Jamaica’s Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports is backing Netball Jamaica’s hosting of the Americas Netball World Cup Qualifier for the 2023 Netball World Cup to the tune of US$77,000 (JMD$12 million).

Minister Olivia Grange, the official patron of the event, made the announcement at the launch of the qualifier at the NCB Care and Wellness Centre on Phoenix Avenue in Kingston on Thursday.

“The Ministry and its agencies are providing ($JMD1.8M) to Netball Jamaica for team preparation, $2.5m for transportation and will be covering the cost of rental of the National Indoor Sports Centre where the qualifier will take place from October 16 to 21, 2022,” Minister Grange said.

Ten teams will be playing in the Qualifier for the two remaining places in the World Cup. Jamaica has already qualified by virtue of its number four world ranking, a fact of which the minister takes great pride.

“I am proud, all of Jamaica is proud of this first for Netball Jamaica; playing host for the staging of a Netball World Cup Qualifier,” Minister Grange noted.

“History will also be made when the next Netball World Cup, the 16th edition, takes place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, South Africa since it will be the first time that the tournament will be held on the African continent. South Africa has gained a reputation for the staging of world-class events so we can expect something extra special when they host the Netball World Cup.

“The upcoming Qualifier will certainly serve to project Netball Jamaica afresh to the nation.

“I am deeply moved that Netball Jamaica would see fit to honour me by asking me to be Patron for the Americas Netball World Cup Qualifier.

 “So who is a Patron and what is the duty of a Patron? A Patron is a distinguished person who gives financial or other support to a person, organisation, or cause. 

The most effective Patron will have a passion for what the person or organization does. Need I say more?”

The minister also suggested that Netball Jamaica needs to see their value if they are to convince corporate Jamaica to provide the needed support.

“Netball Jamaica will tell you that I have challenged them to reimagine how they see themselves. Their value is great and we need corporate Jamaica to come on board in a greater way to support them. I would love to see partners coming on board to provide a bus, sports gear and all the other services they need because I am sure that our Sunshine girls will give sponsors value for their money!”, she said.

“Sport and the opportunity to participate in sport at all levels is a right that we take seriously. Netball is a favourite pastime in Jamaica and one that is practised from the primary school levels in Jamaica. We know that through the work of the Institute of Sports (INSPORTS) we have netball competitions at the primary level. There is also competition at the high school and tertiary levels.

“We want to see the sport grow in Jamaica and continue to give our girls and yes, boys too, the avenue and outlet to express themselves and dare to dream to play at higher levels.

  “We anticipate that on the final day of the Netball World Cup on August 6, 2023, when Jamaica celebrates its 61st Anniversary of Independence, our Sunshine Girls will be one of the two teams competing for the title and that they will be the new champions of world netball.

 “Netball and our Sunshine Girls have always made us proud.” 

 

 

Jamaica’s basketball community is mourning the passing of Enid Sterling Angus, who died early Thursday morning in Florida at the age of 64.

Suffering from late-stage cancer, Sterling-Angus was on life support in a Forida hospital up until Wednesday evening when she was taken off and transitioned mere hours later leaving a massive void in Jamaica’s basketball fraternity.

For more than three decades, Sterling-Angus gave yeoman service to the sport was introduced to by chance but which she grew to love.

“I stumbled on the sport while in high school over 30 years ago. I was hanging around the stadium courts one afternoon after playing in a netball tournament there, and a friend who was a member of the Aqua Youth Swim Club invited me to join her at the Stadium pools,” she said during an interview in 2016.

“Later that evening we went back to the netball/basketball courts where the Aqua men’s team was playing in the Berger Paint league game, which is now called the National Basketball League (NBL), and I’ve been hooked ever since then.

“Ironically, I’m still not a swimmer; in fact, I’m still petrified of large pools of water. And even though I no longer reside in Jamaica, I still support the organization because I believe in their objective, which ultimately is to empower our youngsters by providing academic and athletic opportunities through scholarship.”

And support she did. She was a past vice president of overseas operations for the Jamaica Basketball Association and worked tirelessly behind the scenes providing support for Jamaica’s men’s and women’s teams.

