P.h.a.s.e 1 is the winner of the inaugural Jamaica Basketball Showcase title. They defeated Caribbean Basketball Academy (CBA) 59 - 46 in the final on Saturday at the UTECH Auditorium. 

P.h.a.s.e 1 went through the preliminary round winning all four of their matches to get to the top of the table. Their scores read: 51-35 winners over Central Warriors, 42-34 winners over CBA, 49-43 winners over Lignum Vitae and 49-41 winners over Hummingbirds.

CBA on the other hand was 3 - 1 going into the final match. Their scores were: CBA 55 - Hummingbirds - 37, Lost to P.h.a.s.e 1 - 34 – 42, 39 - 36 win over Central Warriors and a triple overtime win 80 - 75 over Blue Mahoe.

Roman Parks of Lignum Vitae was named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament. Other sectional prizes went to: Rebounds - Roman Parks (Lignum Vitae), Top Scorer - Alex Levy (Blue Mahoe), Most Steals - Maliek McCarthy (Blue Mahoe) & Anthony White (P.h.a.s.e 1), Most Free Throws - Roman Parks (Lignum Vitae) and Most Blocks - Nicholai Brown (P.h.a.s.e. 1).

Parks lamented that although his team came close to getting into the final “I was happy to be able to play in a tournament.” That is the sentiment of the players. 

The majority of each team were players 23 and under; while they had two older players drafted per team. 

The Showcase honored six stalwarts who have contributed to the all-round development of the game. The six honorees were - Mrs Elaine Barker, Simone Edwards, Roger Marshall, Howard McCatty, Gordon Porter and Dr Howard Harvey. 

This was the first competition since March 2020 and JaBA president, Paulton Gordon was complimentary to Sports Innovators Group (SIG), organizers of the event; while CEO of SIG, Paul Campbell, is looking forward for this event to be on the calendar. 

The tournament featured 75 players, 15 team officials, 6 referees, four table officials and a list of volunteers supported by GC Foster College. 

Special guests for the event came from 30 young boys and girls from the Majesty Garden community. Sponsor partners featured were Express Fitness, KFC, A Peart Advisory Services. GKMS Online (Western Union), Mailpac and Suretime Medical. 

Tournament information may be found https://sportsinnovatorsgroup.com/jbs2022/ 

 

 

Phase 1 and The Caribbean Basketball Academy booked their spots in Saturday’s final as the Jamaica Basketball Showcase continued at the University of Technology on Friday.

In game one on Friday’s penultimate day, CBA beat the Central Warriors 39-36 with CBA’s Lushane Wilson being named player of the game.

Phase 1 beat Lignum Vitae 49-43 in game two. Romar Parkes of Lignum Vitae was named player of the match despite his team losing.

Game three saw Blue Mahoe scoring a 44-40 victory over Hummingbirds. Blue Mahoe’s Alex Levy was player of the match.

Lignum Vitae rebounded from their earlier loss to beat Central Warriors 47-44. Parkes was player of the match, this time in a winning effort.

Game five saw Phase 1 beat Hummingbirds 49-41 thanks to a player of the match performance from Nicolai Brown.

Game six was the highest scoring on the day with CBA outscoring Blue Mahoe 80-75 with CBA’s Matthew McGowan and Blue Mahoe’s Alex Levy sharing player of the game honours.

Phase 1 and CBA booked their spots in the final thanks to preliminary round records of 4-0 and 3-1, respectively.

 

 

 Jamaica Premier League champions Harbour View FC are to travel to New York City where they will face off with a Caribbean All-Star team in the VM Group Cup on September 3 at Old Boys High School in Brooklyn.

The Caribbean All-Star Select team will likely be comprised of players from the Caribbean Premier League Soccer Tournament including Ojai Bedward, (Jamaica), Clive Murray (Grenada), Kele Sylvester (Jamaica), Kendon ‘Pimaz’ Anderson (Jamaica) and Trayon Bobb (Guyana).

Head Coach of Harbour View FC, Ludlow Bernard, said the match is very important to the Stars of the East.

“This opportunity provides development, visibility and exposure to many of our young players. As the new five-star generals in Jamaica, we are enthusiastic about facing this international XI,” he said. 

