The Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) has notified its membership to prepare and submit applications for its Equipment Grant Fund.
Conceptualised to develop capacity among sporting associations and its athletes, the fund was first launched in 2021. The total grant earmarked this time is $20 million, an increase of 33 per cent.
In making the announcement, the JOA said the fund is opened exclusively to the members of the JOA.
“This grant is to assist with the acquisition of equipment which will help to promote the growth, development and sustainability of your sport as well as your athletes,” the communique stated, adding that the applications are welcomed “as you continue in your commitment to advance your various sporting disciplines in Jamaica”.
Ryan Foster, the JOA’s CEO/secretary general, said that the second edition of the Equipment Grant “is a continuation of a strategic initiative that was started a few years ago”.
“The JOA believes that for effective sport development we will need to look at specific areas within sports – the athlete, the coach and the additional resources such as the equipment,” Foster explained.
“The JOA has extensively addressed the needs of our members through Olympic grants, educational programmes for athletes, coaches and administrators, and now we are seeking to address the equipment needs of our members, which will allow them to train and compete at a higher level,” he added.
Member federations interested in securing the grant may apply in writing to the JOA’s secretary general no later than February 29, 2024 detailing the following:
Justification of the need and purpose of the grant, the impact that the grant and equipment acquisition will have on the growth and development of their sport and athletes, and the budget for the acquisition of the relevant equipment.
Total allotment for this year’s Equipment Grant Fund represents a hefty increase as the JOA had invested $15 million in the initial programme. Those funds were secured through a partnership with Supreme Ventures Limited (SVL).
Last week, the JOA and SVL inked another multimillion-dollar deal, the latest valued at $75 million for five years.
Some of the over 20 sporting associations that benefited from that grant were the Jamaica Triathlon Association, Jamaica Wrestling Federation, Jamaica Bobsleigh Federation, Jamaica Cricket Association and Jamaica Lawn Bowling Association.
The Equipment Grant Fund is another facet of the JOA’s Olympic Invest initiative that was launched in 2020, which has among its primary objectives the sustainability and viability of Olympic and non-Olympic sports.
The JOA noted that acquiring equipment has been expensive and beyond the grasp of many sporting bodies, which has consequences for athletes whose daily regimen of exercise constitutes training with equipment that is vital to their preparation and overall development.
Foster attested to the broader picture.
“Sports is not just attending a game, but it incorporates the scientific requirements of developing a world-class athlete,” he said.