.... Treasure Beach and WestPow getting it right
The plan to transform the Llandilo property in Savanna-la-Mar into a top-class sporting complex has nothing to do with trying to reinvent the wheel. It is simply a bold bid by the Westmoreland Football Association (WFA) to replicate a model that has been working quite well at the Treasure Beach Sports and Recreation Complex, St Elizabeth, and the Westpow Park in St James.
"We have seen what has happened at Treasure Beach and at Westpow Park. Both projects started out as ambitious dreams and today they are success stories," said WFA president, Everton Tomlinson, the man driving the Llandilo project. "... we are hoping that one day soon we will be saying the same thing about Llandilo."
The Westpow Park, which is the brainchild of Montego Bay United Football Club's (MBUFC) boss, businessman Orville Powell, is not only able to host the team's home games in the Red Stripe NPL, but it has also become a preferred facility for the Jamaica Football Federation when staging coaching seminars and training courses as well as the hosting of training sessions for visiting teams.
The facility, located on the outskirts of Montego Bay, has one full-length football field for competitive matches, two training fields, an area for Futsal, a walking trail, cabins for visitors, a restaurant, a swimming pool, a go-cart track and a modern clubhouse, which is completed with living quarters, offices and a gymnasium.
"Our vision at Westpow is to create a complete sporting facility, which over time can become self-sustainable," said Powell. "There is a lot more to be done, but we are making steady progress."
In the just over three years since MBUFC has made the Westpow facility its official home, it has had the enviable distinction of winning one national title - the coveted 2014-15 Red Stripe NPL competition.
Like the Westpow Park, the Treasure Beach Sports and Recreation Complex, St Elizabeth, which is managed by the BREDS Foundation, under the stewardship of businessman Jason Henzel, is a gorgeous facility with enormous sports tourism potential.
The facility, which is still being developed, already boasts attractive pavilions, its own irrigation well, and a fantastic playing surface for cricket and football. Additionally, it has facilities for other sporting disciplines such as lawn tennis.
"It is something different, but not completely dissimilar from what we are hoping to create at Llandilo. We really need more facilities like this across Jamaica," said Tomlinson. "We can make millions from sports, but a comprehensive and coherent strategy must be in place for this to happen. Treasure Beach and Westpow Park are on the right path, and it is our intention to join them."
- P. C.