“Football fans in general, and Harbour View fans in particular, can come out to see a young Trayvone Reid, our new, sensational goalkeeper Anthony Bennett as well as Jahshaun Anglin, Phillon Lawrence and Nicholas Hamilton. These are all upcoming stars for Harbour View. We look forward to your support.”

Meanwhile, PFJL Chairman Chris Williams is urging fans to support the event.

“The PFJL is happy that we can connect with fans globally. This is the first step towards taking the game on the road as we continue to grow our fan base,” he said.

“Our goal is for Jamaica to be known as a football country in the same way we are known as a track country. We won’t stop until we achieve that goal, so come out and support the event.”

Devon Barrett, Group Chief Investment Officer at Victoria Mutual Group, sponsors of Harbour View FC and the tour to New York, looks forward to the match-up.

“The VM Group picked a team that we thought would take it to the next level. They proved us right by winning the league,” Barrett said.

‘We at VMBS use the tagline ‘transform your everyday lives’ and we have seen the transformation of Harbour View from when the season started to how it ended. We will continue to support their growth.”

The football fiesta kicks off with a match featuring 8-10-year olds from the Griffin Football Club at 2 pm. At 4 pm, former Manning & DaCosta Cup players will square off in an all-schools match featuring the likes of Altimont “Freddie” Butler, Paul Young, Gregory Messam, Alton ‘Noah’ Sterling and Howard “Magic Head” Kerr among others.

September 3 marks the Labour Day weekend in the United States.

The Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) will, next month, launch its Olympic Coaches' Scholarships as the local governing body for Olympic sports continues its drive in making more professional the delivery of sports, especially the international games which fall under its remit.

Those games include the Summer and Winter Senior and Youth Olympic Games, the Pan American Games, the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games, the Commonwealth Games and beach games staged by regional and world governing bodies.

Enabling and empowering stakeholders remains the primary focus of the JOA which in 2019 created history when it inaugurated its own athletes' scholarships valued at over $JMD 6,000,000.00 to match scholarships, under the aegis of the Olympic Solidarity Programme of the International Olympic Committee (IOC),  are granted to athletes selected by the JOA.

"We've always been a co-partner with our coaches who are the custodians of talent and in acknowledging that fact, the JOA is making another solid and scholarly investment in our human and technical capital in sport," JOA President Christopher Samuda said.

Applicants responding to the call will formally submit their credentials in a pre-determined format and those who are shortlisted will then go through a very practical interview process governed by an expert panel assembled by the apex body, which will determine the successful beneficiaries.

JOA Secretary General and CEO, Ryan Foster, who will manage the process, outlined the value of the scholarships and more importantly the values which the JOA will be promoting, as the benefactor, through this grant.

"It's more than the $2,000,000.00 dollars that each recipient will receive to assist them in educational and career pursuits and to defray expenses incurred in relation to the preparation of their athletes and certain personal expenses, for it will be an experience in the lessons of Olympism in which they will learn  the value of self-management and mastery, goal setting and achievement and ethics and business of sport," Foster explained.

A welcomed opportunity for Jamaica's coaches, the continued grant of the scholarships by the JOA will fill a void locally and "give our coaches a new lease on their sporting lives and signal to them that the JOA is on the frontline with them and their athletes in creating success" Foster further stated.

This initiative comes on the heels of the Olympic Coaches Reward which the JOA initiated at the Tokyo Olympic Games which saw the governing body rewarding coaches of successful medalists to the tune of JMD$5,000,000.00.

Sport development calls for structured strategic management of human resources and a viable infrastructure of which coaches are essential.

"Our coaches are foundational, the cornerstone of the sports architecture and therefore the JOA is building capacity and deepening the pool of competencies while giving them assistance in dealing with certain domestic obligations of life," Samuda remarked.

The JOA Olympic Coaches Scholarships will also provide opportunities for coaches selected to collaborate with global colleagues in the transfer of knowledge in master classes.

Andrew Edwards, Jamaica’s former national U17 head coach, has taken the job as Technical Director for reigning Manning Cup champions, Kingston College.

Edwards was the technical director in the Turks & Caicos Islands between 2019 and 2021 and returned home in December last year. He told Sportsmax.TV Thursday that the appeal to be part of the development process of the 16-time Manning Cup winners was too good to turn down.

