The Jamaica Olympic Association is planning to build an indoor stadium that will support 15 different sports, JOA President Christopher Samuda has announced ©JOA

The Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) is planning to build a multisport indoor facility that, it is claimed, will be "massive" for the development of sports in the country.

Christopher Samuda, the JOA President, revealed he wants to establish the ground-breaking sports asset in the centre of the country within the next five or six years as a legacy of his administration.

Samuda said the facility will host 15 sporting disciplines and that it will be very affordable for sporting associations in Jamaica to access, adding that the complex will be equipped with the latest technology.

"We want to establish a multipurpose complex that will house at least 15 indoor sports, because we really don’t have anything like that in Jamaica, and so it is indeed our long-term plan to have something like this in the not-so-distant future," Samuda told the Jamaica Observer.

"We haven’t identified any lands to build on as yet but the feeling is that it will be outside of Kingston and Saint Andrew.

"This will be massive for the development of sports in Jamaica because one of the things that we are big on is to ensure that this will be accessible to all people, and when you have a sporting complex like [this] it becomes available for talent across all sporting disciplines in Jamaica.

“The fact of the matter is that sports can’t develop without proper infrastructure.

"You can’t have a swimmer and you don’t have a swimming pool… you can’t have a basketball player and you don’t have a proper court for him to play on, and so the infrastructure is important and we realised that from day one."

A total of 87 of the 88 Olympic medals have come in athletics, thanks largely to its sprinters, including Usain Bolt ©Getty Images
A total of 87 of the 88 Olympic medals have come in athletics, thanks largely to its sprinters, including Usain Bolt ©Getty Images

Jamaica has won a total of 88 medals since making its debut in the Olympic Games at London 1948.

Remarkably, 87 of them have come in athletics, with 26 of them gold and 19 of those coming in the last four Olympics at Beijing 2008, London 2012, Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 as its world-beating sprinters, including Usain Bolt, have made their mark.

The only Olympic medal that Jamaica has won outside athletics came at Moscow 1980 when cyclist David Weller claimed a bronze in the men's kilometre time trial. 

Samuda announced that the JOA is hoping that the new facility will be commissioned within the next five years.

"Certainly we would want this to be a legacy of our administration, but even if it is not our legacy we have to put in the work from now and the foundation so that others can benefit from this venture," Samuda said.

Samuda underlined that the funds to build this new facility will be sourced through corporate Jamaica, as well as money that his administration earns from its various sponsorship deals.

"It has to be a combination of our public and corporate sponsorship and that is why we have been driving our revenue base, to ensure that we have the capital and finances to contribute to this venture," he said.

"We are going to be in earnest early next year, but this is not going to come to fruition until the next five or six years because something like this has to be planned properly.

"The infrastructure has to be sustainable and you will have to, of course, put in a management company, because what I think has failed us in the past is that we don’t have proper facility management experience and expertise."