Alex Robinson, the former Calabar and Wolmer’s Boys track star, who I’ve known since he was born, taught me one of life’s greatest lessons.

We attended the same church and were grounded by similar principles, and in an interview, I did with him in 2015, he spoke about his struggles with injury and disappointment. During that interview, he uttered this gem, “life doesn’t end when we pause”.

It shook me to my core.

That same year he picked up a bronze medal in the Class One Boys 110 metres hurdles as Calabar ran away with Boys’ Champs.

I’ve never forgotten about that statement, and in this year of years, it resounds in the most telling ways.

When the 2020 ISSA Boys and Girls track and field championships were cancelled because of COVID-19, I knew that it was for the best as the country needed to have been extra cautious in that initial stage when we knew very little about the coronavirus. Keeping Champs the way we knew it would have been akin to setting off a biological bomb in the heart of Kingston, Jamaica.

This is an event that sees well over 30,000 people in attendance from all over the island and the world. Tracing COVID-19 after that sporting spectacle would have been difficult… as is the situation now… but I digress.

The announcement of the cancellation of the championships affected me in ways I didn’t quite expect.  It’s not because I get to miss out on covering the event, but I know many of your stories. The commitment to your craft is an art. Many of you see it as a way of either furthering your education, coming out of poverty, or both. The same can be said of many of my young footballers who won’t be taking part in the Manning and daCosta Cup competitions this year.  This hurts me, but not as much as it hurts you, I’m sure.

But life doesn’t end when we pause.

How do you cope during this time? Always keep in mind that you’re not alone in this situation. And, if you feel you are alone, you shouldn’t be. Remember you are a part of a school community, which is there to mould, uplift, teach, and advise you through varying circumstances. I know it’s scary that your teachers and principals are learning as they go through this pandemic, but this is your time to reach out and to let them know how you feel. They won’t be able to adapt unless they know your situation. So do not suffer in silence. Your school should also have access to information in regards to your nutrition.

You’re not allowed to give no as an answer when called upon in class, so your school should endeavor to find solutions to the issues you have. It’s difficult to move the needle sometimes, but when you do, it opens a lot of doors.  This should be your quest as future leaders of your family and community.

You must also continue to work hard at your craft. However, in actively pursuing training, the same commitment must be made for schoolwork. Organize with your school’s physical education department to see how training and exercise can be done while adhering to safety protocols. Staying at home and jogging on the spot can do only so much and no more.

However, keep in mind that you must be protected, so training with masks on when you can’t avoid social distancing is imperative. It’s not ideal, but it is better than doing nothing.  Remember the main reason you’re protecting yourself is for your family. Going home to mommy and daddy or your grandparents without the virus is a massive win.

Quite a few of you elite athletes are associated with clubs, which should not be playing a dormant role at this time. These clubs have access to fields and recreational areas that must be utilized. Encourage them to operate a schedule where a limited number of you can take part in training throughout the day. If your club cannot accommodate this… find a club which can.

And finally, endeavor to utilize your environment to get your goals. Growing up in Allman Town in Kingston, Jamaica, was a challenge. However, I was fortunate enough to align myself with people who meant me well. Most of that alignment came from the church I attended. My church played cricket, I did commentary at their games, and those tapes were used as my resume. And at the age of 17, I got a job offer from Radio Jamaica. Life.

Your circumstances don’t determine your outcome in life. And, life indeed doesn’t end when we pause. There is always a path to success. Your success is defined by your attitude and ultimately your commitment to a cause.

I’m longing to say your names on commentary again.

 

Donald Oliver is a football and cricket commentator and a senior producer at SportsMax. Learn more about him at www.thedonaldoliver.com or email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

There will be a new champion of the ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup competition after Kingston College were ousted by Jamaica College in the semi-final of the competition at the National Stadium in Kingston on Wednesday.

Excelsior High scored a 4-3 sudden-death penalty kick victory over Dinthill Technical, while Clarendon College beat Wolmer's Boys 2-0 on the opening day of the 2019 ISSA all-island Champions Cup knockout competition at the National Stadium in Kingston on Friday.

In the curtain-raiser, the Round of 16 match between Excelsior High and Dinthill Technical headed to penalties after finishing as a scoreless draw in regular time.

Both teams created good chances to win the game in regular time especially Excelsior High, which were denied twice by goalkeeper Demero Hill on the stroke of halftime.

After doing well to beat a Dinthill defender in the box, Jhevan Smith had his powerful shot pushed onto the bar by Hill and bounced to the feet of Jaheim Flemmings and the follow-up shot was tipped over the bar. Seconds before those two chances created by Excelsior, Dinthill had a glorious chance to take the lead, but Carlington Facey just missed the target from the edge of the six-yard box after a cross was put inside.

In a tense shootout, Alex Alexander scored the all-important penalty to put Excelsior into the quarterfinal of the competition, two days after they suffered a big 4-0 defeat against St Andrew Technical High School (STATHS) in the quarterfinals round of the ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup.

Zachary Palmer had the chance to win the game for Dinthill Technical with the fifth and final penalty kick but booted the ball wide to send the game into sudden death at 3-3.

Four penalty kicks were missed during that period. Karim Bryan also missed for Dinthill Technical, which had scored their first two kicks to secure the early advantage.

For Excelsior, Rojaughn Joseph booted the first penalty over the bar and Hill saved the third penalty taken by  Flemmings.

