Four-time national 400 metres champion Novlene Williams-Mills is the 11th winner of the prestigious Courtney Walsh Award for Excellence.The announcement was made at a ceremony at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on Thursday night.Williams-Mills walked away with the award ahead of fellow nominees Rodolph Austin, captain of the Reggae Boyz; national netball representative Sasher-Gaye Henry; and many-time national chess champion Warren Elliott.”I will cherish this award for all my life because I know that I have worked hard. So thanks to everyone who has supported me over the years,” an emotional Williams-Mills said after accepting her award and cash incentive.”It is truly a honour to be recognised for hard work. Champions and winners were not created overnight, but through years of work,” she said.Williams-Mills hails from the Gravel Hill community in St Ann and has kept Jamaica’s name at the forefront of international competition in the 400 metres.She ran a brilliant anchor leg as Jamaica won the 4×400 metres gold medal at the 2015 IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China.The performance reflected the character and determination of the athlete as she had been below her usually high standard all season while battling fitness concerns.In 2012, Williams-Mills was diagnosed with breast cancer, but instead of quitting the track she battled on and her gold medal in Beijing was a fitting reward.Natalie Neita-Headley, minister without portfolio with responsibility for sports, spoke at Thursday’s function in the absence of Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller.Neita-Headley spoke of the importance of the award and encouraged all youngsters to aspire for greatness.”We are working on improving the infrastructure for sports in Jamaica in order to gain more recognition in other sports,” Neita-Headley stated..”You do not have to win to bring honour to your school but you must bring your best effort,” Neita-Headley said.Meanwhile Junelle Bromfield of St Elizabeth Technical and Javauni Garwood of Wolmer’s Boys copped the Courtney Walsh Award for Excellence student awards.
Manchester football season to open Oct 29The 2015-16 Manchester Football Association (MFA) season will kick-off on Thursday, October 29, with the Brumalia House Knock Out competition.The draw took place at the MFA offices at the RADA Complex earlier this week and 16 teams will compete. Defending champions Porus United will feature in the lone October 29 match against Old England.A date is yet to be finalised for the other seven opening round games. Those games are: Alligator Pond vs Plouden; Hillstars vs Star Zone; Downs vs NCU; Ricam Academy vs Villa United; Mile Gully vs Greenvale; Comfort vs Technical Strikers; and Georges Valley vs Land Settlement.The newcomers are NCU, Star Zone and Technical Strikers.Porus begins Peter Bunting defence with winPorus began their defence of the Central Manchester Sports Development Football League on a winning note last weekend, with a 6-2 victory against Top Coffee Grove Community team.The league, which is sponsored by Central Manchester Member of Parliament, Peter Bunting, kicked off with two games at Comfort Community Centre. The second game saw hosts Comfort defeating neighbours New Hall 5-1. Thirty teams are contesting the League. Top Coffee Grove number among four newcomers in this the third season. The others are Belair Strikers, Bombay and May Day.The opening round also saw Land Settlement scoring the highest margin of victory – a 10-0 shut-out of Kendal. A summary of other results saw Albion outscoring Old England 4-2, Inverness stomping New Vision 5-0, Mandeville United welcoming Belair Strikers 3-0 and the Police team drawing 2-2 with Bonito Strikers.Matches will resume tomorrow with double-headers at five venues. Opening games kick-off at 1:30 p.m., with the final games set for 3:30 p.m.Belair win in Howie Chin Prep LeagueKyode Smith’s goal proved decisive as Belair shocked defending champions Mount St Joseph 1-0 in last week’s second round of the Howie Chin Memorial Cup for Preparatory Schools in Manchester.Belair have now moved to six points, following their opening round 3-0 shut-out of Charagape. It was also a tough second round for Mountt St Joseph in the female category, where they are also the defending champions. They were held to a 0-0 draw by Emmanuel, who were previously beaten 2-0 by Belair.In other boys matches, Knox completed a 3-1 win over El Instituto, while in a surprise result, Yabnel edged Sacred Heart 1-0 on a Ramone Henry strike.The most impressive scoreline of the second round came in the girl’s competition, when Timika Scarlett’s four-timer gave Belair a 4-1 win over Knox Prep.Manchester to host inaugural Knox 7KManchester will host its fourth road race for runners and walkers, when Knox Community College hosts its inaugural Knox 7K on October 31.The day’s events will be hosted at its Cobbla campus, near Spaldings. The event will form part of Knox’s commemoration of 40 years as an institution which caters for primary, high school and community college education.The High Mountain Coffee 10K is the first on the Manchester calendar each year. Earlier this month, the parish saw the debut of the Church Teachers’ College 5K. The Burger King 5K will take place on October 25.Age categories for both events will be 19 and under, 20-39 and 40 and over, for which the organisers are offering prizes. Interested athletes and enthusiasts can go to the school’s website at kcc.edu.jm to register.
