources to maintain them and in Jamaica we’re not very good at maintaining facilities to a certain standard," he stated.
Notwithstanding, he said, the country should also be given credit.
"These are challenges that we continue to face but at the same time we must acknowledge that we've done fairly well," he ended.