March 2019 is Marathon Month in Kingston

When one thinks of the city of Kingston, lots of things come to mind. However, what we want you to think about is what will March 2019 bring.

So far, there are a few important events we have confirmed for the month:

  • Boys and Girls Champs – March 26 – 30
  • Melbourne (Cricket Club) 5K – March 5
  • Long walk to Freedom (Buju Banton) – March 16
  • And… The Kingston City Marathon (weekend), March 15 – 17

You then ask yourself, how am I going to do all of this in Jamaica for the whole month of March when I don’t have all that time off?

My choice for you is to come to the Kingston City Marathon www.kingstoncityrun.com and you will get the greatest experience ever.

The weekend’s event will have a welcome (Friday) and an after-party. There will an exhibition on lifestyle and wellness (Saturday) and then there are the races – 5K, 10K, ½ marathon, full marathon (Sunday) (IAAF/Aims certified). The races will take you through some of the historical sites across the city which has been declared one of UNESCO’s Creative City. Also, only recently, reggae has been added to the cultural heritage list. Kingston has a lot to offer to every discerning visitor from home and abroad.

The experience will be diverse. It will have the best of the people of Jamaica. The most sumptuous and tasty food; the best music selections you will hear anywhere in the world; great accommodation – even an hour away in Ocho Rios and the race you will choose to run to relax and to add to your bucket list.

The partnerships established for the Kingston City Marathon will serve not just the business side of the city but will focus its attention of building its Corporate Social Responsibility profile with its continuous support of its charities. You will find the options to support at this link http://www.kingstoncityrun.com/v2/charities/

This 7th running of the event, while attempting to attract global participation, will have a special focus on the Caribbean and the Project Team has created an opportunity to highlight the top Caribbean winners in each race category. You may even see a Caribbean performer at the after-party.

So, think about this from my view. You have vacation. You have some extra money left over from Christmas. And all the bills are covered – make it Kingston, Jamaica, March 14 – 18 and you will get to have the experience of a lifetime.

Call up your favorite travel agent and secure airline seats and hotel rooms and sign up for the run www.kingstoncityrun.com – you will thank me.

Feel Di Vibes!

#OneLove

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Kingston City Marathon – 2019

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Organizers of the Kingston City Marathon (KCM) are looking to surpass 5,000 competitors for its series of raceswith just over 90 days until race day.

Theevent will also seek to recognize “Caribbean Stars” – male and female winners for the first time in 2019. Co-Chair, Nicola Madden-Greig, made the disclosure at a local organizing committee meeting on Wednesday (December 12).

“As part of our efforts to target competitors from the Caribbean region, we plan tohighlight winners from the region in the inaugural marathon event. This is an important event for Kingston and we are hoping to attract competitors from across the globe.”

The event, which is in its seventh year, “is part of what Kingston has to offer, and we are putting out all the stops for a successful event,” noted Madden-Greig.

The Kingston City Marathon is an IAAF/AIMS-certified marathon which allows competitors to use their times to qualify for other international events. 

The three-day event (March 15 – 17) will include a 5k, 10K and the full marathon; in addition to an Expo with a focus on wellness and lifestyle; there will also be a welcome reception and an after-party to complement the weekend’s activities.

Registration remains open at www.kingstoncityrun.com

Come to Antigua

St John’s, ANTIGUA – When one hears of Antigua and Barbuda, there are a few things that come to mind. Cricket, Carnival and the Casual of the Caribbean. Antigua is that place you visit for the casual hide-a-way and where you get to experience peace and quiet, like no where else. I would hasten to add, only if you are a tourist. AntiguaFlagFlying

When you visit an island, it is ALWAYS good to find out the popular spots for food, fun and frolic (liquor) and the rest will flow (pun intended).  

The V.C. Bird International Airport is new and boasts spacious hallways. Coming off an international flight, you have access to a jet bridge, while if you fly the regional LIAT, you may have a short walk to the immigration hall. The process is quick and easy and the bag carousels, all five of them are secure, decorated with visual boards for your advertising pleasure. You tend to stand around long enough for network TV commercial break to get your bags. VC Bird InternationalOnce you clear that hall with bags, there is a paid taxi service provided by the state and buses for some of the well-established luxury hotels.