“The job at Kingston College is one of the most appealing at the schoolboy level in the country,” Edwards said while confirming that he started on Wednesday.

“I have a number of friends in management and among the teachers including Head Coach Raymond Watson. The only concern was how I could make it work alongside Genesis, my football academy.”

Genesis is based in Mandeville, Manchester.

In his first year as technical director, Edwards doesn’t believe Kingston College has a lot of rebuilding to do despite the loss of several players from the team that defeated Jamaica College 5-4 on penalties at Stadium East in Kingston after they played to a 1-1 draw at the end of regulation and extra time in January.

He revealed to Sportsmax.TV that KC has retained a number of players from last season and there will good transition from the U16 team from last season.

Edwards has had a long history coach at the youth level in Jamaica. He was head coach of the national U17 squad from 2014-2017 and was the assistant coach of Jamaica’s U23 team in 2015 during the 2016 Olympic campaign. He was also the assistant coach of the national U20 squad from 2010-2013.

He also coached at St Elizabeth Technical High School, Munro College and Titchfield High School.

 

 

The Jamaica Olympic Association issued a statement on Tuesday congratulating the national senior women’s and under-19 men’s teams on their silver medals at the recently concluded Rugby Americas North tournament held at the UWI Mona Bowl.

The women's senior team narrowly missed out on first place losing to USA South 14-17 in the final while the men's under-19 team suffered a 10-56 loss to the same opponents.

“The Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) congratulates our member, the Jamaica Rugby Football Union, and its players for historic and silver medal performances in the recently concluded 2022 RAN Senior Women’s 12s and Men’s Under-19 tournament at the University of the West Indies,” said JOA President Christopher Samuda in the statement.

The statement continued: “Rugby in the local Olympic movement is quickly becoming a flagship sport and the JOA will continue to invest in our Reggae Crocs who are demonstrating that the nation's talent is deep and our prowess multi-faceted.”

“The JOA will always invest in giving reality to the ambitions and aspirations of our youth in sport. The sport of rugby is tough and gruelling and our men and women continue to put their health on the line for a nation. The JOA remains extremely grateful to our national players for their valour and salute them for their admirable display of patriotism.”

The Jamaica Basketball Showcase scheduled for July 28-30 at the University of Technology in Kingston will see the game back on Jamaican courts for the first time in two years.

Six teams, comprising the best of the island’s network with invitees from the USA and the Bahamas will battle for the trophy and cash prizes. The teams taking part are Caribbean Basketball Academy, Phase 1, Chesta Warriors, Hummingbird, Lignum Vitae and Blue Mahoe.

The showcase will be hosted by the Sports Innovators Group (SIG) whose CEO Paul Campbell said at the media launch at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel on Tuesday that “this is an exciting time for us and we are elated to be among the first to have basketball back on court since the pandemic.”

“The Jamaica Basketball Showcase focuses on our talent. Helping to identify, project and create the footage that is so important for our youngsters so when the scouts and coaches overseas require footage, we can easily provide it to them,” Campbell added.

President of the Jamaica Basketball Association Paulton Gordon said “we want to have these activities right across the island in a setting that is looking good and can be captured on camera and showcased. Steps are being taken. Let’s all, as a family, come together and improve basketball in this country.”

Some of the players taking part in the showcase are national representative and Pennwood High School stand-out Anthony Whyte, Caribbean Basketball Academy student and 2019 MVP from Camperdown, Matthew McGowan and outstanding Ardenne High School player DeAndre Forbes.

“It feels good to be able to get back on the court and hopefully this will ignite basketball in the country,” said Forbes.

The showcase is sponsored by companies including Courts Ready Cash, Express Fitness, KFC, Mailpac Group, Grace Kennedy (Western Union) and A. Peart Advisory Services.

The tournament tips off on Thursday, July 28 at 10:00am.

Kane Watson and Solesha Young emerged victorious in the respective men’s and women’s open categories at the Jamaican National Senior and Junior Table Tennis Championships held from July 16-17 at the National Indoor Sports Centre.

“We got a record number of entries this year. It was great, the youngsters showed fighting spirit,” said President of the Jamaica Table Tennis Association Andrew Lue.

