Cage woes hamper local Mixed Martial Arts body paying duty

August 10, 2017
Jamaica Mixed Martial Arts Federation president Daniel Chacko-Wilmot.

Jamaica Mixed Martial Arts Federation (JMMAF) president Daniel Chacko-Wilmot said the body is having difficulty staging competitions locally because it is still awaiting assistance from the ministry of sports to build a cage.

Chacko-Wilmot said though the sport is gaining popularity, locally, it has not reached the point where there is enough expertise in building cages. As such, they would need to construct a less intricate cage, or import one from overseas.

"Maybe we need to start with a cage that's not the shape of an octagon, but like a boxing cage (square) with the fences put up at the sides. We're trying to explore the various possibilities," Chacko-Wilmot said.

"One key component in all of this is that it's been difficult this year to get in touch with the ministry (of sports). Once we're recognised by the ministry of sports and the SDF (Sport Development Foundation), it would open up more options to bringing in a cage without paying duty. That makes that option a little more attractive."

However Chacko-Wilmot said communication with the Government has not gone as planned.

"It's been a little hard to reach out to the ministry. We sent in a letter and they acknowledged the letter (but no response)."

However, SDF general manager, Denzil Wilks, said the JMMAF is not in the sport ministry's plans for funding.

"They're not currently one of the organisations that we assist," Wilks said. "It would have to be special dispensation. That's not one. We assist tae kwon do and Seido karate. I don't know if the ministry plans special dispensation but we haven't received any word from the ministry at this time."

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