Led by a second consecutive brace from Gregory Messam Jr, reigning ISSA-FLOW Walker Cup champions, St George’s College, eased to a 3-1 win over Excelsior High in a quarter-final match at the Constant Spring playfield, yesterday. St George’s bossed midfield play and kept Excelsior deep in their own half early in the match. Messam put his school ahead from the penalty spot in the 38th minute after he was fouled while going past three Excelsior defenders. Excelsior improved after the half-time break and equalised when a defender put the ball in his own net. St George’s restored the lead from the penalty spot. This time Shevon Stewart was fouled in the 18-yard box and Messam dispatched a spot kick in the 59th minute. Alex Marshall then completed the scoring when he sent a low and firm shot which Excelsior goalkeeper Romario Palmer got a hand to but could only parry into his net. Marshall has now scored 13 goals this season while Messam has netted 10. St George’s assistant coach Marcel Gayle said: “It was unfortunate we conceded a goal, but we are happy to win and move forward. We are always looking to get better,” he said. Meanwhile, Excelsior’s assistant coach Karume Huie said his team lacked “concentration and clinical finishing”. “At this level you have to be on your best game,” he said.
Hall of Fame jockey Winston ‘Fanna’ Griffiths paid homage to the legendary Royal Dad by winning the race named in his honour aboard 5-1 chance LONG RUNNING TRAIN at Caymanas Park yesterday, his second win on the 10-race programme. Griffiths, the leading all-time jockey in the annals of local racing with over 1,650 winners in a distinguished career spanning 40 years, was the customary jockey of the 1981 ‘Horse of the Year’ ROYAL DAD, who not only became the first Triple Crown winner at Caymanas Park that year, but the first to win 11 consecutive races as well. Griffiths, a five-time champion, pushed the ever-present LONG RUNNING TRAIN past the leaders DREAMCOMETRUE (72-1) and DWAYNE STAR (51-1) approaching the 600-metre pole. He then turned back a feeble challenge from 2-1 chance BRAWN to win easily. The 3-5 favourite SOUTHERN CRUISE, with leading jockey Shane Ellis aboard, finished 8-3/4 lengths third. Parsard said the change of rider and slower pace made the difference for LONG RUNNING TRAIN who finished 11-1/4 lengths fourth to fast-time winner POKER STAR, and BRAWN over 1300 metres a week ago. “Today, Long Running Train could sit in the early pace and make her move leaving the half mile. I knew she would have a lot in reserve from the final bend and when I saw Brawn looming for a challenge on the outside, I was not worried,” said Parsard, who along with Griffiths had two winners each on the card. The veteran trainer also posted 9-1 chance GO GO TRAIN to win the fourth race in a bang up finish despite jockey Oneil Mullings losing an iron and had to ride indian style up the lane. And for the second consecutive Saturday, Griffiths booted home the Philip Feanny-trained 8-5 favourite CAMPESINO to an easy victory, this time in the open allowance sprint.
