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GOLD COAST Magazine A taste of South Coast Jamaica Jakes off Road Triathlon 2K11

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The Sports Park

Jason Henzell, Karl Hale,William Mahfood ,Giuliano Pignatarto THREDS ABOUT ST BESS

SPORTS PARK TO BE NAMED IN HONOUR OF FORMER MINISTER OF TOURISM

ST BESS NEWS ASTEP FOR ST BESS

Treasure Beach St Elizabeth It will become Jamaica’s largest sports facility; at completion it will be larger than Sabina Park, the UWI Mona Bowl and the national stadium. The BREDS Treasure Beach Sports Park situated on 15 acres of land in Treasure Beach St. Elizabeth will boast 3 first class cricket pitches, 3 top quality football fields, a first rate basketball court, a net ball court and tennis court. According to chairman of the BREDS Treasure Beach Foundation Jason Henzell “the park will be named in honour of former director of tourism Desmond Henry, he was responsible for the early development of community Tourism in Jamaica, and he is also from the Treasure Beach community,so we thought it was necessary to name the park in his honour ”.

Sonia Madden senior Education Officer for Secondary Education in the parish of St Elizabeth speaking at the monthly meeting of the ST Elizabeth Parish council said the ASTEP programme is to be implemented in primary schools as of September 2011, 1000 students in region 5 will be affected with just about half the number to come from St Elizabeth.


“The multimillion dollar investment will serve as the major hub for community activity in the Treasure Beach area says project manager Tamesha Dyght, she further added that “the complex will also include a community center, children playing area and a family picnic area she continued, there will also be additional bathroom and team changing room facilities”. The facility which was originally scheduled for a May completion date had a six week set back due to rains and will now be opened in July 2011. The BREDS team has taken no chances in developing the this historical facility according to Henzell they sought the assistance of UK sports club Tenhmbee Sports Club “they have guided us so far and have provided us with working drawings of their complex” he said The Digicel foundation has also injected cash into the project but the exact value of the sponsorship is currently undisclosed. The ALPART sports club which has one of the best playing surfaces in Jamaica is also located in St Elizabeth and has been credited for its role in the development of the rich cricket culture which the parish now boasts. This new sports park is expected to lift the bar of sports in the parish and by extension Jamaica; according to Dyght the foundation has already engaged teams in Canada, the United States and United Kingdom. It is expected that occupancy levels will be boosted each summer as teams will be distributed throughout the hotels and villas of Treasure Beach. Local teams will also get a chance to learn from the visiting teams as practice matches will become a feature of the programme, this interaction may also serve as an avenue for local high school players to display their talent in front of foreign coaches. The idea of sports tourism is by no means new to Jamaica but an investment of the magnitude being undertaken in St Elizabeth has not been attempted anywhere else in the country. The portfolio of top class sports events in the beard basket parish has grown steadily over the years with the traditional cricket being a staple of the locals, but over the years an international Triathlon has been added to the lineup with rave reviews from locals and tremendous support from international tourist, the largest beach football event in Jamaica is now an annual event in Treasure Beach reporting crowds of thousands last year. The sports park will therefore solidify St Elizabeth as the hub of sports tourism in Jamaica. Andre Gordon

Wasted Treasures in St Bess Black River St Elizabeth The Black River Mineral Spa stands tall in the history of the town and was once a major tourist attraction for the rich merchants who did business in the th th town in the 18 and 19 century. In fact the king of Belgium king Leopold visited the Spa on his visit to the island th during the 19 century though the exact date could not be verified by records obtained from the book titled Reflections on Black River written by H May Barrett an authority on Black River History it is important to note that the Spa was one of the most sought after attractions in the parish. The property has changed hands many times over the years between government and private holdings it now rest in the hands of the Dias family of Black River. Their massive renovation works turned to (story continues on PAGE 2


disaster as the materials which were purchased overseas were not allowed into the island. The spa consist of two or three natural springs which flows together forming a stream which runs into the sea but an attempt to build a concrete pool around the stream has resulted in a blockage which has caused a chemical reaction between the sulphurous water and the concrete, the result is a noxious smelling substance which floats on the water rendering the project a failure. The inability of the new owners to revive the once bustling business has robbed the town of one of its true gems. On a regular week day school children can be seen lurking on the property and even playing in the waters. According to Judith Sommer a German Projects Broad intern with the St Elizabeth Parish Development Committee who is conducting research on the history of Black River with a view to creating a historical walk through the town “an operational spa would diversify the product since most of the other attractions are buildings and that (The Spa) is a natural phenomenon, in other countries such as England and Greece Roman baths are a major party of the attraction and therefore a good source of income as such the fact that Black River makes no income from the Spa it is a wasted opportunity for the town� she said.

LATE BLOOMER TACKLES NEW ART The Spa sits right next to the Black River hospital on approximately 1.5 acres of land, the unfinished concrete structure has become an eye sore but with an open access to the beach the potential of the property is not hard to conceive. The glory days of the Black River spa may be long gone but with the new wave of optimism which now sweeps the town forgotten treasures such as the spa may yet become the haunts of the rich and famous once more. Other undeveloped treasures in the parish includes the Ipswich Caves, the Banda Cave of Breadnut Walk, the longest Beach in the parish at Fort Charles, the Holland Bamboo Travel Halt, Apple Valley Park and a host of other attractions which could have provided much needed employment for the growing youth population in the parish.


THE ST BESS STATE OF MIND The Bread Basket parish is known for shrimp at Middle Quarters, Fish and Bammy at Border, Fresh Pork at Acompong, and Jerked Pork at Ruby’s just outside Holland Bamboo. We are a very a fruitful parish instead of Ginger who will find Pineapples at Ginger Hill, Water Melons on the south coast, along with every other conceivable vegetable I won’t even attempt to list them here since the Pedro Planes area feeds the Nation and keep export numbers high. It’s not all food when in St Bess we have entertainment to suit every demography, for those of you who like reggae we have rebel solute every January which is by far the largest dry festival (no alcohol) anywhere in the world at Rebel Solute it’s all Ital Sip or maybe a puff (if u puff know what I mean). Then there is Calabash Literary Festival, now this is the real deal for the Uber Rich and Artsy type from out of town but for locals it’s just another place to be every May. There are various other parties which take place in the communities every weekend but the two that stand out the most are the GT Christmas Extravaganza and chicken back Party( say what ) yes chicken back is done in all the possible Gourmet styles that you can imagine. Cricket is our Local nation sports we play it all year round just about everywhere, on a Sunday you can find cricket games going on every where so if you are into the gentleman’s game you are in heaven. We are equally football fanatics so we play scrimmage everywhere but our biggest football event is definitely Beach football which is held annually at Great bay beach. Then there is triathlon which is another novelty attracting international competitors. I simply cannot finish this without mentioning Floyds Pelican Bar it is absolutely the coolest watering hole in Jamaica. Well next time I tell you more about what’s hot.


GOLD COAST MAGAZINE