AS a project manager for JABA, she handled logistics and planning for national teams and identified players for all national levels. She also funded national teams and youth-team initiatives and helped create scholarship opportunities for both male and female players including players like netball turned basketball player Marvadene ‘Bubbles’ Anderson, who once held the record of being the tallest teenager in the world.

Her death leaves a void within the fraternity, said JABA President Paulton Gordon.

“The Jamaica basketball community is indeed saddened by the passing of Enid Sterling Angus, a longstanding advocate and supporter of the development of basketball in Jamaica,” Gordon told Sportsmax.TV on Thursday.

“Enid was a passionate soul who loved the game and endeavoured to create platforms for our young people to access opportunities based on their God-given talent. She served as one of the overseas liaison between Jamaica basketball and key stakeholders at the FIBA and diaspora levels and was always integral in clarifying policy, rules and processes when our teams are involved in regional or international competitions.

“Enid will be sadly missed and the Jamaica basketball association uses this medium to express our deepest condolences to her immediate family and friends.”

Ajani Williams, who was JABA president between 2009 and 2014, said Enid’s impact on Jamaica’s basketball was iconic.

“Enid Angus is the definition of love of people through sport. She emptied herself in pursuit of advancing the lives of young Jamaican students and national team athletes, male and female, she squeezed every bit of the juice out of the orange for national progress through basketball,” he said.

“An African proverb says when an elder transitions a library goes with them and this is indicative of Enid’s passing. This is a big loss to basketball in Jamaica and, personally, without Enid by my side, many of the national team successes we achieved would not have happened- she is forever a teammate.”

Under Williams’ leadership, Jamaica were CARICOM Champions in 2009 and were the bronze medallists in 2011. The team won the bronze medal at the Centro Basketball Tournament in 2012, the first time Jamaica was achieving top-four, which meant they qualified for the FIBA Tournament of the Americas.

In 2013, at the FIBA Tournament of the Americas, Jamaica defeated the number nine ranked Brazil and the number-three ranked Argentina and just missed out on qualifying for the World Championships.

“The foundation of all of that was aided and supported by Enid,” Williams said.

In addition to her support of the JABA, Enid was a mentor to many Jamaican players like Kimani Ffriend, who played in the NBA and in Europe, winning the MVP title in the Serbian League in 2017. News of her passing was devastating.

“We lost a beautiful soul this morning. Enid, thank you for your warm spirit and beautiful heart,” he said in a post on social media.

“Never told me no. Always there to support me and encourage me during my toughest times. Many don’t know the sacrifices that you have made to help put Jamaica basketball on the map and the countless high school, college and pro players you have helped and identified along the way.”

Another former national representative Vashil Fernandez was in disbelief.

“Can’t believe this. Wow,” he posted while commenting on Ffriend’s post.

Meanwhile, former Women’s coach Oberon Pitterson-Nattie was saddened by the news.

“Sad to know she is no longer with it. She worked tirelessly for Jamaica basketball. May her beautiful soul rest in peace.”

Sterling Angus is survived by her three children, Martin, Terry and Donielle.

 

 

 

 

Jamaican goalkeeper Andre Blake continues to be the best paid Caribbean player in the United States Major League Soccer (MLS) according to the 2022 Player Salary Guide.

The 31-year-old shot-stopper, who has twice been named Goalkeeper of the Year, remains the main man in between the sticks for the Philadelphia Union where he has been since 2014.  For his match-saving performances, Blake earns a base salary of $750,000.00 with guaranteed compensation of $869,375.00.

Talented Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Kevin Molino is next up.  Having completed a move to Columbus Crew last season Molino is listed at $700,348.00 and guaranteed the full amount.  Unfortunately, the player remains out of action having suffered a serious knee ligament in August of last year.

His international teammate Joevin Jones was also on the move last year and having been signed by new club Inter Miami earns $360,000.00 with guaranteed compensation of $458,100.00. 
Jamaica defender Kemar Lawrence is next on the list.  Having recently been traded to Minnesota United this season Lawrence is set to make $400,000.00 with $482,500.00 guaranteed.

The Jamaican trio of Cory Burke, Damion Lowe, and Alvas Powell round out the list earning 400,000, 268,000, and 167,000 at Philadelphia Union, Inter Miami, and FC Cincinnati.

Former Reggae Girlz coach Vin Blaine has expressed concern that the women’s national program is heavily beholden to an outside benefactor.

