KSAFA and Delgado Medical strike deal
A historic partnership was forged at the Delgado Health Centre yesterday, with the signing of a three-year agreement worth $21.6 million ($7.2 million per season), between the Kingston and St Andrew Football Association (KSAFA) and Delgado Health Services.
The sponsorship will last until August 2020, and youth players will be entitled to a free electrocardiogram (ECG - a test that checks for problems with the electrical activity of your heart) at the start of the season. Any player who is injured during a KSAFA event will receive free medical care. The services include physiotherapy, orthopaedic consultation, and general family consultation.
KSAFA president, Wayne Shaw, said that the deal is the first of its kind locally, and that it will not only aid young players' development, but also their clubs.
The health care will be available for all leagues from quarter-finals through to the finals and will be provided for teams during Friday night football, which begins in March.
Also, senior players, KSAFA referees and council members will be offered ECG tests at a cost of $500, physiotherapy at $1500, and general family consultation at $1000.
CUTTING BACK ON EXPENSES
Shaw says this will save the teams a lot of expenses.
"I know when a player gets injured, coaches, managers and sometimes players have to go into their pockets, so this is going to save a lot of money and the clubs can now channel their money, in other areas," he said.
Ryhon Brooks, manager of Delgado Health Services, said that former Meadhaven and Calabar coach David 'Wagga' Hunt was his inspiration and he just wanted to give something back to football in honour of the outstanding local youth coach.
"Mr Hunt is someone I respect and looked up to, and I wanted to do something to honour him, I couldn't help him when he was with Meadhaven, but I thought, how could we honour a great man like that, and we thought how best to aid football in Jamaica than to ensure that we give young men a chance to move through the levels.
"We don't want another report of a youngster dying on a football field, so we thought, let's give them this sponsorship," he said.
The deal with also be extended to KSAFA's Red Stripe Premier League clubs.