In sudden death, Ty Wedderburn missed for Dinthill Technical to hand the advantage to Excelsior for the first time and Alexander made no mistake.

Kitwana Smart, Shavon Thompson, and Rushan Parkinson scored from the penalty spot for Dinthill Technical, while Aseany Richards, Tariq Duffus, and Smith also scored for Excelsior.

In the second encounter, Clarendon College got their two goals during the first nine minutes of the game to eliminate Wolmer’s Boys who failed to create any good scoring opportunities.

Sheldon Smart (3rd minute) and Omar Reid (9th minute) secured the goals, which put Clarendon College into the quarterfinals.

The Champions Cup comprises the eight teams that finished as winners and runner-ups in their respective rural area Wata daCosta Cup quarter-final groups along with the eight quarterfinalists from the urban area Digicel Manning Cup competition. 

The remaining Round of 16 matches are scheduled for Saturday.

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 2  (CATHERINE HALL COMPLEX)
St Andrew Technical vs Manning’s School at 4:00 pm
Charlie Smith High vs Cornwall College at 6:30 pm

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 2  (ST ELIZABETH TECHNICAL)
Camperdown High  vs  Frome Technical at 2:00 pm
St. George’s College vs B. B. Coke High at 4:00 pm

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 2   (STADIUM EAST)
McGrath High vs  Jamaica College at 4:00 pm
Garvey Maceo High vs  Kingston College at 6:30 pm

Cornwall College will begin the defence of the ISSA rebranded all-island Champions Cup against Charlie Smith High in the round of 16.

This was revealed during the draw on Wednesday night at the Stadium East facility.

The 2019 season is scheduled to kick off on Friday with a doubleheader at the Stadium East field in Kingston.

Dinthill Technical and Excelsior High will contest the opening match of the Stadium East's doubleheader at 4:00 pm. The second match of the doubleheader features Clarendon College against the 2016 winners Wolmer's Boys at 6:00 pm.

Cornwall College, which defeated Jamaica College (JC) last year to become the first rural area school to win the competition, will be in action on Saturday's second day, which features matches at the Montego Bay Sports Complex, Stadium East, and St Elizabeth Technical High School Sports Complex.

Cornwall College will play Charlie Smith at the Montego Sports Complex at 6:30 pm.

JC, which won the inaugural title in 2014 when the competition was called Super Cup before it was rebranded in 2018 to Champions Cup, have been drawn to start again McGrath High.

In other games over the weekend, St George’s College, the 2015 champions, have been drawn to start against B B Coke; Kingston College, the 2017 champions and Garvey Maceo will face off; Camperdown High will face Frome Technical and St Andrew Technical High School will meet Manning's School.

The Champions Cup comprises the eight teams that finished as winners and runner-ups in their respective rural area Wata daCosta Cup quarter-final groups along with the eight quarterfinalists from the urban area Digicel Manning Cup competition. 

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 1 (STADIUM EAST)
Dinthill Technical vs Excelsior High at 4:00 pm
Clarendon College vs Wolmer’s Boys at 6:30 pm

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 2  (CATHERINE HALL COMPLEX)
St Andrew Technical vs Manning’s School at 4:00 pm
Charlie Smith High vs Cornwall College at 6:30 pm

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 2  (ST ELIZABETH TECHNICAL)
Camperdown High  vs  Frome Technical at 2:00 pm
St. George’s College vs B. B. Coke High at 4:00 pm

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 2   (STADIUM EAST)
McGrath High vs  Jamaica College at 4:00 pm
Garvey Maceo High vs  Kingston College at 6:30 pm

St Andrew Technical High School (STATHS) and Wolmer’s Boys secured victories on the opening day of quarter-final action in the 2019 ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup football competition at the National Stadium on Wednesday.

A brace from Shemar Daley (60th and 77th minutes) led STATHS, the 1987 champions, to an impressive 4-0 victory over seven-time champions Excelsior High in the first game of the doubleheader.

Warner Brown (10th minute) and substitute Rushean McFarquhar (62nd minute) scored the other goals for STATHS as the Spanish Town road-based school claimed the early lead in Group B of the quarter-final round.

Ten-time champions Wolmer’s Boys received a scare after going two goals up but held on for a 3-2 victory over Camperdown High to take the lead in Group A.

Ronaldo Webster (21st minute) and Revaldo Mitchell (25th minute) had put Wolmer’s 2-0 up in the space of four minutes, but Camperdown High, the 1978, 1979 and 1982 champions roared back through Shaqueil Bradford (60th minute) and Tivelle Edwards (63rd minute) to tie the game at 2-2. However, Mitchell found the back of the net for the second time with a 78th-minute strike to give Wolmer’s Boys all three points.

The quarter-final round continues on Thursday at the same venue with the other four teams in action.

Defending champions Kingston College (KC) and Charlie Smith High will face off in the other Group A fixture at 2:00 pm, while Jamaica College (JC) will meet last season’s beaten finalists St George’s College in the other Group B game at 4:00 pm.

WEDNESDAY’S RESULTS
STATHS 4, Excelsior 0
Wolmer's Boys 3, Camperdown 2

THURSDAY’S GAMES
Charlie Smith vs Kingston College at National Stadium - 2:00 pm
St George's College vs Jamaica College at National Stadium - 4:00 pm

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.