Earlier this week, Blaine stepped down from the post after just six months in charge of the national team.  During his tenure at the helm, the coach found himself at loggerheads with members of the national team, 19 of whom had sent and signed a letter to the JFF questioning the coach’s training methods.

Blaine, however, continues to believe the players were influenced by external forces who will continue to hold plenty of sway with both a large swath of the team’s senior players and the federation itself.

“A lot of people might not want me to say it but definitely that’s what it is,” Blaine told the SportMax Zone,  when asked whether he thought the national program was being held, hostage.

“That’s from my perspective and that’s one of the reasons I decided to part ways and let them have the program.  Hopefully, I wish them all the best.  I hold no ill will towards anyone,” he added.

“It’s my country but it’s just that at this moment I have decided that this is what is best for me and the program.”

The JFF will now begin the search for a new head coach, ahead of the World Cup qualifiers in July.

 

 

Departing Jamaica Reggae Girlz coach, Vin Blaine, has insisted the toxic environment surrounding his tenure with the national team had left the situation untenable.

Blaine brought an end to a weeks-long saga yesterday when he announced that he would officially resign as coach of the team, following a dispute with some senior members of the Reggae Girlz.

The players in question wrote a letter of no confidence, to the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), signed by 19 members, which suggested the coach lacked detailed training sessions, did not provide video analysis, had issues with set pieces, and provided no post-match reviews for player improvement.

 A review of the situation by the JFF technical committee, however, cleared the coach of any wrongdoing and recommended Blaine stay in the post.  From his perspective, however, making that decision would not have been in anyone’s best interest. 

“Based on the situation, if everyone knew the entire process I went through; It was a toxic environment,” Blaine told the SportsMax Zone.

 “Sad to say from day one or two, in the program, you had staff undermining the program, the previous staff.  You had players telling you who should be the equipment person, who should be the fitness coach, those are things that went on,” he added.

“I came out with a smile on my face because it’s not for me to disclose those things in a training camp.  So, I don’t think I could move forward although the federation said they were clearing me for that.  For the program to go forward and for my own peace of mind, I did not need that kind of toxicity.”

Julien Alfred, Demisha Roswell and Johnathan Jones pulled off impressive victories as the Big 12 Conference Championships concluded in Lubbock, Texas on Sunday.

Retired Jamaican Olympian Veronica Campbell-Brown has announced that she and her husband, Omar, are expecting a second child. This, as she celebrated her 40th birthday on Sunday.

Her first child, Avianna, was born on February 23, 2019.

“Four decades! I am grateful to celebrate another milestone with hubby and Avianna as we excitedly anticipate the arrival of baby number two,” she said on Instagram.

“Today is the beginning of another year if abundant blessings.”

After a glittering career during which she won 49 medals in international competition including Olympic titles in the 200m in Athens in 2004 and in Beijing in 2008as well as a 100m world title in 2007, Campbell-Brown announced her retirement in June 2021, just prior to the start of the Jamaican National Athletics Championships at select a team to the Tokyo Olympics.

 

Jamaica jumper Lamara Distin took top spot at the Southeastern Conference Championships, on Friday, adding to an already impressive run of results this season.

Distin, who has broken the national long jump record several times in the last several months, kept her concentration to dominate the field after a six-hour weather delay.  Eventually, the Texas A&M athlete posted an event-winning mark of 1.95m to complete the SEC indoor and outdoor high jump title sweep.

The athlete finished ahead of South Carolina’s Rachel Glenn who recorded a best of 1.86m and LSU’s Nyagoa Bayak who finished third with 1.86m on the countback.  The in-form Distin also had three attempts at 1.99m but failed to clear the bar.

Bahamian Olympic Champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo was handed a rare defeat to begin the 2022 Diamond League season after finishing behind both the Dominica Republic’s Marileidy Paulino and Jamaica’s Stephenie-Ann Mcpherson in the women’s 400m.

At the Doha meeting, it was the Olympic silver medalist Paulino who dominated proceedings.  Running from an inside lane, the Dominican tracked Miller-Uibo well before coming off the curve with a lead.  The typically strong-finishing Miller-Uibo not only failed to make up ground on Paulino but was overtaken near the line by McPherson who nabbed second spot.

