Govt to offer small Tallawahs support
Sports minister Olivia Grange says that although the Government does not have a lot of funds to offer at this time, it is willing to attempt to support to the Jamaica Tallawahs, who have threatened to move to another Caribbean territory.
Grange says that talks are now ongoing between both parties.
"I hope to find a way to give some support as I stretch the little that we have," she said at the Melbourne Cricket Club's annual dinner and awards ceremony on Saturday. "The Tallawahs need in excess of US$1 million (close to J$130 million), each year for the next three years. We cannot find that. I have to be clear and up front about that. We cannot find that. In fact, it's in excess of US$1.5 million (J$195 million). But, working with the private sector, we could find a way. So, I make a special appeal to corporate Jamaica to come on board with the Jamaica Tallawahs."
She said that the prime minister has also been seeking sponsors for the franchise.
"We went as far as having the prime minister himself arrange a meeting with the Tallawahs, and a private entity in Jamaica which also has an international connection," she said. "Several meetings were held. Unfortunately, just maybe a couple weeks ago, the Tallawahs were told that this company is unable to assist."
The requirement of the Tallawahs is greater than the total subventions that the Ministry provides to more than 40 national sports federations each year.
"If the Government were to give the Tallawahs what they need to keep the game in Jamaica, then we would have to shut down shop and give support to no one else and that's not possible," she said. "But we're still trying. The little that we have, we will stretch it and give them something.Yes, we have put something in the budget for them.
In response to requests for assistance from the Tallawahs, the Government was able to provide US$25,000 (then almost J$3 million) in 2015. In 2017, again in response to requests for help, we provided support in the amount of US$35,000 (close to J$4.5 million at the time). The ministry said a request was submitted after the budget process was completed last year, and so it was unable to give financial support.