Coach Neil Harrison’s confidence was clear: “We are ready. We were born ready.”That’s the message he is sending as it relates to his Kingston College (KC) charges’ readiness for the fast-approaching ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Championships.Harrison was speaking at an entertaining Journey to Champs stop in which telecommunications and cable company FLOW boosted KC’s coffers with $200,000 towards their sports development and sports programme at the institution’s Elleston Road Campus, which houses grades seven to nine, yesterday.Over the past three weeks, FLOW has stopped by three schools – Jamaica College, Hydel, and now, KC.The next stops for the FLOW Champs tour are Girls’ champions’, Edwin Allen High, next Tuesday, and Boys’ champions, Calabar, on March 11.The championships’ title sponsor, GraceKennedy, was also on hand to distribute gift bags, refreshment, prizes and nutritional advice to the students.The exciting day included entertainer Bugle releasing a number of hits from his catalogue. There were entertaining dancing battles and lyrical battles between students and FLOW dancers, while former KC students Elli the Viner and Prince Pine entertained and chanted the school’s motto to much jubilation.FLOW’s Whitney Fennell, who is in charge of retail sales, who himself is a Fortis old boy, rallied his former school ahead of Champs.”FLOW believes that the future of this country rests with young people, and we will all be supporting our youngsters, so we will always power our footballers and our athletes in whatever sport they choose,” Fennell outlined.Meanwhile, dean of discipline of the North Street campus Ainsworth Walker jolted the crowd with: “KC, KC, KC … Fortis forever!””I think we are prepared to win Champs, barring injuries. We only have one serious injury in the Class One with Chadwick Brown, and hopefully, he will recover,” Walker told The Gleaner in an interview.”We stand a great chance; they (athletes) just need to be consistent in their training and be advised about their physical and mental state, and once they find a twitch, they should take it serious,” he continued.Ironically, GraceKennedy’s digital media officer, Dwayne Extol, who helped to dethrone KC of the championships at Wolmer’s Boys in 2010, said: “Calabar by far looks impressive all season, JC are dark horses, as they are well-rounded and look a strong unit this year,” Extol pointed out.
Tempers flared in Blacksmiths Lane, Seaforth just yards away from the polling station, as the Jamaica Labour Party’s James Robertson, who is vying for another term as the Member of Parliament (MP) of Western St Thomas, addressed a small group of community members. Robertson, who was being accused of being absent in the constituency, was assuring the people of the work that he had put in over the years. “I have been a father to this lane for almost 30 years, long before I was elected as MP,” he said. Robertson’s proclamation was met with shouts and nods of agreement from a few of the people who had gathered. However, one man, who was holding a cup of what appeared to contain alcohol, approached the candidate with slurs contrary to what he had proclaimed. Another resident of the community exclaimed that the man was drunk and asked him to move away. The accusing man refused, which escalated to a brief fist fight. Robertson ensured that the dispute was settled before leaving the location.
KOLKATA, India (CMC):West Indies arrived here early yesterday from Dubai to begin their final preparations for the Twenty20 World Cup, which is set to bowl off here today with qualifying matches.The 2012 champions spent the last two weeks in a preparation camp in United Arab Emirates (UAE), where they also played four unofficial T20 warm-up games – two against Zimbabwe in Sharjah and two versus English County Warwickshire in Dubai. They won all four fixtures.The Caribbean side play their two official warm-up matches at Eden Gardens, taking on hosts and powerhouses India on Thursday and Australia on Sunday.Bravo in New DelhiMedia reports here said star all-rounder Dwayne Bravo was not with the team at the hotel yesterday, having flown to New Delhi following his arrival from Dubai.However, a team official said the veteran T20 specialist would return in time for the Windies fixtures.”He has some personal commitments in New Delhi. He will return in time,” media reports quoted an unnamed team official as saying.West Indies are also awaiting a replacement for opener Lendl Simmons, who was forced to opt out of the squad last week after failing to recover from a back injury. The Trinidadian played no part in the camp in UAE.In recent weeks, West Indies have been hit by a number of high profile withdrawals from the squad. Kieron Pollard pulled out with injury, off-spinner Sunil Narine chose to complete the rehabilitation of his bowling action, while left-handed batsman Darren Bravo opted to represent Trinidad and Tobago Red Force in the ongoing Regional four-day championship.West Indies have been installed in Group A of the T20 World Cup and will play alongside South Africa, Sri Lanka and England.The winner of Group B in the qualifying tournament beginning today will join West Indies in Group One.