Paulino took the top spot with a time of 51.20, followed by McPherson, second in 51.69, and Miller-Uibo third in 51.84.  Barbados’ Sada Williams was next, and she finished ahead of another Jamaican, Candice McLeod.

In the meantime, the women’s 200m was won by the United States’ Gabrielle Thomas who took top spot after outbattling Jamaica’s Shericka Jackson down the stretch to stop the clock at 21.98, ahead of Jackson’s 22.07.  Great Britain’s Dina Asher was third in 22.37.

In other events, Grenadian Anderson Peters dominated the men’s javelin to take top spot with a throw of 93.07, while Jamaica’s Shanieka Ricketts captured the women’s long jump.

Kristen McGregor, 2020 Miss Olympia Amateur, hampered by the lack of consistent financial support in her home country of Jamaica, has launched a GoFundMe page in the hope of raising just over USD$12,000 that would help her achieve her goal of participating in the Ms Olympia Competition in December.

Easily Jamaica’s most successful female fitness athlete of the modern era, McGregor a former track and field athlete, has won national fitness titles and in 2018 was crowned CAC Champion in the category of Body Fitness Tall Class.

A 2021 Prime Minister Youth Awardee, McGregor has placed in the top five in most of her international competitions and harbours the ambition of one day winning the coveted Ms Olympia title for herself and her country.

In late April, she competed and placed fifth in the Figure competition at the Fit Muscle Championships in Mexico. It is essential that she competes in similar events leading up to December in order to accumulate the necessary qualification points to make it to the Ms Olympia contest.

Alas, this is proving to be more easily said than done as it has proven difficult to find the financial resources needed to compete regularly. Her next competition is in June and she is pondering whether she will be able to get there.

 “The major challenge I face as a national athlete is corporate sponsorship. I am a bit disappointed with the responses I received for sponsorship requests seeking help to represent my country and hoping that I would have gotten good responses, even given the fact that I am a recipient of the Prime Minister's Youth Award,” McGregor told Sportsmax.TV after her return from Mexico.

 However, she remains hopeful.

 “I do hope that going forward I might receive better responses from other corporations and our sporting body,” she said.

 “The lack of support and sponsorship can impact my goals to represent Jamaica at the Olympia, as I am unable to cover the expenses related to travel and accommodation to participate in the various competitions, where I can only compete as a professional athlete in my discipline. It is my dream to represent Jamaica at the highest level of bodybuilding.”

 Contributions to McGregor’s GoFundMe page can be made at https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-kristen-make-it-to-the-olympia-competition?member=19126721&sharetype=teams&utm_campaign=p_na+share-sheet&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_source=customer

Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Limited (SVREL), operators of Caymanas Park, is in mourning at the passing of industry stalwart Christopher Armond. The iconic former commentator turned administrator died on Wednesday after a short illness at the age of 67.

SVREL Chairman Solomon Sharpe was naturally saddened by the passing of the man whom he considered a dear friend.

 “I have many fond memories of working with Chris from the early days and was always impressed by his vast knowledge,” Sharpe said.

“He has done so much for Caymanas Park and the horseracing industry in general. I offer my condolences to his family and friends. He will be greatly missed.”  

Armond, who was the Director of Racing at Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Limited (SVREL) enjoyed an illustrious career spanning more than 40 years and was held as the standard for horse race commentary throughout the region.

In 1984, he was awarded the Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) Golden Microphone Award for his commentary. Armond also commentated in Detroit, Michigan and served as an administrator in Trinidad & Tobago and Barbados.

“For many Jamaicans, Armond is the voice of horseracing,” SVREL said in a statement Wednesday.

“From 1975 to 1985, Chris Armond established a new level of excitement and accuracy in race commentary with his distinguished vocal delivery. He provided colourful commentary in his distinctive voice, bringing horseracing into homes across the island.

“Even today, he remains the gold standard of commentating in the industry, not just locally but also for fans overseas.”

In addition to Armond’s iconic commentary, he also served as an administrator in the industry for many years and was inducted into the Hall of Fame of Thoroughbred Racing in June 2017 under the category of “Other Racing Personalities”.