Watson took home the men’s crown after defeating Christopher Marsh while Rohan Lewis defeated Alphanso Morris for third.

The job was made slightly easier for Watson as defending champion Simon Tomlinson didn’t compete due to personal reasons.

18-year-old Solesha Young won her third women’s open title by beating 14-year-old Tsenaye Lewis while Olivia Petrekin beat Keeara White to take third. Young and Lewis also teamed up to take the crown in women’s doubles.

Lewis was the star of the tournament, however, as she took home the titles in the girls under-15 and under-19 sections as well as the junior girls doubles and junior mixed doubles.

“I’d say she was the outstanding athlete of the championships. She is a prodigy for sure,” said Lue.

The youngest winner of the tournament was eight-year-old William Lei of Supersonic TTC who won the under-9 boys’ category ahead of Jathneil Todd of Infinity TTC and Shacoil Golding of Whitfield Young Stars TTC.

The under-11 boys’ section was won by Ajani Spencer of Hellshire Heights TTC ahead of Anthony Bird Whitfield Young Stars TTC and Ajaani Hall Walfarm TTC.

Logan Royes of SUTTA won the boys’ under-13 section ahead of under-11 winner Spencer and Gmarco Smith of Portsmouth Primary.

Royes was then runner up to Kingston College’s Gari Wythe in the under-15 section while Jamaica College’s Brian Blake was third.

The Boys’ under-19 section was won by Azizi Johnson of Wolmer’s Boys ahead of Kingston College’s Joel Butler and Angels Table Tennis Academy’s Andre Richardson.

Keeara White of Angels Table Tennis Academy, who finished third in the women’s open, won the under-13 title over Kayan Denton of Waterhouse TTC and Abigail Bramwell of Jonathan Grant High.

As mentioned before, Tsenaye Lewis took the under-15 crown ahead of Le-Anna Smith of Angels Table tennis Academy and Karecia Peterkin of Waterhouse TTC and the under-19 title ahead of the Greater Portmore TTC pair of Olivia Petrekin and Janel Blake.

The championships were sponsored by Tastee, Optical Solutions and the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fans can expect a “strong, fast, fierce and fit competition” according to Rugby Americas North Communication Manager Bryan Kelly as the July 14-17 tournament prepares to get underway at the UWI Mona Bowl in Kingston.

Kelly, in an interview with Sportsmax.TV, described the event as a development tournament.

“This is the first Rugby Americas tournament since 2019 so this event that we’re throwing this week is a development competition. In Rugby there’s two different versions of the sport. There’s Rugby 7s which they play in the Olympics and Rugby 15s which is a much longer game and the one we’ll be playing this week in Jamaica,” he said.

“We have our men’s U-19 tournament and this is the first taste of international competition that a lot of these players will have and, for the women, it’s their first time playing since 2019 and, as I said, this is 15s Rugby but because our region is still growing and we’re trying to get the Rugby ball into as many female hands as possible, they’re playing 12s which is three less players,” Kelly added.

Even with this fact, Kelly says teams will still play as hard as possible.

“Yes, this is a development tournament and yes, this is a lot of these athletes first time getting on the field in a couple of years but you will not see teams playing casually. It’s going to be a strong, fast, fit and fierce competition for all four days this week,” Kelly said.

The men’s U-19 tournament will be contested by hosts Jamaica, Mexico, USA South, Trinidad & Tobago, Bermuda and Cayman Islands while the Women’s seniors will have Jamaica, USA South, Dominican Republic, St. Lucia, Trinidad & Tobago and Cayman Islands.

Matches will be streamed live on the Sportsmax.TV YouTube Channel beginning on Thursday at 9:00am Jamaica Time (10:00am EST).

 

Driven by an over-arching ambition to build the best high school football programme in Jamaica, Hydel High School has begun the process by hiring Devon Anderson. 

Anderson, who coached Holy Trinity High to the 2014 Flow Cup Finals and the 2014 and 2016 Manning Cup semi-finals, confirmed his position as the new head coach of Hydel High School on Monday.

 “I am elated to be part of this Hydel Group. I am optimistic and raring to go as far as the coming season is confirmed,” he told Sportsmax. TV.