Fairview, 65 Waltham Park NT final Surprise team Fairview Open Bible (FOB) will meet favourites and defending champions 65 Waltham Park Road New Testament (NT) Church of God in the final of the PFM Church Football League this afternoon at 4:00. In semi-final games last Saturday, 65 Waltham Park NT defeated Power of Faith 2-0 through Mayee Pearson’s 29th minute goal and an own-goal by PFM defender, Patrick Lamont. FOB beat Hope & Mercy Ministries 3-1. Jermanie Archer (22nd, 28th, 51st) struck a hat-trick of goals, for the victors, while Hope & Mercy’s lone goal was scored by Jason Williams (34th). Passagefort wins three-in-a-row Defending champions Passagefort United defeated Waterford 250-236 in the latest round of the Colin Fagan-sponsored South East St Catherine Constituency Domino League last Sunday. Passagefort moved to 12 points from three games and lead the seven-team standings. In other games, second place Garveymeade (nine points) stopped Ken’s Wildflower (five points) 250-245; Westmeade Rising Stars (nine points) beat Portsmouth 250-234. Tomorrow’s games: Westmeade Rising Stars vs Garveymeade; Cumberland vs Waterford and Ken’s Wildflower vs Portsmouth. All games begin at 1:30 p.m. Mandeville to host Street Gun Championship Glenmuir gain pre-season daCosta Cup boost Top Notch Summer League quarter-finals The second round featuring the first two quarter-final matches in the Top Notch Summer League will kick-off tomorrow at the Sunset playing field. The double-header begins at 1 p.m. and sees Sunset welcoming Broken Hurst. The second game at 3:30 features the impressive Generation United against Sinclairs’ Avenue. The final set of quarter-final matches will be played next weekend at the same venue. The final set of preliminary matches were played last weekend. The unbeaten Generation United sent Cedar Grove packing, with a 3-0 win, while Sinclairs’ Avenue did the same to Star Liner, after registering a 2-1 win. The final game saw Knock Patrick edging Manchester All Stars 1-0. However, both teams advanced. Scotiabank clip The Gleaner in BH football Former champions Scotiabank improved their chances of reaching the semi-finals of the KSAFA/Western Sports Business House division one league, thanks to a 2-1 win over The Gleaner at Alpha last Sunday. Scotia, who had the better of play in the first half, went ahead through a Rohan Reid strike in the 30th minute. They increased the lead seven minutes into the second half through Rivoli United’s Premier League player, Anthony Greenland. The Gleaner gained a consolation goal via their prolific striker, Fabian Nethersole, in the 70th minute, his sixth goal of the season. Two days later, Scotiabank also made progress in the KO competition, whipping National Water Commission (NWC) 5-0 in the quarter-finals at Winchester Park, thanks to a hat-trick from Nicholas Scott. Scotia thus advanced to tomorrow’s semi-finals, where they will meet defending champions Petrojam at Alpha, starting at 3:30 p.m. Petrojam won their quarter-final match on Tuesday as well, drubbing Wisynco 4-0 at Alpha. Carib Cement also earned their quarter-final berth by virtue of a 2-0 win over National Housing Trust (NHT) at Rockfort and will take on Peak Bottling in the other semi-final, at Barbican tomorrow, starting at 4:30 p.m. Peak Bottling had beaten Xerox 4-0 at Barbican on Tuesday, courtesy of a hat-trick from Andre Wheeler. PFM ‘A’ cop Church netball title Power of Faith Ministries (PFM )’A’ won the PFM Church Netball League with a hard fought 26-21 scoreline over Equator Faith Mission in the final at the PFM Sports Complex, 10C Dawkins Drive, last Saturday. Debbie Coghiel was the player of the final, as she shot 22 goals from 25 attempts, while Marva Pearson-Rose supported with four goals from six tries. The top shooter for the tournament, Nickeisha Duncan, scored 18 goals from 23 attempts for Equator Faith. Faith Temple New Testament took third place as they defeated Power of Faith ‘B’ 21-13. Edgewater, Cedar Grove final Defending champions Edgewater FC demonstrated their attacking prowess as they hammered East Portmore Portals 5-2 in one of two semi-final games, to surge to yet another final in the Pines Imaging Centre-sponsored Portmore