It was seemingly natural for Christopher Joseph Armond to have a professional life as part of the racing industry. His father, Joseph, a Hall of Fame inductee, was co-managing director of Caymanas Park Limited, and his grandfather Altamont was the founder of the promoting company, Jamaica Turf Club. Armond carried on this family legacy and served as Director of Racing until his retirement on Sunday, December 27, 2020.

“Armond has left an indelible legacy in the sport of horseracing. His accomplishments are insurmountable and his contribution to the sport will never be diminished,” SVREL’s statement said.

“Our thoughts are with his family and dear friends during this difficult time.”

Reigning Olympic 400m champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo will go head-to-head with Jamaicans Stefanie Ann-Mcpherson and Candice McLeod when the 2022 Diamond League season runs off with the Doha meet, in Qatar, on Friday.

The Bahamian will head into the event as favourite, on the back of a strong indoor season where she added the Indoor title to her medal collection, in Belgrade.  The Doha meeting will feature the first match-up between the trio since the Olympics, where Miller-Uibo took gold and Mcpherson and McLeod finished just outside the medals.

In the half-lap event, Olympic 100m bronze medallist Shericka Jackson will battle reigning 200m champion Diner Asher-Smith of Great Britain, who will be opening her season in the event.  The field is also set to feature a rejuvenated Anthonique Strachan of the Bahamas and Olympic finalist Gabby Thomas of the US.

There will also be a strong Caribbean presence in the women’s 100m hurdles with the Jamaican duo of Olympic bronze medallist Megan Tapper facing off with compatriot Britany Anderson.  The Bahamas’ Devynne Charlton will also be part of that field.

 

Noted racing administrator and commentator Chris Armond has died after an extended battle with illness.

Armond, who was 67, was one of regional horse racing’s premier executives and served the sport in various capacities for some 40 years before retiring in 2020.

Armond, who followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather as a racing administrator, first shot to prominence as a commentator in the late 1970s.  Rated as one of the best in the business he was awarded the Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) Golden Microphone award in 1984.

Armond went on to have a commentary stint in Detroit, Michigan before heading into administration.  During his time as an administrator, Armond served as Director of Racing at Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Limited (SVREL), in his home country Jamaica, Executive Officer of the Arima Race Club in Trinidad, and a chief executive at the Barbados Turf club for eight years.  Armond was celebrated for longstanding service at a ceremony, at Jamaica’s Caymanas Park in December 2020.

The Jamaica Football Federation and the Basque Football Federation (BFF) have jointly decided to postpone the International friendly game between the teams which was scheduled for May 27, 2022, in Spain.

Cuba was victorious in both genders of the recently concluded Varadero Beach Volleyball Tournament in Varadero Cuba, the second stop of the 2022 Norceca Beach Volleyball Tour.

Leila Martinez and Lidy Echeverría were crowned at home as queens of the women's segment. The pair of Martínez and Echeverría prevailed against Canadians Emma Glagau and Ruby Sorra 2-1 (21-12, 19-21, 15-12) in a close duel. USA pair of Iya Lindhal and Alexandra Wheeler won third place after defeating Guatemalans Natalia Girón and Laura Quiñones 2-0 (21-14, 21-19).

Miguel Ayón and Yosvani Carrasco completed the Cuban double victory. Ayon and Carrasco scored a comfortable 2-0 (21-13, 21-17) win over the American duo of Travis Mewhirter and Thimothy Brewster. Third place went to another Cuban pair Jorge Luis Alayo and Noslen Díaz who edged Americans Ryan Smith and Michael Boag 2-1 (18-21, 21-12, 15-12).

The Jamaican pair of Ryck Webb and Noley Ferguson placed 14th of 16 teams. Coming into the tournament the Jamaicans were seeded 15. They played and lost their first two games against the eventual 2nd and 4th place teams USA A and USA B.

General Secretary of the Jamaica Volleyball Association, Audley Weir is optimistic based on the performances of the team.

“Jamaica did well under challenging circumstances. We saw a lot of positives from this trip. The team was very competitive against the Americans who are a volleyball powerhouse in the World. We will regroup and prepare for the next tournament,” Weir said.

Jamaica was the highest placed team from the Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) region. The Jamaican women’s team will participate in the next leg of the Norceca Beach Circuit which will be held in La Paz, Mexico from May 13 – 16, 2022.

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