In the face of pandemic, Jamaica Squash Association continues its support for Penwood High students

By June 24, 2020
As a health and safety precaution to combat the spread of Covid-19, the Jamaica Squash Association suspended its training sessions with students who participate in its outreach programme with Penwood High School.  The JSA recently provided care packages for the students as well as mobile data plans to assist them with online classes. In this photo, taken prior to the pandemic, the young players are having fun on court with Junior National Programme Manager, Gill Binnie (second left) and coach Fritzroy Smith (fourth right).  The JSA hopes to resume the programme during the summer. As a health and safety precaution to combat the spread of Covid-19, the Jamaica Squash Association suspended its training sessions with students who participate in its outreach programme with Penwood High School. The JSA recently provided care packages for the students as well as mobile data plans to assist them with online classes. In this photo, taken prior to the pandemic, the young players are having fun on court with Junior National Programme Manager, Gill Binnie (second left) and coach Fritzroy Smith (fourth right). The JSA hopes to resume the programme during the summer.

The Jamaica Squash Association (JSA) has continued to support young players from Penwood High School in St. Andrew, who participated in its outreach programme, even though the training sessions have been suspended as a safety precaution due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The JSA provided funds for the purchase of mobile-data plans to assist students with accessing platforms for online classes following the closure of schools due to the pandemic.  In addition, junior players from the Campion College Squash Club and their parents donated care packages for the Penwood students.

“We have had to suspend our regular training sessions with the Penwood students because of the health and safety practices that have become necessary because of Covid-19.  But although we haven’t been able to see the players regularly we have still kept in touch with them and with the school and we wanted to provide some support because this has been a challenging time for all of us,” said Junior Squash Programme Manager, Gill Binnie.

The JSA’s partnership with Penwood High began in 2017 when the association started an adjunct programme offering students weekly squash training sessions.  Since then, students from the school have begun playing competitively. Subsequently, 17-year-old Antonio Cumberland and 16-year-old Donell James made Jamaica’s national junior squad in 2018.

James went on to represent Jamaica at the Caribbean Areas Squash Association’s (CASA) Junior Championships in Trinidad in 2019.

The outreach programme is among several JSA activities which have been affected by the outbreak of Covid-19.  Earlier this year, the association had to postpone the All-Jamaica Junior Championships, the All Jamaica Ladies Championships and the KPMG League because of the pandemic.  In addition, the Junior and Senior Caribbean Squash Championships, the most prestigious events on the regional calendar, were both been cancelled.

“Like every other sporting fraternity it has been tough going for our athletes who have been working towards these events and of course have their personal goals and progress plans but we are ready to resume training and hopefully competitions as soon as it is safe to do so,” Binnie added.

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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