“The management team is putting together the players. They call me the builder and once they give me the raw material I will start building the programme.”

 Among the players who have developed under Anderson’s guidance are Phillon Lawrence and Nicholas Hamilton, who play for newly crowned Jamaica Premier League champions Harbour View FC, Tevin Rochester, who suits up for the University of Nebraska, Omaha, Waterhouse FC forward Andre Leslie and Portmore United’s Shai Smith.

 In further confirming Anderson’s appointment Hydel High board member Trevin Nairne revealed that the school has big plans for the future and it all starts with the man, who coached at Trinity High for more than two decades.

 “The management board of the Hydel Group of Schools is determined to continue our development of the island's premier student-athletes via the establishment of one of Jamaica's leading football programmes,” Nairne said. 

 “It is our intention to build a comprehensive system from the U14 through the U17 culminating at the U19 - Manning Cup level. We intend to build a programme that serves our students by helping them matriculate into tertiary institutions locally and overseas and where possible into the professional ranks.”

Nairne, who was once the General Manager at Jamaica Premier League outfit Portmore United, explained why Anderson is the best man for the job.

“The committee considers Devon Anderson as one of the brightest football minds around and one who has a true passion for developing and moulding youngsters into the better versions of themselves,” he said.

 “His work ethic is second to none and the work he did with Holy Trinity often goes unheralded. We believe with the correct structure and support Devon will have the opportunity to develop a strong football culture that wins.”

There haven’t been many wins for Hydel in Jamaican schoolboy football but over the past decade, they have shown glimpses of what is possible under a structured programme.

 Hydel lost to the many-time champions St George’s College in 2012. Six years later, they won the 2018 Walker Cup title, the pinnacle of the school’s football achievements.

 However, as the saying goes ‘Rome was not built in a day', so Nairne expects the building process guided by a fundamental philosophy that is paramount to any goal is the holistic development of the players.

 “We have a philosophy of the Head, Heart and Hands. To provide an integrated education of the head, heart and hands as the means by which to graduate responsible student-athletes with the knowledge, experience, character and passion to improve the communities in which they live, work and serve,” he explained.

 “We respect what other institutions have done but we are not aiming to replicate what others have done. We have a unique philosophy which will take some time to harness but you will see glimpses of it taking shape from day one.

 “We don't know how some institutions judge success but we aim to develop a system that wins while creating strong student-athletes who go to college or go pro.

Those who pass through the Hydel programme will be productive members of our society.”

The Hydel vision also means that while not ruling out recruiting players, the school will use the available talent from their existing student population, preparing them to transition through high school and into the collegiate system in Jamaica and overseas.

“I wouldn't necessarily point to any one feeder institution per se. Hydel Prep is the easiest to consider the feeder for obvious reasons,” Nairne reasoned. 

 “Hydel already has numerous connections to tertiary institutions in North America and we will look to strengthen these connections as well as add a few others over time.”

 As for the coming season, Nairne believes that under the guidance of Anderson, Hydel will be competitive with the aim of improving each year going forward.

 “We hope to have a disciplined and competitive team this first season with realistic ambitions. Remember that greatness can't be rushed. We will be patient with the system and the persons within,” he said.

 “Our plan is to further develop the culture of this excellent institution.”

Jamaica’s Women’s basketball team received a welcome cash boost on Saturday as they continue preparations for the Caribbean Basketball Championship set to tip off in Cuba on July 13.

Former Tennessee Wildcats player, Nicholai Brown, was on Saturday selected as the number-one draft pick for the P.H.A.S.E 1 Academy Elite 1 Caribbean Basketball Summer League set to begin in August. P.H.A.S.E 1 Academy was founded by former basketball player Wayne Dawkins in Canada in 1993 and for the past 25 years has been organising and hosting basketball leagues and tournaments in Canada, the USA and Africa.

Brown, a 28-year-old power forward, selected by Team Red, was among the 20 local and overseas-based Jamaican players that were available for the draft and who will play in the league to be played at the National Arena from August 13-20 and will inaugurate the Fall professional season that is set to begin in October.

“It feels great, to be honest. It’s my first time experiencing all of this and having the support feels really great,” said Brown, who has previously played in Texas at Trinity Valley Community College and at Lindsay Wilson College in Kentucky.

