JOA to develop 'Olympic Manor'
The Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) has announced plans to redevelop its headquarters to become a multicomplex facility. Newly appointed chief executive officer Ryan Foster announced the plans during a JOA press conference to outline the new structure at its headquarters yesterday. Foster said that one of the goals of the redevelopment is to allow the association to start generating its own money.
"We want to refurbish 9 and 11 Cunningham Avenue to develop it into an Olympic Manor," he said. "That way, it will house a sports museum, an artefacts store, a head office, sports medical facilities ,a training and development facility for coaches and sport administrators. The complex will be revenue generating from entry fees, rental fees and sales."
Foster said that funding for the project would come from the Olympic Solidarity For Infrastructure.
"There is a path within the Olympic Solidarity (For Infrastructure) specifically assigned for infrastructural development, and we will be engaging corporate sponsors to assist in the completion of this project," he said.
Foster said that local sporting associations active under the JOA that do not have official headquarters would be able to use the facilities for administrative purposes once completed.
"We'll establish offices for them to utilise, but also for external persons to rent those facilities."
JOA president Christopher Samuda said the museum would be a separate one from the National Sports Museum planned by the Ministry of Sports.
"It will be JOA's sports museum, a separate museum that we intend to construct and to operationalise," Samuda explained. "Certainly, there will be collaboration (with the ministry), and certainly, we want to make it to be a profit centre. In other words, we'll be forming partnerships with tourism interests to ensure that the museum is not only exposed to locals, but also foreigners.
"Like any international museum, you will have pilgrimages to our museum from international personalities foreigners coming here for vacation. We are hoping that our own people will be able to learn much more about the glory of our sport and the character that informed our sportsmen and women who have done exceptionally well on the international stage."
Samuda said that this would also present the chance for retired Olympians to continue to contribute to the country in what he described as "meaningful ways".
"They will, perhaps, have an opportunity to speak with them because that will be a part of our offering as well," he said. "We are trying to get our Olympians to come back in a very structured way, interface with our young people, communicate those values that inform their own performances and their own perspective of life. Also, to share with them, the character, the mettle of failure how you rise after failure, to make contribution to not only your country but also to influence the advocacy for sport on an international scene."
The project is expected to start in the middle of 2018.