Hosting IFAF Championships could provide big boost for Trelawny Multipurpose Stadium

By Melissa Talbert September 30, 2020

 Jerome Harriott, executive director of the National Tackle Football Association (NTFA), has his eyes set on the Trelawny Multi-purpose Stadium for a potentially big event.  That’s great news.

According to a recent Jamaica Observer article, the International Federation of American Football (IFAF) managing director, Andy Fuller, recently contacted Harriott about the possibility of hosting the 2021 American Flag Football World Championship in Jamaica.

If the country is selected to host the championships, Harriott hopes to use three venues— the Trelawny Multi-purpose Stadium is one of them.

Flag football is the scaled-down version of American football and the event has the potential to pull around 600 participants and 2,500 visitors to the island.  Hosting the championships at the Trelawny Multi-purpose Stadium could initiate something bigger than just reclaiming its relevance as a stadium.

Using the stadium for such an event could assist the venue in fulfilling a much greater purpose; promoting sports tourism.

As stated in an article by the Jamaica Information Service titled, ‘Major Upgrading for National Stadium and Trelawny Multipurpose Facility’, there are plans for the stadium “ to be redeveloped to become the centre of sport tourism.”

Sports tourism involves travelling to a destination to participate in or watch sports. It involves travelling for other sports-related reasons like stadium tours, sports museums and exhibition tours, player's testimonials etc.

Harriott pointed out that if Jamaica is to host the IFAF World Championship, it would “fulfil the Government of Jamaica’s mandate of promoting Jamaica as a sports tourism destination, opening opportunities for Team Jamaica to present another success on the world stage, and advancement of the sport domestically and in the region.”

For sports tourism to be a growing sector in Jamaica, the country has to showcase its facilities and its ability to produce excellent athletes. That way, athletic teams worldwide would visit Jamaica for tours and may even want to use the facilities to train.

Equally important is embracing sports that are popular in other countries. Spectators from far and wide will travel to watch the sports they love.  Nurturing athletes in developing sports can attract and retain global support.

It is only fitting that the Trelawny Multipurpose Stadium, described as “the centre of sport tourism” is used to host the 2021 American Flag Football World Championship, once the opportunity presents itself.

 

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