Breds Foundation

Breds Sports Park A Treasure on the South Coast

Barbara Ellington, Lifestyle Editor

Jason Henzell, president of Island Outpost and chairman of BREDS Treasure Beach Foundation, is a happy man. He is thrilled because he is realising his long-term vision for the seaside town located in the parish of St Elizabeth.

On Saturday, September 11, the entire community came out to witness the opening of the Breds Treasure Beach Sports Park. A stellar cast of politicians, sports officials and corporate giants were on hand for the event that lasted the entire day.

And, speaker after speaker at the opening lauded Henzell and the community for the efforts so far. The kudos began with Prime Minister Bruce Golding, who saw it as a tribute to Henzell’s leadership, vision and inspiration for the community. He said it was good that the vision of the late Desmond Henry would be recognised and honoured.

“This is a good example of how investment can be compatible with how people live, not just for themselves but as multiplying incrementally over the years.”

Guest speaker Olivia Grange, minister of youth, culture and sports, committed her full support to what she described as a “win-win situation of private sector, Government and the citizens”. She expressed pleasure that the facility would be perfect for not just football and cricket but also for volleyball and other games.

Also expressing positive wishes for the success of the sports park were Dr Christopher Tufton, minister of agriculture and fisheries and member of parliament; Jeremy Palmer, mayor of Black River; Hugh Buchanan, People’s National Party caretaker for the constituency, and others.


When the 15 acres went up for sale five years ago, Henzell thought the property would be perfect for a sports and community centre so he approached then Member of Parliament Donald Buchanan, who purchased it in the name of the Ministry of Water and Housing. “In 2008, the current portfolio holder, Horace Chang leased it to us for 50 years, so I got a group from England to show us how to set up the different fields,” he said.

Then came the master plan, the costing by a quantity surveyor and the subsequent division of the construction plan into four phases with a conclusion date set for Jamaica’s 50th anniversary of independence in 2012.

Phase One is the construction of a building that houses changing rooms, a storeroom, caretaker’s room, bathrooms and a sewage-treatment system. It has wheelchair access and cost $3 million to build. Henzell told Outlook that they got the steel and building materials at cost price.

“Tamisha Dyght, director of BREDS, launched an $80 block drive, so we took no funding in the first phase,” Henzell said with pride. In Phase Two, fencing of the property, a cricket pitch, a children’s play area and drilling a well for water supply will be completed.

In Phase Three, the basketball, netball and tennis courts will all be constructed as well as ropes course for leadership programmes. In the final phase, a multi-purpose community centre will be built.

Henzell, who is positioning the community as a sports tourism Mecca, believes it can be a catalyst for bed-and-breakfast hotels and villas in Treasure Beach. It can also be an economic driver for smaller and more affordable accommodation.

“My idea is to see it as a place where referees and coaches in the parish can come to be upgraded; where we can invite school teams, clubs and semi-professional teams from overseas to come and train here,” Henzell noted.

But, more important, he wants a place where the entire family can come for picnics, where corporate functions can be held, weddings can be performed, funerals, workshops and retreats can be held.

Past and present guests of Jake’s and concerned individuals all over the world can visit the website at and make contributions to the four phases of the building fund at

Present at the opening were Alan Barnes of Red Stripe; David Mais, chairman of the Sports Development Foundation; William Mahfood of Wisynco; Paul Campbell, president of the Jamaica Cricket Association; Supt Merrick WatsonYvonne Clarke and Adina Parchment of Jake’s; Inspector Alton SpencerConroy Ward and Terry Moxam of the National Commercial Bank; SallyLaura and Maxwell HenzellOliver NembhardCeleste Anderson of the women’s group; George Deleon, president of Treasure Beach Citizens’ Association; George Hill of the neighbourhood watch; and Robert Russell of the Tourism Product Development Company who pledged the support of the Tourism Enhancement Fund.

We also spotted: Carlene Walters of JAGRA, Howard McIntosh and Nari Williams-Singh of Driftwood Gun Club. Ambassador Courtney Walsh and cricketing great Jimmy Adams have agreed to be patrons of the complex.


CAPTION: This building signals Phase One in the development of Breds Treasure Beach Foundation Sports Park in St Elizabeth. It was officially opened last Saturday by Prime Minister Bruce Golding. Chairman of Breds, Jason Henzell, said plans were well advanced for the facility to be utilised as a sports tourism centre, which would make it the first of its kind in Jamaica. The total complex is estimated to cost J$120 million. – Photo by Noel Thompson




  • The term BREDS is short for ‘brethren’, a familiar way of hailing a person from the local fishing community. BREDS is a non-profit organisation established in 1998 to promote education, sports, cultural heritage and emergency health care in Treasure Beach.
  • The organisation is administered by volunteers and funded annually through individual donations and the proceeds of special projects.

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