Even if we do not go there, what havoc would a fast bowler like John ‘Jomo Kenyatta’ Hamilton, a leg-spinner like Lloyd Williams of Westmoreland, a hard hitting batsman like Trevor Henry of St Ann have created had they been given more than one or two chances. And what would a stylish batsman like Gerald Wollaston of Melbourne have achieved had he been given more than two chances – nine years apart? I remember sitting beside Tom Graveney – the England batsman, who, apart from playing for England, visited the island on two occasions with club sides – at a dinner party in a Leeds restaurant one night in 1984, and he asked me what had become of Henry. “That boy could bat. He was a lovely striker of the ball,” he said. Some of them never got a chance because of considered better players on the team at the time and some of them, like Hamilton and Colin Hinds, never got a chance because they were known as “throwers”. The majority of them, however, could bat. They could hit the ball hard, some of them could bowl fast and some of them could really spin the ball. In those days, however, particularly, in the days immediately following the arrival of Lawrence Rowe, no one looked at you as a batsman except you looked like Rowe, as a batsman. That is why a batsman, one named Richard Staple, got so many chances to make the team. I once saw him bat three times in the final trial match of one season at Melbourne Oval. Like Staple and Wollaston, those players probably would never have made it, probably none of the players rejected would have made it and probably the selectors knew that they would never have made it regardless of their figures in the local competition. Their figures were good, with Colin Hinds topping the Senior Cup many a time and Mitchell, among many fine efforts, claiming two hat-tricks and taking 10 wickets in one innings against the Cup champions, Melbourne, in 1969. There were others, some of whom never got a chance on the West Indies team. Batsmen like Neville Bonitto and Sam Morgan of Jamaica, Ralston Otto, Jim Allen, and Luther Kelly of the Leeward Islands never got a chance at West Indies glory. There were also few bowlers who never got a chance, including Robert Haynes of Jamaica and Harold Joseph, ‘Harry Jo’ they called him, and Ganesh Mahabir of Trinidad and Tobago. Nikita Miller, the left-arm spinner out of Melbourne, who has been selected for one Test match, way back in 2009, despite being around West Indies cricket for years and playing the odd ODI and T20 tournament, boasts figures which stagger the imagination, especially in the regional first-class competition. Stylish batsmen Cricket is a funny old game, and I say so although it is my favourite game. Were I to return to this world following my demise, I probably would not play cricket, not if I wanted to go places, not as long as there is a sport like track and field and not if I felt that I had the talent to go where I wanted to go. It is as simple as that and it is because of the selectors. The selectors brook no argument. Their word is final. In matters of selection, they are even more important than any president, or, in the early days when he was an important man, any treasurer. They are supposed to pick the best, but sometimes their idea of who is the best is baffling to the spectators, to the people who sometimes see more cricket than they do, know cricket more than they do, and can “select” cricketers better than they can. They are supposed to select players based mostly on their performance, but sometimes performance gets pushed aside and it gets pushed aside in favour of, for instance, a selector’s perception of a batsman’s weakness against fast bowling, or leg-spin bowling, or off-spin bowling, or his play on the front-foot against his play on the back-foot, or his defence if tested on a poorly prepared pitch. Their assessment is gospel. No one questions it, or should even attempt to question it. Today, I wonder what would some of the players who were ignored in the past have done had they been given the chance, just one chance, which they deserved, to represent their country? What would players like batsman Lionel Webb or right-arm leg-spinner Vincent Doctor of Trelawny, a batsman like Stephen Hinds of St Mary, a batsman like Len Muthra of Westmoreland, or one like Joseph Kirkpatrick of Trelawny have done had they been given a chance to represent Jamaica? What would a wicketkeeper-batsman like Fitz Nangle of Kensington, an off-spinner like Colin Hinds, and a medium-pacer like John Earle of St Catherine, a fast bowler like Junior Hall, and a batsman like Carlton ‘Baje’ Carter of Melbourne, and a fast bowler like Michael ‘Guru’ Mitchell of Boys’ Town do had they been given the opportunity to wear the national cap? Test cricket, up to now, is that by which cricketers are judged, and Miller is still to make it. Every Saturday and every Sunday in the Senior Cup, and every year in the regional competition, he terrorises and baffles batsmen to finish top or next to the top in the most wickets or average columns and yet, but for once when the West Indies team was not at full strength, he never got a chance. Miller’s first-class record to date is 80 matches, 403 wickets, with a best return of eight for 41, an average of 16.87 and an economy rate of 1.96. That is top-class bowling in any company and worthy of a try, a real try. Miller, it is said, does not spin the ball enough, and that is true. He does enough to get batsmen out on good pitches, however, and he is a difficult proposition on a helpful pitch. At age 34, it maybe is too late, but years from now, the selectors, who went through almost everyone who bowled spin in the region for the last 10 years without giving Miller a chance, a real chance, may yet say to themselves: “What if, what if we had given Nikita a chance in Test cricket?” Regional competition
