Friday, 23 June 2017

CHAT ’BOUT: Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange on plans for a National Sport Museum and what Jamaica 55 really means

UP FRONT: Minister Grange and colleagues enjoying the recent launch of the J'ca 55 celebrations in Kingston.

MINISTER of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, had all ears in Gordon House last week as she made her sectoral presentation, addressing the importance of investing in our athletes and sports’ continued and evolving role in national development. Below are five points from what Minister Grange had to say: 

“It’s a very competitive marketplace, but we truly believe that our athletes, and the impact of our cultural ambassadors on the world, primarily through music, have given us a tremendous comparative advantage. It is for us to convert that into measurable economic returns. One of the ways in which we will be seeking to do this is to go after major international sporting and cultural activities, to stage them right here in Jamaica.” 

“The group life and health insurance plan paid for by the Government as part of a commitment to secure the development and well-being of our national representatives benefitted 1,285 athletes as at the end of last financial year. It is imperative that we are able to continue the programme, and as such, the Government has developed a sustainability plan for the Athletes’ Insurance Scheme. This will be submitted to the Cabinet once the review has been completed.” 

“As a country, we continue to grapple with our seeming inability to convert the notoriety of our athletic prowess on the track into tangible economic benefits for our people, and the country at large. The debate rages on. Sports tourism is the buzzword these days.” 

“Other related activities scheduled for this fiscal year include workshops and training seminars on fabric restoration as well as digitization of artefacts. We are also focused on the establishment of a virtual museum as an initial stage of a museum establishment. Other related activities planned are the establishment of a museum foundation, among other critical strategies to ensure the vibrancy and sustainability of the museum project.” 

“As we prepare to celebrate 55 years as an independent nation, we are aware that we are still a young nation. But we have understood not to assess the power of our country by its chronological age or by its geopolitical size. Rather, we judge this country by the capacity of the dynamic forces that propel it onward, by the mystique that remains incomprehensible to so many, by the unwavering resilience of its people, by the national pride and recommitment to stand up for our rightful place in this new thrust towards national prosperity.”

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