Under-17 Football League, at the Cedar Grove playing field. Edgewater’s leading goalscorer, Durelle Green, brought his tally to 10 goals for the season, as he struck twice. Mickel Graham also scored two goals and Tyler Dacres added a goal to complete the rout. Edgewater’s opponent in the final will be Cedar Grove, which clipped Portmore United 1-0 in their semi-final. The final will be played tomorrow at Cedar Grove playing field at 3 p.m. Ken’s, Greater Portmore cricket final Ken’s Wildflower and Greater Portmore will contest the final of the Milo-sponsored Portmore Cricket Association (PCA) Portmore Under-17 Cricket League tomorrow at Hamilton Gardens, starting at 10 a.m. Both Ken’s Wildflower and Greater Portmore made light work of their opponents in semi-final games. Greater Portmore, through a splendid century, 107, from Romaine Senior, defeated Portsmouth by 134 runs at Hamilton. Scores: Greater Portmore 237-9 off 35 overs. Senior, 107, Shamar Stewart 28; Faiz Reid 4-52. Portsmouth 103 all out. Christoff Green 40; Chris Graham 3-14. At Waterford High School, Ken’s Wildflower defeated Bridgeview by 161 runs. Scores: Ken’s 208 all out. Dominik Samuels, 28, Shamar Irving 27, Raheem Robinson 2-30; Duke Reid 2-34. Bridgeview 47 all out. David Bird 3-16. The second leg of the National Street Gun Championship will be hosted at the Manchester Rife and Pistol Club tomorrow at its Lincoln range. The Street Gun championship is the largest gathering of shooters for competition as it caters for ordinary licensed firearm holders. No special rigs are required and it features the basic carry-on weapons. There will be eight stages with a basic requirement of 98 rounds. Rounds and other accessories can be legally purchased at the facility. The stages are typically designed to mirror danger scenarios the local shooter may encounter. They usually range from playing dominoes, driving in a car, lying in bed, watching television, holding a baby or sitting around a table. The range will be open at 9 a.m. to facilitate practice. Glenmuir’s 2015 daCosta Cup squad got a welcome boost when they earned $20,000 winning incentive after topping the Knox Cup, which featured five other schoolboy football teams. The two-day tournament was hosted recently at Brooks Park in Mandeville and featured hosts Knox, Edwin Allen, St James and Manning Cup teams Wolmer’s Boys’ and Holy Trinity. In the first round, Glenmuir drew with Holy Trinity 0-0 and edged Knox 1-0. In the semi-finals, they defeated Edwin Allen on penalties, before earning their cash incentive in a 1-0 finals win over Holy Trinity. Holy Trinity received $10,000. Glenmuir also won two of the five individual awards. Kevan Lambert was voted best midfielder, while their goalkeeper, Roger Miller, notched the top custodian. Best Defender went to Ronardo Nelson of Holy Trinity, Most Valuable Player was won by Radcliffe Dawkins of St James High, while the goalscoring award was shared by Javain Henry of Edwin Allen and Dawkins. Connection, Rising Stars dominate Porus Youth League Defending champions Connection and Rising Stars are the respective zone leaders of the Western Union-sponsored Porus Summer Youth Football League. Connection, who are unbeaten, lead Zone A with 12 points from four games and have already qualified for the second round. Newcomers Sporting Academy are next with nine points, followed by the trio of Tuff Gong, Russia and Villa on six each. Zone B is being dominated by Rising Stars on 10 points, followed by the duo of Galaxy and Chill Zone, on six each. Last Sunday featured a double header at Porus Community Centre. Firstly, Rising Star had to settle for a 1-1 draw against Settlement. The second match proved the most exciting, with Villa triumphing in a high-scoring match against Russia, 5-3. Two matches were also played on Tuesday. Chill Zone were hammered 5-0 by Galaxy, while Connection needed a late goal from substitute Nico Terry to edge Tuff Gong 1-0. Wednesday’s lone encounter saw Sporting Academy thrashing Genius 8-1. The competition continues tomorrow with two matches. Sporting Academy will be up against Tuff Gong in the first match at 3:30 p.m., while Trinity will play the final game at 5 p.m. against Galaxy.
