Digicel Foundation, TEF, Chase partner with BREDS - Treasure Beach Foundation to Build Donald Buchanan Tourism Sports Centre
Residents of the vibrant fishing village of Treasure Beach in St. Elizabeth, which hosts Calabash—the annual literary arts festival—are poised to increase their income when the Donald Buchan Sports Tourism Centre opens in December.
The Treasure Beach community, which is served by one main sport facility – the Treasure Beach Sport Park and Academy has been attracting adventure travellers for decades. This sporting facility sits on seventeen acres of land and boasts four football fields, a cricket pitch with three strips, basketball and netball courts. On Wednesday, July 16, 2014, residents and representatives from BREDS – Treasure Beach Foundation, CHASE Fund, Tourism Enhancement Fund and Digicel Foundation as well as other private sector partners gathered for the ground-breaking ceremony to begin construction on The Donald Buchanan Tourism Sports Centre. The new addition to the Treasure Beach Sport Park and Academy is a part of the community sports development and tourism plan, which seeks to increase occupancy for hoteliers, increase patronage for local attractions and provide additional employment opportunities for residents. Sport tourism is considered to be an important economic driver that can support local businesses, grow infrastructure and bring community and social benefits as inclusion and participation rates in sport and community events increase. According to the Digicel Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer, Samantha Chantrelle, “The Digicel Foundation could not have passed this opportunity to contribute to enhancing the lives of people in rural Jamaica and supporting the country’s community and sports tourism efforts. Our work is about investing in projects that contribute to the sustainable development of our communities.” The Digicel Foundation, CHASE Fund and Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) have partnered with BREDS - Treasure Beach Foundation to enhance their sport tourism product with the construction of a multi-purpose building to be named after the late Donald Buchanan—a trade unionist who served as Member of Parliament for South Western St Elizabeth for nearly two decades. “There is a desperate need across the country for spaces such as this one provided by the Treasure Beach Foundation. They are not just crucial to enhancing our tourism product but for providing clean, safe recreational spaces for members of the community,” Chantrelle highlighted. Jason Henzell, Chairman of The Treasure Beach Foundation, proudly noted that the support to build the Donald Buchanan Tourism Sports Centre is another excellent example of the kind of public-private sector partnership needed to invest in sorts and community tourism and help grow the economy. "The Greater Treasure Beach Area provides tremendous opportunity in this regard—for us to enhance our tourism product and create more opportunities for residents. The Treasure Beach community and Foundation are very grateful to the TEF, Chase and the Digicel Foundation for partnering with and supporting us to complete the last phase of our Sport Tourism Strategy,” he said. The centre, which is expected to be complete by November this year, will contain facilities for meetings and conferences, an emergency medical room, changing rooms and catering facilities/food concessions. The Donald Buchanan Sports Tourism Centre is expected to create a new niche in the tourism market within the region.