Regional

Ky-Mani Marley moves to secure lease to intensify activities at Elleston Wakeland centre

BY HORACE HINES
Observer West reporter

Thursday, March 14, 2019

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FALMOUTH, Trelawny — After undertaking a multimillion-dollar upgrade at the run-down Elleston Wakeland Community Centre in Falmouth, reggae singer Ky-Mani Marley is now seeking to secure a lease from the Trelawny Municipal Corporation to intensify recreational activities he has commenced at the facility.

“So far we are in talks with the parish council (municipal corporation) and the talks are going well. It's been a while now since we have been in talks, so for me it's just being able to get the lease to do the business the right way so that we can feel comfortable to move on and continue building on the structure and implementing the different programmes,” Ky-Mani, son of legendary reggae superstar, Bob Marley and former table tennis great, Anita Belnavis.

Chairman of the Trelawny Municipal Corporation, Councillor Colin Gager is upbeat over the partnership with Marley, a native of Falmouth.

“What we want to do is to make the process easier because you know where that centre is coming from. It was really overgrown with weeds…… so when he (Marley) came along with this idea we thought it would be very good.”

The reggae singer, who is also an actor, has not only funded the much-needed rehabilitation of the community centre, the playing field and the perimeter fencing, but he also formed the Falmouth United football club, which is now competing in the Jamaica Football Federation Western Confederation League, after being promoted from the Trelawny Major League.

“If you go down there [Elleston Wakeland Community Centre] and see the amount of investment that he [Marley] has put in already, it has really changed the place completely. One of the things that we like is that he has created an 'A' field and a 'B' field, so the 'A' field is for the special occasions, while with the 'B' field everybody can use it. He is also upgrading all of the other things that go with a community centre, so the volley ball, the cricket pitch you name it…. so we think that it is good and we are supporting it,” Gager told the Jamaica Observer West.

The entertainer, who, as a youngster, played football at the Elleston Wakeland Community Centre's playfield, is not only promoting football at the facility, but has also among other things, put in table tennis boards, and is now establishing a boxing gym, where youngsters will train under the watchful eyes of reputed boxing coach, Chris Johnson.

Marley also disclosed that plans are far advanced to establish a computer lab at the facility.

“I know that it is not everyone play football, so it was important for me to bring boxing, to bring table tennis and to build a computer lab so the kids who need to come in and do homework who don't have a laptop and so on, have a place where they can come and do their research and make sure they do their work properly,” Marley told the Observer West.

Gager is also happy about prospects for the computer centre.

“He [Marley] has other ideas that we think are great ideas because he wants to also include a computer lab where young people can be able to use,” Gager remarked.

“I think at this point it is one of the best things that can happen for us because who else would have come and invest in something like that?” the Falmouth mayor questioned.


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