Team improving However, after losing their first game to the Combined Campuses and Colleges, the team has been improving ever since. This includes two solid victories over Guyana, a one-wicket loss to Barbados, and return-leg triumph over the previously unbeaten hosts. This, according to Miller, has since instilled belief in the unit that they can go all the way, and it was for them to continue improving. Jamaica is scheduled to play in the semi-finals against Trinidad and Tobago Red Force, who occupy the top two positions in Group A, and were playing each other at press time yesterday in Antigua. “We are enjoying this tournament and have excited the fans in a few games, and are thinking to continue in that part,” he declared. “We are focused on our game, our game plan and the way we are playing. The mindset is that we have two more games left, and we are going to take it game by game as we are prepared for any team.” Captain Nikita Miller believes team unity and selflessness have been underlying reasons for the success of the Jamaica Scorpions in the on-going WICB Regional Super50 Tournament. The Scorpions, on the back of a five match winning streak, are through to the semi-finals. The Robert Samuels-coached aggregation progressed as the second placed team in Group B behind after winning six matches and losing two. Co-hosts and pre-tournament favourites Barbados Pride, who have in their line-up, several front line West Indies players, with seven wins and a defeat claimed group honours. “What has impressed me the most thus so is our togetherness,” Miller said. “On and off-the-field, every person has been working in the best interest of the team. “I really didn’t expect this so early on due to the fact that it is a new coach, a new system and a new captain. But the fact that the guys buy into our philosophy, into our way of playing, what we believe in and what we are looking to achieve, is good. “In fact, I believe, win or lose, this team is heading in the right direction,” he continued, before adding “but we are going to win though”. Having failed to make it past the group stages last year and having the history of failing to win the tournament over its last five instalments, not much was expected of Jamaica heading into this season. In fact, it was presumed that the new-look outfit would struggle to stave off last year’s beaten semi-finalists, the Guyana Jaguars, for one of the two available places from the group for a final four placing.
“It always takes cash to care, but what I have learnt is that you work with what you have and then you await the perfect situation because you can’t just sit and wait on sponsors, we have to run the league,” Broomfield said. “Sometimes, you have to start and then others will jump on board. “Our executives have met and they have all agreed that we must run the league this year with or without a sponsor, but it doesn’t mean that we are not looking for sponsors,” he said. Broomfield said the SDC League would help to generate a lot of buzz and excitement among the basketball fans, which he expects will spill over into the NBL. “We have a number of basketball leagues that are going to propel into the NBL, but the fact that there is a long lay-off, of course, is going to affect the players. But we are committed to starting the league and bringing vibes back into basketball.” President of the Jamaica Basketball Association (JaBA), Dr Mark Broomfield, is reassuring basketball fans that the National Basketball League (NBL) competition will take place this year. The NBL, which is the island’s premier basketball tournament, was last held in 2012 under former president Ajani Williams. However, since then, JaBA has struggled to secure a sponsor for the competition. However, Broomfield, who took over as president from Williams in 2015, said the NBL would go ahead this year, regardless of sponsorship. The JaBA boss added that his association is hoping to the start the league in October. “With or without a sponsor, we are going to have the National Basketball League this year,” Broomfield said. “We might not be able to run it the way we want to, but we are going to run it,” he said. “We have the SDC (Social Development Commission) League, which is going to run, so we want that at the end of the SDC league, we will move into the NBL,” Broomfield said. CASH TO CARE
Highly respected former referee and sport administrator, Clayton Solomon, popularly called ‘Sala’, passed away yesterday morning in hospital in the USA after a prolonged illness. His cause of death has not been revealed.Solomon, a native of St James, was a former FIFA referee and Jamaica’s number one football official for years before he retired. He was also director of the Institute of Sport for a number of years and was regarded as one of the best administrators the institute has known.But Solomon was remembered to be a strong but fair individual who inspired and motivated many people. Sports journalist and former footballer, Stratton Palmer, described him as “a model of efficiency”. “He was always up to date with happening in INSPORTS and was a part of the growth process of sports in this country,” he noted.GREAT ADMINISTRATORDenzil Wilks, the chairman of the Sports Development Foundation, recalled Solomon as a great administrator.”He spoke fluent Spanish so he was a top-of-the-line referee. And compared to what goes on now at INSPORTS, he was a pretty good administrator of INSPORTS. He handled things in a transparent fashion, as is not the case in recent times. He had a pretty good reputation all round,” he stated.Former FIFA referee, Peter Prendergast, said Solomon was a man who got the job done.”He tried to make it happen for everybody. He was always ready to give advice and he really helped a lot of young people. He touched many lives in different areas, not only sport,” he said.A respected humanitarian, Solomon’s impact on the lives of the people around him was evident in the messages on his Facebook page yesterday.”Today, Jamaica lost one of its great sons, ” Martin Lyn, fellow administrator and long-time friend wrote.”RIP Solomon you are one of the most genuine and positive persons I’ve ever known,” wrote Paul Reid. While Judith Newell wrote: “Best liaison officer ever. This gentleman was an inspiration to me.”
