Jamaica News: Residents of the Buckfield community in Ocho Rios, St. Ann, say their newly renovated basketball and multipurpose playing courts are a welcome reprieve from the daily stresses of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking to JIS News during a recent visit to the community, residents added that they were also grateful to the Sandals Foundation for the approximately US$50,000 investment, noting that it represented both value and “belief in us as a community”.
“This has been one of the best things that has ever happened in Buckfield… period,” argued Marvin Hamilton, longtime resident and curator of the community’s football field.
“Sandals came in sometime last year and made their intentions known… that they wanted to do something for Buckfield. Honestly, there were a lot of skeptics, including myself… as, frankly, we had heard those kinds of talk before,” he said.
Mr. Hamilton said the entire community was happy to see “that it was just more than mere talk” and that the Sandals Foundation has indeed delivered.
Another Buckfield resident, Kemar Johnson, said he was also impressed. “I am very proud of this recent development and for this kind of investment, which will have a profound impact on the lives of many,” he added.
For her part, Director of Operations at the Sandals Foundation, Karen Zacca, pointed out that the project commenced in 2019 and has been a labour of love aligned with the Foundation’s commitment to community development and engaging youth through sports.
Meanwhile, Sports Officer for the parish of St. Ann with the Institute of Sports, Kurt Dale, said that the renovated facilities will help budding netballers hone their skills and develop a level of participation in the sport.