centy Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, minister of culture, gender affairs, entertainment & sport, revealed that the Government will spend over $82 million to honour their Olympic and Parlympic stars this Heroes weekend for their rich medal returns from the Summer Games. The celebrations will run from October 14-16. “The celebration is costing, altogether when totalled up, the amount for the cash award (to the delegation) is Jamaican $42 million, and the remainder in cash and kind would be another $40 million in cash and kind (to stage the three-day event),” Grange told The Gleaner. According to Grange, the hard work and exploits of Jamaican athletes at the Olympics and Parlympics in Rio, Brazil, could not go down without a national celebration. “A special planning committee was convened to discuss how best to demonstrate, in tangible ways, our gratitude to our athletes and their management team. Whatever we do, ladies and gentlemen, we acknowledge that there can be no monetary award that is adequate to demonstrate our appreciation of the achievements of our champions,” she explained. Grange was speaking during the launch of what was titled ‘A Programme of celebration for Rio Olympians and Paralympians’, which was held at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston yesterday. Jamaica’s 63-member Olympic team finished 16th overall and third in the track and field athletics category behind Kenya and the United States of America. The nation’s Olympic heroes returned 11 medals: six gold, two silver and three bronze, while a three-member Paralympic team represented Jamaica at the Games in the same country. Grange explained that the sporting heroes will be celebrated and rewarded, in keeping with the existing policy, despite the country’s limited resources. “We hope that this, in some way, will give credence to our gratitude, so for the awards, we looked at other countries and we tried our best within our limited resources to provide the monetary reward in keeping with the existing policy,” Grange pointed out. According to the sport minister, it is value for money and “not just having a big party”. There will be an improvement in prize monies for athletes this year, adding the 2012 London Olympics figure. The reward system for athletes will be as follows; for a gold medal, athletes will receive US$10,000, US$7,500 for silver and US$5,000 for bronze. For relay gold medals the equivalent of US$6,000 will be shared by all six squad members, and for relay silver, the amount to be shared is US$4,000. Relay bronze medal squad members will split US$3,500. Also, finalists who did not medal will receive US$3,500 and non-finalists will get US$2,500. Grange said they did not “want to leave anyone out, so managers and the officials will get a touch, and they will, each get the equivalent of US$1,000”. The same pay structure applies to Paralympians. Meanwhile, 17 athletes will be flown in from overseas for the three days of celebrations. The athletes will be the guests of honour at a sports gala and awards ceremony to be held at the National Indoor Sports Centre on Saturday. Prior to that, on Friday, Prime Minister Andrew Holness will host a reception on the lawns of Jamaica House in their honour. On Sunday, Jamaica National will host a 5K Run/Walk fundraiser for charities in western Jamaica, sponsored by the JN Group and supported by the Usain Bolt Foundation, in Falmouth, Trelawny, as part of the festivities. It will follow with a western Jamaica reception at 7 p.m. at the Braco Melia Hotel, co-hosted by the ministries of Culture, Gender Affairs, Entertainment and Sport, and Tourism.
Two and a half acre acre site at Dry Arch on the outskirts of Letterkenny purchased for £1,000 in 1970 is now the site for a €1.25 million development that could rival any of its kind in Ireland.In the early days, a team called Arcade Athletic was founded by a committee led by Paddy McFadden and based at that two-and- a-half acre plot.Arcade Athletic evolved into the Bonagee United we know today and there was surely a nostalgia feel for Katie McFadden, widow of the late Paddy McFadden, as she cut the tape on the latest phase of works at Dry Arch Park. Lights of any sort were in the future for the club in those early days, but six, 18-metre tall floodlights now standing over Bonagee United’s home.On Friday night, the latest part of the development – the floodlights, the relaying of one of the astroturf pitches and the installation of a wheelchair access area, at a total cost of €150,000 – was launched by Katie McFadden.“He’d have been so proud of this,” she said, referencing her late husband, as she put scissors to tape.Larry Maguire and Eric Funston were at the first meeting of the club in 1970 and remain instrumental now. Donal Coyle, the Club Chairman, referenced deceased members such as Hughie McKay, Barnie Crampsie, Billy Baird, Hughie McGuinness and Paddy McFadden.Mr Coyle said: “It’s a great night for the club and it’s a development started away back in the 70s. Those men had the foresight and the vision.“There has been a lot of hard work and a lot of fundraising put in over the years. The great thing about this club is the support we have received in the community.“From small beginnings, we have a community hall and some of the finest facilities in the country.”In 1998, the club – backed by grant aid from then Minister for Sport Dr James McDaid – started a massive re-development which went on to incorporate a general purpose hall, two astroturf pitches, a spectator stand, new playing pitch, additional dressing rooms and ancillary facilities. From the 2015 Sports Capital Programme, Bonagee United received funding of €90,000 while they obtained €7,250 from the Development Funding of Councillors in the Letterkenny Municipal District – and a unique piece of politics.“What happened this year was unprecedented,” Coyle explained. “We got €7,250 from the Council Development Fund Inititative and all tenCouncillors contributed. That hasn’t happened before and I would like to thank all ten Councillors for their contribution.”You get the feeling Bonagee United won’t rest on their laurels for long. Coyle said: “We are always looking to develop. You have to keep building and you have to keep developing.”Photography by Evan Logan History of Bonagee United shared following launch of new floodlights was last modified: November 5th, 2016 by Elaine McCalligShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:BONAGEE UNITEDDevelopmentDry ArchFootballhistoryletterkenny