Here are a few places you should try to visit while in Antigua:

1.      Sheer Rocks – a chic and exquisite hang out shared with the Cocobay Resorts. The restaurant and bar, world-ranked, offer a sumptuous tapas menu and one the best made sugarcane mojito. Once you have viewed the sunset from the bar, you will want to go back over and over again SunsetSheerRocks

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2.      Beach Limerz – for the most sumptuous and tasty pan-fried snapper, this is the place to be. If you are lucky you may even see a few dolphins lurking around as I have been. The menu carries the delectable mix of the island’s favorites. Live music on a Sunday and Karaoke on a Thursday – two activities you will also enjoy. 20180223_140922

3.      Tradewinds – the business hotel of the island perched on top of a hill, far from the maddening crowd. It offers a fine option for residents who may not want to cook on a Sunday. Their efforts at the Jamaican jerked chicken is commendable. The view from the dining room offers a panoramic view of Dickenson Bay.

TradeWinds Hotel

4.      Café Shattoo – off Old Parham Road serves the coldest Heineken anywhere and, on a Friday, the fried pork with onions (you can ask for garlic bread) is well worth the stop. Seasoned fries are also on the menu and those are a must have. 

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5.      These days spa treatments are in and more and more people are taking time off to relax. I would recommend the Blue Waters Spa. The care there is top-class and the ride in the cart over to the spa offers a short tour of the elite resort.

20180602_122301-e1537908458174.jpgIn a 14 miles long by 11 miles wide space, 108 square miles – (Antigua), it is hard not to meet a few good people and there are lots of other things to do around. This is the island where there’s a beach a day. Visit Antigua, when you get a chance!  

#OneLove

BRING BACK JAMAICA SPORT

ON A COUCH SOMEWHERE – Back in 2012 there was a group called Sport Tourism Implementation Committee (STIC) and in 2014, there was Jamaica Sport. What was important, even with the name change, the group was assembled to provide the framework to sustainably develop sports tourism as well as leverage local and international sports events to increase visitor arrivals to the island.

National StadiumThe group was chaired by Chris Dehring with a mix of public and private sector sport officials to include skill sets of content development, planning, marketing, operations, venue development, legal to name a few. The combined years of experience could be compared to any other global sporting body and could possibly outscore given the resources, which were available at the time.

Here is a release from the Ministry of Tourism http://www.mot.gov.jm/news-releases/new-‘jamaica-sport’-entity-launched-develop-sports-tourism-locally

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During the tenure, we worked closer with the Jamaica Tourist Board, the agency with responsibility to market Jamaica’s Brand and made considerable leap into hosting events which at the time satisfied steadily, the mandate set:

  • Growing sport in communities
  • Employing and/or using sport officials to manage events
  • Attracting tourists to Jamaica (heads to beds)
  • Considerable media attention
  • Strengthening and deepening Jamaica’s position in the Sport Tourism market

In 2015, with the limitations we had on the immigration form, the JTB was able to capture this information

Jamaica Sport

The point here is, there was tremendous potential. It was also indicated that Sport Tourists have considerable higher spend per day and will return for a vacation after. Those trends have been reported globally, so we were on to something.

Jamaica’s rich sporting history was not to be put aside, as with the consistent excellent performances at international competitions (Summer and Winter Olympics, World Championships, Major League Soccer,) there was a steady build up of the curious and discerning tourist. What was also trending, if only for a specific time, was film crews from all over who would visit to film documentaries, photo shoots, commercials and to attend CHAMPS.

The Jamaica Tourist Board has the records of the events. While the major sporting disciplines were part of the mix, the team offered some insight on what happens when targeted and network sport like Karate, Beach Volleyball, Surfing and Badminton were supported. See excerpt of a report below:

Since November 2014, an investment of US$258,000 was made toward sporting events including: CONCACAF, Netball, Badminton, Track & Field (JIIM), ITF Tennis, Beach Volley, Cricket (CPL & WI v. AUS), Masters Football, Surfing, Golf, Endurance Running, Regional Swimming, and UANA Water Polo Championships.  This generated over 20,000 room nights (4,000 heads to beds) with an overall economic impact of approximately US$6M.

Fast forward to 2016 when Jamaica Sport was dissolved (without warning), we are still struggling to find a strong hold on how to market Jamaica as sport tourist destination.

As Dalton Myers suggested in this column, “maybe we not really ready” (I paraphrased); maybe we need to stop pretending that there is interest. I can’t help but think this is an opportunity missed (again).  Click here to read http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/sports/20180915/dalton-myers-we-are-not-ready-major-sporting-events

An outlook for opportunities could include events related to:

  • CHAMPS 2019 – March 26 – 30 – Kingston
  • World Championship 2019 (track and field)
  • Summer Olympic Games 2020
  • FIFA World Cup 2022

And here’s a reminder of why sport tourists visit a destination – to be active on and off the field/court or for nostalgia. Either way, Jamaica offers both. Let’s get this show on the road. #OneLove.

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Self Care – Part 4 – Sport Travel

Following from the last guide which advised you to “go somewhere you’ve never been”, this time I am encouraging you to do some sport travel.