Cottrell’s all-round heroics help Scorpions sting PridePORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC):Tail-ender Sheldon Cottrell smashed a brace of sixes at the death as Jamaica Scorpions escaped with a nervy two-wicket win over hapless Barbados Pride to post their second victory of the Regional Super50 here yesterday.With the game still very much an open contest with Scorpions tottering on 118 for eight at the start of the 33rd over in pursuit of 139 for victory, Cottrell twice cleared the ropes at the expense of debutant left-arm spinner Dane Currency, to ease the tension at Queen’s Park Oval.Man of the Match Cottrell, who ended on 16 not out, and Nikita Miller, seven not out, then calmly gathered the remaining nine runs in singles to clinch victory at the end of the 38th over.Cottrell had earlier claimed three for 18 with his left-arm pace, and leg-spinner Damien Jacobs, three for 38, as Pride were bundled out for 138 off 45.5 overs after opting to bat first.Captain Kevin Stoute hit 39 from 74 balls, but wicketkeeper Mario Rampersaud was the only other batsman to reach the 20s with exactly 20.In-form AndrÈ McCarthy then laid the foundation for the successful run chase with a top score of 49 from 76 balls, while Antiguan Devon Thomas chipped in with 33 from 65 deliveries.With the pair involved in a comfortable 84-run, third-wicket stand and Pride seemingly out of ideas, Scorpions appeared to be romping to an easy win.But experienced left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn turned the game on its head in a second spell which accounted for both batsmen and yielded four for 28 from 10 overs overall.His spell triggered a slide which saw six wickets fall for just 13 runs in the space of 42 balls, to give Pride a scent of an unlikely victory.Wickets continued to tumble until Cottrell arrived to strike two key blows and rescue the innings.AT ST PAUL’S SPORTS COMPLEX: Guyana Jaguars defeated Combined Campuses and Colleges Marooners by six wickets in their Group B, third-round game in the Regional Super50 at St Paul’s Sports Complex here yesterday.Scores: MAROONERS 149 all out off 48.3 overs (Ryan Hinds 47; Veerasammy Permaul 4-22, Paul Wintz 3-21). JAGUARS 153 for four off 35 overs (Assad Fudadin 71; Vikash Mohan 2-25).SCOREBOARDPRIDE INNINGSD Smith c D Thomas b Gordon 1K Corbin lbw b Cottrell 0*K Stoute lbw b Campbell 39S Brooks st A Thomas b Miller 19J Carter c King b Campbell 18R Chase b Jacobs 2J Greaves b Jacobs 3+M Rampersaud b Cottrell 20A Nurse lbw b Jacobs 9S Benn not out 18D Currency b Cottrell 0Extras (lb4, w5) 9TOTAL (all out, 45.5 overs) 138Fall of wickets: 1-1, 2-9, 3-36, 4-80, 5-82, 6-86, 7-89, 8-99, 9-138, 10-138.Bowling: Cottrell 4.5-1-18-3, Gordon 4-1-12-1, Miller 8-1-20-1, Jacobs 10-1-38-3 (w2), Campbell 10-0-32-2 (w3), Lambert 6-0-14-0.SCORPIONS’ INNINGST Griffith c Brooks b Nurse 4*J Campbell c Benn b Nurse 8D Thomas c wkp Rampersaud b Benn 33A McCarthy c Smith b Benn 49T Lambert c Smith b Benn 0B King lbw b Currency 8+A Thomas lbw b Benn 0N Miller not out 7D Jacobs run out 0S Cottrell not out 16Extras (w12, nb2) 14TOTAL (8 wkts, 38 overs) 139Did not bat: N GordonFall of wickets: 1-9, 2-21, 3-105, 4-107, 5-116, 6-116, 7-117, 8-118.Bowling: Nurse 6-0-35-2 (w8, nb2), Greaves 2-0-13-0 (w1), Currency 4-1-24-1 (w1), Benn 10-1-28-4 (w1), Chase 2-0-10-0 (w1), Smith 6-0-14-0, Carter 8-1-15-0.Result: Scorpions won by to wickets.Points: Scorpions 5, Pride 0.Man-of-the-Match: Sheldon Cottrell.Toss: Pride.Umpires: N Duguid, P Nero.