LATEST STORIES This time, everything clicked for Perlas Pilipinas as it shot 50% from the field even as the Koreans knocked down 10 triples but registered a flimsy 34.3% shooting clip.All but one of the 11 players scored for the Philippines with Allana Lim leading the way with 16 points that went with four rebounds.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’Analyn Almazan added 13 points and five rebounds while Cindy Resultay had a double-double with 10 points and 10 boardsThe North Koreans, meanwhile, were relegated to Division B after a winless campaign. Photo from FIBA.comPerlas Pilipinas wrapped up its 2017 Fiba Women’s Asia Cup stint with a 78-63 thumping of North Korea to retain its Division A status in the continental tilt.It was the first victory for the Filipinos in the tournament held in India after four straight losses, the last an 87-53 rout to Chinese Taipei that put its place in the elite Division A in peril.ADVERTISEMENT Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ LeBron James scores 31 points, Lakers beat Rockets 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano ‘I’m out!’: PewDiePie releases last video before taking break from YouTube MOST READ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View comments Indian national gunned down in Camarines Sur End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend McGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC return Kawhi Leonard, Clippers rally to beat Pelicans Jet Spikers in Final 4; Lady maroons avoid cellar Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Ai-Ai delas Alas on Jiro Manio: ‘Sana pinahalagahan niya ang naitulong ko’ Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite
Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Vilma Santos, Luis Manzano warn public of fake account posing as her Teen gunned down in Masbate Albay to send off disaster response team to Batangas Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ LATEST STORIES Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor. AFP/GETTY IMAGES FILE PHOTOLOS ANGELES—Floyd Mayweather has accused Conor McGregor of “fighting dirty” in training but is confident of a clean battle when the two men meet in their August 26 superfight.Mayweather told reporters on a conference call on Thursday he believed mixed martial arts star McGregor had used illegal tactics in sparring sessions.ADVERTISEMENT “A lot of rabbit punching, a lot of illegal shots, behind the head,” he added.READ: McGregor vows fast finish against MayweatherMcGregor has hired veteran referee Joe Cortez during his training camp to help advise on boxing rules and ensure he fights clean.“He’s had Joe Cortez in his training camp and I’ve still seen him being extremely dirty,” Mayweather said.Veteran referee Robert Byrd will be responsible for managing the fight and Mayweather is confident he will maintain control of the contest. Byrd officiated in Mayweather’s 2013 win over Robert Guerrero in Las Vegas.ADVERTISEMENT “I truly believe the referee is going to do a great job,” Mayweather said.“The referee’s job is to keep the fight clean. He don’t have anything to worry about. I’m looking forward to following the Queensberry rules of boxing,” he added.Mayweather retired from boxing in 2015 with a perfect 49-0 record to emulate former heavyweight legend Rocky Marciano. A win against McGregor would see the welterweight become the only man to ever hold a perfect 50-0 record.Mayweather insisted however that moving clear of Marciano’s historic benchmark was not on his mind.“Even though this is my 50th fight, this is not my focus,” Mayweather said. “Rocky Marciano is a legend, he did it his way. I just like to do it the Mayweather way.”Win or lose, Mayweather is adamant that nothing will be able to tempt him back into the ring following his return against McGregor. He reiterated an earlier statement that this month’s fight will be his last.BACKSTORY: Mayweather ‘out of retirement for McGregor’“This is my last one. I gave my word to (adviser) Al Haymon, I gave my word to my children, I don’t want to break that,” Mayweather said.“I’m going to stick to my word — this is going to be my last fight.” Korea ousts Gilas Pilipinas End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend MOST READ 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite 2 nabbed in Bicol drug stings The undefeated former welterweight king, who is coming out of retirement to fight McGregor in Las Vegas, said he had spotted rabbit punches in footage of McGregor’s sparring session with Paulie Malignaggi.McGregor, who has never fought in a professional boxing contest, appears to floor Malignaggi in the footage.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’Mayweather, 40, was unimpressed.“I had a chance to see it and my thought were, it was interesting,” Mayweather said of McGregor’s Malignaggi knockdown. Ai-Ai delas Alas on Jiro Manio: ‘Sana pinahalagahan niya ang naitulong ko’ 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano View comments