Sports has been big business in developed countries for many decades and Jamaica's performance at the last three Olympics and World Championships has proven to be the catalyst for the development of sports as a viable industry in Jamaica.
The country's first sports policy goes back to 1994 out of which came the Sports Development Foundation (SDF), which has been providing funds for infrastructural development. In addition, the SDF has been providing assistance to national sporting organisations with recurrent expenditures.
Another sports policy was drafted in 2009, which had sports research and innovation as one of its 10 pillars. The others pillars are: Healthy Lifestyles; Sports Economy & Cultural Enrichment, Sports Tourism; Governance and Management of Sports; Doping Control, Athletes Development and Welfare; Sports Public Facility and Infrastructure; Sports as a Tool for Conflict Management; and Sports for Community and Youth Development.
The latest development in the National Sports Policy was recently tabled in Parliament as a White Paper by the Minister Without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for sports, Natalie Neita Headley. It was against this background and great level of interest showed by sports fans to sporting issues and results in the local media which motivated the Association of Media Pro-fessionals to conduct this scientific poll. The survey questions and findings cover at least seven of the 10 pillars of the sports policy as outlined.
When asked to name the most popular sports administrator in Jamaica an overwhelming majority picked Jamaica Football Federation boss Captain Horace Burrell. Burrell got just under 75 per cent with Lynden Wright, president of the Jamaica Cricket Association, second on 8.42 per cent and Tennis Jamaica's John Bailey, third on 8.05 per cent
The poll was conducted between January 12 and 21 by Dr Paul A. Bourne and Conroy Julian. The sample size was 300 and participants were drawn from Kingston and St Andrew, St Thomas, St Catherine and Clarendon - five parishes which contain just over a half of the country's population.
Note: Dr Bourne is the director of Socio-Medical Research Institute in Kingston, while Julian is a development communicator and convener of the Association of Media Professionals.
TOMORROW: Who is the favourite Jamaican coach?