The answer? Easy. Place enough doubt in the minds of supporters of Portmore United as to whether the match would be played and force them to decide on the wisdom of spending scarce resources in attending a match at the other end of the island that might not take place at all! The result: sparse attendance by Portmore fans and a vocal and powerful 12th man that inspired local hero, Dino Williams, to score the 88th-minute goal that gave the home team the title. Few saw the strategy out of which victory evolved. I have no doubt that the wounded egos of the organisers and administrators of football in this country will guarantee that Mr Powell, and indeed, the team and fans of Montego Bay United, will be sanctioned. However, in my opinion, that will be a very small price to pay for the victory that occurred on Sunday night. To reach the final of the premier football competition in the island three years in a row and to win it twice is not an easy accomplishment. The architects of victory MUST be suitably and amply rewarded. In this regard, local footballers who STAY and play their football here (some eventually getting overseas contracts that improve their game) must be afforded the opportunity of playing for their country, a strategy that will enhance the importance of the local competition in the eyes of the paying public, instead of turning to so-called ‘Plastic’ Jamaicans, whose only allegiance to football in Jamaica is to play in the World Cup. To the Jamaica Football Federation, I say sanction Mr Orville Powell (and MBU) all you want, but understand that the ONLY way to improve local football and to get us back to the World Cup Finals is to invest in local footballers from the time they leave the Under-19 level and stop relying on ‘Plastic’ Jamaicans, who, once we are eliminated from World Cup Qualifying competition, are never heard from again, until …! Well done, MBU. Well done, rural Jamaica. There is indeed good football being played outside of the Corporate Area. VOCAL 12TH MAN Congratulations are in order for Montego Bay United (MBU), for their victory in Sunday’s final of the Red Stripe Premier League. The coach, Paul ‘Tegat’ Davis, and the players deserve victory as they outplayed fellow finalists Portmore United on the field in wet conditions. But what about the input of the real leader of MBU, Orville Powell? In assessing his role in the victory of a franchise that has reached its third final in three years, I am reminded of a quote I read some years ago from a Chinese philosopher, who is best remembered for his book – The Art of War – where he writes about how to subdue the enemy without fighting. Sun Tzu said: “All men can see the tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.” After winning the competition in 2014 and losing in 2015, Mr Powell realised the importance of the ’12th man’ – the fan support in finals. He got a part of his wish when the administrators of the sport decided to have the final in Montego Bay, the home town of his team. What apparently irked him was the decision of the administrators and the sponsors to have the game played at 4 p.m. on Sunday WITHOUT any input from any member of the MBU hierarchy, who, presumably, knows some-thing about the likes and dislikes of their fans. Mr Powell’s attempts at having the time changed failed. So his Plan B seemed to include how to minimise the support of his adversaries.
