The Jamaica Sports Development Organization is a non-profit 501(c)(3) entity whose mission is the development of sports in Jamaica with the goal of providing professional and scholastic opportunities for Jamaican athletes. It was formed to channel the expressed desire of multiple groups in the Jamaican Diaspora to maximize the immense sporting talent in the island and thereby improve the country’s standing worldwide in the major international sporting competitions in which we participate. From the outset, the approach has been to engage in activities that fill gaps in or supplement the programs developed by the various national sporting bodies but as an independent financial source.
Our Current Area Of Focus
The main initiatives of JSDO are
Grassroots football development
To provide funding to revitalize the FIFA grassroots program nationwide by adopting age 6-12 football development program for boys and girls in each parish with the goal of graduating advanced players for the various clubs’ age group programs, the National age group programs, as well as the High School programs.
Underwriting of the costs for year-round national age-group football programs from U-10 through U-20.
Direct funding of the preparation of the national age group teams (including the formalization of those below the U-17 level) based on budgets provided by the JFF, including coaches’ salaries, the cost of year-round weekend camps for the selected player pools (gears, equipment, meals, healthcare), and maintenance costs for the selected training facility; and travel and associated costs for international competition. The focus on a national-level “Academy” would ensure that the elite players at each level nationwide would be identified and subjected to the type of football development the group is envisioning as opposed to the more limited reach of a club-level Academy.
Teenage Development Program
With the goal of further developing the pipeline for the National football age group pools, work with the High School Alumni associations to upgrade/streamline their support of their respective sports programs to include a year-round schedule that would involve post- and pre-season sessions where technical, fitness and tactical training can be the focus (similar to US college football and basketball programs). These out-of-season sessions could also include academic tutoring for those who are lagging in their schoolwork. A key component of this approach would be the employment of full time coaches to oversee each school’s program. These efforts will be incremental and the more organized programs will become the template for others to follow. We should coordinate the education of these athletes on the scholarship opportunities available in the US and the academic criteria for those scholarships.
Professional Football Initiative
Explore options to upgrade the professionalization of football and other sports, such as encouraging sponsors of the NPL to become team owners instead by diverting their sponsorship funds and their business house/intramural competition budgets to a Sports Unit that would employ administrators, coaches and players and thereby provide the guaranteed wages and healthcare and retirement benefits of regular employees to the club players and administrators. This initiative would involve getting the buy-in of the NPL Clubs, the sponsors, The various parish associations, the players' association and, most importantly, the players who would have to be educated on the demands of a fully professional status.