[SPORTS]:::Major League Baseball to assist Jamaica construct field at Trelawny Stadium

No. 63 Monday, March 8, 2010
Plans to construct a baseball field at the Trelawny Multi­Purpose Stadium will be fasttracked after Major League Baseball (MLB) offered to assist the government.
    This was disclosed during a press briefing at the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture following earlier discussions with Sport Minister Honourable Olivia Grange and MLB's Manager of International Baseball Operations for Latin America Mr. Renaldo Peralta, who is on a three-day visit.

    "The Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Sports will have its work manifest through the Institute of Sports. It is my greatest pleasure to announce that a baseball diamond (field) in Trelawny will be a reality," Grange said while displaying a master development plan for the Trelawny stadium.
    A section of this multi-faceted plan indicated a site for baseball which could be implemented before the laying of a 4oo-metre Mundo track.
    "We are most certain that it won't be our last time here," stated the Nicaraguan-born Peralta. "The support from the Jamaican government brings excitement. We want to totally help develop the game and present the youths of Jamaica with new opportunities."
    Peralta's visit, which ends tomorrow, has been largely due to the efforts of the Institute of Sports, the state agency with responsibility for sports development in Jamaica.
    Lead director of the pilot progamme, Mr. Donovan Corcho says baseball is a sport that many Jamaicans can excel in, based on their natural athletic ability.
    The main goal is to implement baseball, one of North America's most popular sports, through the schools starting at the primary level.
    But now Jamaica stands to benefit even more with additional aid in the form of gear and equipment from Babe Ruth Little League Baseball World Series.
    Jamaican-born Andrew Dixon, a former professional baseball player, is a member of Babe Ruth Little League Baseball World Series and is excited about the new development and see this initiative as his way of giving back to Jamaica.
    Through the efforts of Dixon and Babe Ruth Little League Baseball World Series vice-president Tim Surrency, Jamaica is set to receive shipments of baseball items for the upcoming pilot project that involves 12 Corporate Area primary schools.
    Meanwhile, Minister Grange urges Mr. Peralta to sell Jamaica as a country that enhances all sports using our most recent adoption of skiing during the just concluded Winter Olympics in Canada.
    She also noted that with the MLB about to establish a greater presence in the country, it will create an environment to promote overseas scholarships for Jamaicans to US universities and subsequent contracts in Major League Baseball as well as "opening new opportunities for tourism and other industry markets".
    Peralta also examined details of the draft pilot project, which entail technical seminars and a six-week tournament among participating schools.
    He also met with key stakeholders of Little League Baseball Jamaica.

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