Yesterday’s results Rashawn McKinson led the way with a brace as Kingston College cruised to a comfortable 2-0 win over Papine High in the ISSA-FLOW Manning Cup at the Papine football field yesterday. The ‘Purples’ star struck KC’s opener on the stroke of half-time. The assist was impeccably delivered via a long-range free kick from Javain Brown, and McKinson applied the finishing touch. His second goal was from the penalty spot, coolly slotted home in the 82nd minute. The midfielder, with his back to goal, received a bouncing ball, which he deliberately played on to the outstretched hand of defender Oldani Dunkley to win a clever penalty. McKinson skilfully dictated the KC play and was the danger man throughout the game, proving to be their man of the match in three straight games. With the win, KC are unbeaten and top of Group C with nine points from three games. “Well, I am doing good so far. It’s just to train hard and continue the good work. I am a lot older now and have more experience. I have told my coach that I want to score 20 or more goals this season and give as many assist as possible,” McKinson told The Gleaner. He previously missed two penalties against Denham Town High, while scoring four goals. For Papine, captain Tajah Campbell and striker Romario Lynch linked up very well on a few occasions, playing through balls, which opened up the KC defence, but they could not find the finishing touch. KC’s coach, Ludlow Bernard, said: “It was one of those games that you really are not going to get everything perfect, but we still managed to maintain our winning streak and managed to maintain a clean sheet for the third game running.” Calabar 7 Campion College 0 JosÈ Marti 0 Dunoon 1 Bridgeport High 2 Cumberland High 1 Ascot High 0 Denham Town 1 St Mary’s College 2 Norman Manley 2 Papine High 0 Kingston College 2 Haile Selassie 3 Jonathan Grant 2 St Catherine 1 Ardenne 1 Hydel 0 St Jago 0 Camperdown 0 Wolmer’s 3 Pembroke Hall 2 Meadowbrook 3
EXCELSIOR ATOP GROUP A With the ISSA/FLOW Manning Cup competition preliminary stage nearing completion, there are still a few things left to be settled, with a number of intense battles for the remaining spots in the second stage on the card. Sixteen teams, comprising the seven group winners and runners-up, as well as the two best third-place finishers, will qualify for the second stage, which is set to start on October 24. They will be divided into four groups consisting of four teams each, with the group winners advancing to the semi-finals. Now, it is down to the wire for the nine remaining spots, which could be decided after today’s games spread across the Corporate Area and St Catherine. Reigning champions Jamaica College are among seven teams already certain of spots in the second stage. The others are Kingston College and Denham Town High; from Group C; Holy Trinity High and Charlie Smith High from Group E; as well as Wolmer’s and Camperdown High from Group F. Haile Selassie High are looking for a win against St Catherine High in this afternoon’s game at Barbican Complex set to start at 3:30 p.m. The Geoffrey Maxwell – coached Haile Selassie is in pole position in Group D on 21 points from eight games, while St Catherine, who are under the guidance of Anthony Patrick, are currently on 17 points in third position behind Jonathan Grant High (19). That means, St Catherine will have to gain maximum points to remain in contention for an automatic spot. In Group A, Excelsior High are on top on 16 points, ahead of St George’s College (15) after Friday’s exciting 1-0 win, with Greater Portmore (13) next best. Greater Portmore must win against many-time champions St George’s College to have a chance of making the second stage. Excelsior are expected to get the better of lowly Tivoli Gardens and maintain the lead. In Group G, Bridgeport are on top on 20 points, ahead of St Jago High (16), Hydel (15), and Calabar (15) as the teams in contention. Bridgeport should continue their impressive run when they play away to Campion College. St Jago are expected to get the better of Cumberland, while it’s anyone’s guess in the Hydel-Calabar game. Today’s games Vauxhall vs Jamaica College Greater Portmore vs St George’s College Excelsior vs Tivoli Gardens Norman Manley vs Kingston College Denham Town vs Papine Ascot vs St Mary’s College Ardenne vs Meadowbrook Jonathan Grant vs Pembroke Hall Haile Selassie vs St Catherine Kingston Technical vs Wolmer’s Dunoon vs Camperdown Jose Marti vs Edith Dalton James St Jago vs Cumberland Campion College vs Bridgeport Calabar vs Hydel Clan Carthy vs Holy Trinity Waterford vs Mona (Home teams are named first and all games kick-off at 3:30 p.m.)