“I just want to play ball to the best of my ability and compete against great players.”

The second player selected in the draft was David Gordon, who will play for Team Blue while Lushane Wilson was the third player selected overall and first for Team White. Nadjrick White was the first pick for Team Black.

During the second round, Dave Black was selected by Team Blue, Nick-Caro Golding was selected by Team White, Joel Bailey was picked by Team Black and O’Wayne Lawrence was chosen by Team Red.

The third round of the draft saw D’Andre Forbes being selected by Team White, Daniel Martillier going to Team Black, Anthony White selected by Team Red and Jaedon Lawe picked up by Team Blue. In Round Four, Team Black selected Derjean Royal, Kasheef Clarke headed to Team Read, Patrick Robinson went to Team Blue and Roman Parkes was picked by Team White.

Antjuan McFarlane went to Team Red, Adeeb Vernon was picked by Team Blue, Alex Levy was selected by Team White while Calvin Malcolm headed to Team Black in the fifth and final round of the draft that Jamaica Basketball Association President Paulton Gordon hopes will be the first of many in the years ahead.

“This is the first of a long-term plan,” he said.

“We want to use this opportunity to get more eyes on basketball and showcase the sport. As we all know unless there is prominence we don’t get the traction that we need because invariably what we want to do is to ensure that the base is good and we want to get the eyes on basketball and get the players playing.

“We want to transition from this into the NBL in October/November and then complete that period with another showcase after the NBL season.”

Gordon explained that the pro/am tournament that will have matches on August 13, 14, 17 and 20, will also see other players of Jamaican heritage joining the draftees in competition.

“We have actually invited some of the Jamaicans who are in colleges overseas to participate and we have some budding pros seeking jobs in Europe and Central America, who will be here,” he said.

JABA will be partnering with P.H.A.S.E 1 Academy and Ribbiz to host the tournament and Gordon revealed that several other potential partners could be coming on board in the coming days.

“We are speaking with a few others who will get involved,” he said. “There are some investors out of Canada, who support P.H.A.S.E 1, who are pretty sold on it and have contributed.”

 Meanwhile, Wayne Dawkins, founder and CEO of P.H.A.S.E 1, said he was pleased with the quality of the players selected for the draft.

"We are excited about the group of players who were selected. These are players with the national team and professional experience and people with strong resumes, and players with strong playing experience is exactly what we need to get the E1CBL started off," he said.

"These players will set a very high bar for where we want to take the league." 

 

 

 

 

 

Corey Bennett has been appointed the head track and field coach at Calabar High School, the school announced Wednesday.

Bennett replaces Michael Clarke, whose tenure at the Red Hills Road high school, ended with his resignation in March. Clarke led Calabar High to nine of their 28 titles at the ISSA Boys and Girls’ Championships.

Bennett was head coach at Hydel High School, transforming them into a perennial contender challenging Edwin Allen’s dominance of the championships over the last decade. He was also an assistant coach at St Jago High School and Wolmer’s Boys.

Bennett has big shoes to fill at Calabar, the second most successful high school at Boys Champs if he is to equal or surpass Clarke’s legacy.

According to a statement released by Calabar on Wednesday, the new head coach will be responsible for “leading and managing the track and field programme and for coaching the team within the established school guidelines.”

The statement continued: “It is expected that he will build on the well-established foundation laid by his predecessors to hone and execute, along with his team, a competitive programme that is marked by exemplary sportsmanship, athletic excellence and unquestioned integrity while safeguarding the educational welfare of the student-athletes, all within the framework of  the school’s mission.”

In recent years, Bennett has been instrumental in the development of some of jamaica's most outstanding junior athletes including NCAA 400m silver medallist Charokee Young, Carifta 2022 200m champion Brianna Lyston, Kerrica Hill and Alana Reid.

Bennett was recently the head coach of Jamaica's team for the 49th edition of the Carifta Games held in Kingston in April.

Jamaica won a record 92 medals at the championships including 45 gold medals.

 

 

The Equestrian Federation of Jamaica (EFJ) expressed confidence in raising the level of its competitors to perform better in international competition, following the first instalment of an elite training programme hosted by the sports' governing body here, the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA).

