Mon | Dec 17, 2018

What's the future of Jamaica's football? - RJRGLEANER Group to host town hall meeting this Thursday

Published:Sunday | May 6, 2018 | 12:00 AMRobert Bailey
Jamaica’s Giles Barnes (left) and Je-Vaughn Watson celebrate after Jamaica defeated the United States 2-1 in a CONCACAF Gold Cup semi-final in 2015, in Atlanta.

The RJRGLEANER Communications Group will, this Thursday, be hosting its first in a series of town hall meetings looking at the most topical issues in sports. The event will take place at the sports lounge at Club 100 on Hope Road in St Andrew.

Thursday's town hall meeting, which will be broadcast live on TVJ, will focus on the current state of football in the country.

The meeting is an extension of the company's flagship sports programme, Eye On Sports, which is aired on Thursdays from 8:30 to 9:00 p.m.

However, this programme, which will be hosted by well-known sports broadcasters Jeremain Brown and Spencer Darlington, will last for 90 minutes and will give members of the public a chance to participate in the discussions.

According to Kayon Raynor, assistant group head of sports, the company is aiming to stage one town hall meeting each quarter.

"The aim of the programme is to get all the stakeholders in football in one discussion to talk about the issues and find solutions as to how the national programme can get back on track," said Raynor. "We will be looking at sponsorship, youth football, a possible franchise system, and other things relating to the nation's football and how it can be viable in the next few years."




Confirmed panel members include chairman of the Professional Football Association of Jamaica, Don Anderson; Reggae Boyz team manager, Roy Simpson; vice-chairman of the Premier League Clubs Association, Carvel Stewart; competition officer at the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association, George Forbes; chairman of Cavalier Football Club and former JFF treasurer, Rudolph Speid; and JFF marketing manager Sophia Harris-Lau.

Football fans who cannot make it to Club 100 will be invited to participate by commenting and posing questions to the panel through a social media campaign that will be led by The Gleaner's platforms.

"I think this is something that is warranted. At the RJRGLEANER Communications Group, we see ourselves as the leaders in the business of sports coverage, not only in Jamaica, but in the Caribbean as well, and so if we can lead such a discussion, it will have far-reaching implications in terms of policies going forward. That is something that the group looks forward to and sees as part of our corporate responsibilities in sports coverage," Raynor said.

"The intent is to ensure that not only those who run the sport have a say in it, so we are also inviting members of the public to come down to the sports lounge at 100 Hope Road so they can participate in the discussions as well, and they can posed the tough questions and can better understand what we are trying to achieve in football in Jamaica," Raynor shared.