Richards is a bronze medallist who competed in the shot put at the last 2015 World Championships and made the final at the 2016 Rio Olympic. He also won the gold medal at the 2015 Pan Am Games, as well as the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Williams, 22, competed in the 100m final in Rio and ran the lead off leg as a member of the 4x100m relay team which won the silver medal. Simmonds, the 22-year-old 100m hurdler, was the 2016 Jamaican national champion and represented Jamaica during the latest Olympic Games, while Forte, who just missed competing in Rio breaking the 20 seconds barrier in the 200m for the first time in 2016. McDonald is the 400m national record holder with a personal best of 43.93 seconds. He was part of the medal winning relay teams at the last two World Championships. Global Sports brand PUMA continues to deepen its roots in Jamaican athletics after securing the signatures of seven of the island’s top athletes. PUMA, a long-time partner of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association and the Jamaica Olympic Association followed up its recent signing of Commonwealth champion Kemar Bailey-Cole with seven MVP Track Club athletes, including Olympic silver medallist Shericka Jackson, World Championships medal winner O’Dayne Richards, Janieve Russell, Christania Williams, Julian Forte, Rusheen McDonald and Megan Simmonds. “PUMA continues their commitment with up-and-coming athletes, and its mission to be the fastest sports brand in the world by signing seven Jamaican athletes to represent them in the upcoming World Championships in London. They all have a strong possibility to make the podium in London and increase PUMA’s footprint in Jamaican athletics, which includes none other than Usain Bolt,” read a release issued by the company late yesterday. The signings represent a major coup for PUMA considering MVP’s long association with US brand Nike and the fact that its most recognisable ambassador, Usain Bolt, will be stepping off the track at the end of the season. Twenty-one-year-old Jackson represents one of the most exciting signings for the company. Jackson won bronze medals at the 2015 World Championships and the 2016 Olympic Games in the 400m and was a member of the 4x400m world title winning team in 2015 and the Rio 2016 silver medal mining unit. She has a personal best of 49.83 seconds in the 400m and is seen as Jamaica’s future of the event. Russell’s Olympic ambition was hampered by injury, but she also brings significant promise and world-class pedigree. The 23-year-old 400m hurdles specialist has already made her mark in the event and the best is still to come. Russell was a finalist at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and 2015 World Championships in Beijing. She is also a former World Junior Champion. BRONZE MEDALLIST
“We expect you (teams) to play fair football, have a good season, and may the best team win,” said Hopeton Gilchrist, the competition match coordinator. Christopher Denny, VMBS’s VP of sales and services, outlined that company is proud of the almost three decades commitment to both youth and football development in the west. “The competition has contributed to the future of football,” said Denny. “It has honed the skills of many, some of whom have moved on to play nationally and internationally. It has also fostered camaraderie within the school communities as parents, spectators and general supporters band together for each successful staging,” he added. Defending champions Granville All-Age and Barracks Road Primary kicked off the first match in the competition at the UDC playing field in the second city. May the best team win Best choice “Sometimes you are on the field and want to shoot to goal but the best choice is to pass the ball to your teammate because he is in a better position to score. At the end of the day, that’s what is more important for the team,” he added. Gardner further urged the young players to eat right, train hard and above all else, be disciplined and never give up on their dreams. “There were many times when I wanted to give up when I used to be in England, the weather got cold and the going gets tough, but there was a motto that I grew up on, and that was, ‘a quitter never wins and a winner never quits’,” he noted while wishing the teams all the best in the competition. The 2017 competition will feature six zones and the top two teams from each zone will advance to the quarter-finals. The keenly contested tournament is expected to run for two months, and in addition to cash prizes, the teams and their respective players will also be up for best defender and top goalscorer, among other sectional prizes. Former English Premier League football player and former Jamaica national football star, Ricardo ‘Bibi’ Gardner, brought the message of teamwork to the future generation of footballers at Wednesday’s kick-off of the 27th VMBS/St James Football Association Under-13 football competition in Montego Bay, St James. Gardner told the 31 primary school football teams that there is no room for selfishness on the field and everyone should instead be a team player who makes decisions that benefit their respective squads. “You should remember that the game of football is not only about you but is about the entire team,” said Gardner, who currently coaches the National Under-20 men’s team.