Eight of Jamaica's leading prospects in the sport, along with their horses, participated in the development programme that saw the JOA and EFJ partnering with Samantha Albert, who represented Jamaica in the equestrian discipline of Eventing at the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympic Games.

Samantha currently resides in the UK and coaches young athletes for British Eventing, but jumped at the opportunity to run a series of training programmes to impart her knowledge and expertise and give back to local equestrians.

The primary target of the first JOA Elite Training series, which was held at the Kingston Polo Club recently involved developing and coaching a local talent squad in three disciplines - show jumping, dressage and cross-country.

“It's a proud moment for me to see this partnership between a Jamaican Olympian, the JOA and equestrians. This is the beginning of structured local squad training and by offering this calibre of international expertise on the island we will raise the standard and work towards the bigger picture," offered EFJ President, Heidi Lalor.

"While continuity remains key, the JOA Elite riders also gained invaluable knowledge to further progress themselves and their horses to achieve their goals,” Lalor added of the three-day exercise.

The course was open to eligible athletes of the national federation who have serious aspirations to train and compete for Jamaica and Novelette Harris, the JOA's Member Relations Manager (with responsibility for education and training), reaffirmed the JOA's goal to advance talent in all sports.

“The JOA remains committed to providing the necessary support and resources to actualize our mission to grow the sport and sporting talent across all disciplines within our membership,” Harris said.

"In this regard, we are pleased to have partnered with the Equestrian Federation of Jamaica in hosting this elite training programme for local equestrians and look forward to their continued advancement and development into an Olympic squad,” she added.

Riders were put through their paces with various training techniques, along with forward planning discussions offering personalised tactical advice and 'homework' for the riders and their horses. They had the added benefit of an international course on home soil with the purpose of further bridging the gap between national and international competition, and ultimately a Jamaican Olympic team.

Denise Cole Avril, one of the elite participants, said the programme was "very intensive and a great experience".

"Samantha brought another eye to my training and allowed me to see some things that I may have been missing myself that automatically improved my riding skill," she noted. "Our training with Samantha allowed me to explore my options with respect to competing at the regional and international levels and the qualifications, as well as the commitment to get there.

Continuing, Cole Avril added: "Samantha was very effective, knowledgeable and easy to work with. She was very open-minded and was happy to get our feedback throughout the process. The knowledge and experience that she brought to the table is not only something that our sport needs, but all sports. The support of having someone that has been through the ringer is invaluable. "Thank you to the Equestrian Federation of Jamaica and the Jamaica Olympic Association for this collaboration," she said.

 Lalor noted the combined efforts and its reflection in the show of commitment. "The riders, horses and coach Samantha Albert felt the benefits and saw results by the third day," said Lalor. "This is a testament to the commitment and motivation displayed."

Shericka Jackson sizzling performance on Sunday’s final day of Jamaica’s National Senior Championships made her the third fastest woman over 200m in history. Only Florence Girrifth-Joyner (21.34) and Elaine Thompson-Herah (21.53) have run faster than the 27-year-old Olympic bronze medallist.

The lifetime best 200m time also moved her above Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas as the best active combination sprinter in history by virtue of her times of 10.76 in the 100m, 21.55 and 49.47 in the 400m.

Only East Germany’s Marita Koch (10.83/21.71/47.60), Griffith-Joyner (10.49/21.34/50.89) and Marion Jones (10.65/21.62/49.59) are ranked higher than the affable Jamaica sprinter, who revealed that the jaw-dropping run on Sunday that left Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah (22.05) and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (22.140 trailing in her wake, was the result of a lot of hard work.

“I have been working really hard on running the curve. I wanted to do that and I know that once I ran that curve and execute properly, just to relax down the home stretch, I knew I would have run fast but this fast I never expected it but I am grateful,” she said afterwards.

The bad news for the rest of the world is that Jackson believes she has even more speed in those powerful legs of hers, the speed that the world is likely to see at the World Athletics Championships that begin in Eugene, Oregon on July 15.

“The curve is one of the things I want to master. I think I did pretty good tonight. So many mistakes made so I know definitely coach will correct them,” she said.

“I never wanted to put any pressure on myself. People out there will put pressure but listening to my coach, execute properly, I know I can go faster.”

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