Jamaica Lacrosse Association (JamLax) president Calbert Hutchinson says that the national programme may be disbanded if there is no financial support to further foster the country’s rise in the sport.
Jamaica created history last month when the senior women’s team qualified for the 2021 Women’s Lacrosse World Cup after placing third in the Pan American Championship in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Hutchinson says that while the achievement is remarkable, the sport’s growth locally is suffering.
“It’s a good feeling with all the accomplishments on the international front, but at the same time, our emphasis is on the local development because if we don’t have that then it doesn’t make sense we be looking to get all diaspora players on our national team,” he told The Gleaner.
“If we don’t get the type of support that we need from corporate Jamaica, get more people on board, then we’ll just have to do away with some of these national programmes and focus more on the local development. We have to give and take.”
Hutchinson is calling for support from the private sector to continue the success the programme has had this year.
In dialogue with JOA
“We have been given support by the Sports Development Foundation through the minister of Sport,” he said. “We are in dialogue with the Jamaica Olympic Association, [and] we have got support from various entities and individuals, and families of the individuals. But we need more support with our success on the international stage.”
The qualification for the 2021 World Cup in Maryland, the United States, is the latest in a list of milestones for the administration as Jamaica became the first English-speaking Caribbean nation to participate in the Under 19 World Lacrosse Championships in Peterborough, Canada, last summer. But Hutchinson anticipates hard work ahead for his administration to be ready for 2021 and says that there needs to be more done for the sport at the grass-roots level.
“Looking at the overall development of the sport in Jamaica, our success on the international stage with the limited resources that we have is taking away from the development of the sport on the local front,” he said.
[It’s] a good feeling [to qualify] but overwhelming at the same time, knowing the magnitude of work that we are going to have to put in.”