Syranno Baines

Digital and Communications Officer

Part of UK in Jamaica

12th September 2013 British High Commission, Kingston, Jamaica


The following is a guest blog from Jerome Cowans , Political Intern at the British High Commission in Kingston

When you think of SPORTS , what often comes to mind is a favorite team, players or a game.  Not uncommon, would be thoughts of physical activity and possibly leisure time. However, sports has far outgrown such limiting boundaries, and is now widely accepted as possibly one of the strongest agents of community development.  

More and more, governments and private sector leaders are beginning to understand the rich value that sports contribute to society at both macro and micro levels; and have realized the  immense change potential sporting actitivities can bring about in the life of an individual, and the community of which he is a part.  In fact, the United Nations has declared sports as the most cross-cutting, when it comes to development and peace tools. The universal  popularity of sports, the ability to connect people, the benefits of building their capacities and its powerful global communication platform, allows sports to be one of the most effective and economical instrument, to tackle an array of problems on all levels.

It is for this reason , that I jumped at the opportunity to be a  part of the planning team at the British High Commission in Kingston , which sought to celebrate the  first Anniversary of the London 2012 Olympics, and its legacy of using sports as an agent of community development.  The high commission collaborated with the Jamaica Football Federation, to host a one hour six-a-side match at the Barbican Football Field in Kingston. The match featured a team of talented and very brave British High Commission football players going up against the Jamaican national team more popularly known as “The Reggae Boyz”. 

 The main aim of the game was to bring recognition to, and raise funding for  the Homestead Home for Girls, which has some dire social and financial needs. The power of sports was harnessed to create widespread community participation, a high level of staff involvement, and a great showcase of talent and camaraderie. Girls from the home were  in attendance and it made the game all the more significant, even more so that they enjoyed the occasion that was being held in their honour.


The event also managed to attract media attention and significant private sector contribution. This added to the overall objective of the events and made it into another successful venture where sports was the vehicle.

My thinking is that sports will always be there  to develop ones general health, abilities and boost self-esteem. But we should continue to look deeper into how sports can effectively have a long-lasting positive impact on the development of communities and our nations.

We should use more sporting events to take a swing, a bat, a dive, run, a kick at our development goals. 

To view more pictures from the match please visit our Facebook page at this link :



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