When one thinks of sport travel in this context, there are so many events to choose from. You can start from the gigantic World Cup Football, scheduled to start in Russia in less than a month https://www.fifa.com/worldcup/

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Football (Soccer) is the most watched sport in the world and I know some folks would have planned this from as far back as two years ago. Some tips in going to events of this kind:

  • Get the schedule of the event, early
  • Secure tickets (early) to matches you really want to see
  • Ensure you travel in a group of at least four
  • Book hotels/homes closest to the venues; you may choose to walk home sometimes, but it is just enough distance to catch a cab if necessary
  • On the off-day, try the attractions and the eateries – sample the culture and elegance of the location

The experts in travel would say “this is a way to enjoy Russia, while watching football.”  May the best team win!

Now there are other major sporting global events one can choose from, for example, the Summer Olympic Games, the Winter Olympic Games, World Championships of every kind – Cricket, Track and Field, Volleyball and any other sport you desire.

There are some other bucket list events one may choose from and these are becoming more attractive to the discerning sport tourist than ever before. The television broadcasts with 23 cameras and replays won’t deter these folks from attending events like:

Wimbledon: – At the start of July, tennis fans will descend on London to watch the greatest tennis professionals in the world compete to win the 2018 Wimbledon title. It is how to enjoy London while at Wimbledon, read more details here https://www.roadtrips.com/blog/experience-london-wimbledon/

Wimbledon

Tennis at its best

With Tiger Woods making a comeback, golf has again become exciting and since last November in Nassau for the Hero Challenge http://tigerwoods.com/schedule-stats/ he has single-handedly brought back old fans and some new fans to the sport. Tiger’s performances, specifically in Valspar, Arnold Palmer and the Masters were enough for you to want to see him up close and personal. The US Open, June 14 – 17 in New York could be a great time to go see him. Start planning, you still have time.

Tiger Woods

Arnold Palmer Invitational, Bay Hill, Orlando

WINDIES Women are the defending world champions for the Twenty20. This year, at the first ever stand-alone ICC World T20 Championship, the West Indies will play hosts. St Lucia, Guyana and Antigua and Barbuda are the three countries designated.

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The World comes to the West Indies – November 2018

Plan to be there from November 9 – 24. This Championship features ten of the world’s best women’s teams in cricket. The final schedule will be announced in June because there is a qualifier to select the last qualifier and so, while those fixtures aren’t quite ready, you can start looking around for tickets. It can even be a gift for you or for a friend.

In the meantime, plan for World Track and Field Championship 2019, Doha, Qatar, next September  and the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020.

I could go on and on, but I won’t. That said, when you’re on your next sport trip, here’s some advice:

  • When you travel in a group, ensure you all stay together, set time limits for departure from hotel to matches and back (first safety tip)
  • Stay hydrated – there are always long walks involved
  • Leave all the expensive trinkets at home, some item you cherish always gets lost

Sport travel can be fun and exciting, but can also be stressful. Plan!

#OneLove

 

 

 

 

 

Dahlia Harris makes “A Case of the Ex”

Friday, May 4 – Any outing with Dahlia Harris always has some real “punch” to it and this sit down was no different. Since my last blog on Dahlia, she has taken on a few projects whether by design or by association.

She and her team hosted another round of successful Women in Theatre Festival. The Festival was held in three parts. The one-week event looked at showcases, panel discussion and tributes. The Festival also zoomed in on the key roles of actors, writers and directors. The partnerships with the Edna MJWITF 2018 Aanley College of Visual and Performing Arts and JAMPRO were important. The presenters were wide range and the workshop sessions were educational, informative and riveting. That said, Ms Harris rolled right up into the Miss Jamaica World Project and the Pap Smear Lyme. In between that she continued to write, direct, present and volunteer for several activities across the island.

Dahlia sat down with me and we had a chat about her last six months, and what’s to come.

What has been the reaction to Dat a Gwan Jamaica Remix? 

It has been amazing. We have had patrons coming to see the show four and five times and still belting out laughter with every scene. The response has also been obvious through the comments and posts via social media.  When patrons connect with the show so much that they take the experience home it says a lot about the production. DatAGwanJamaica

Some other projects you have been mulling over…want to share what we will see from you in another year?

Definitely more projects for television and I attempt a feature film.  The scripts are ready and waiting, I’m still working on funding.  It’s easier to get overseas investment in Brand Jamaica where creative projects are concerned but then you are boxed into providing what they want.  It’s taking a while for our local investors and companies to believe in the power of what we have to offer, but hopefully they will get there.  

You have recently done two major programs – the Pap Smear Lyme and the MJW board/team – describe the passion you have for programs of this kind 

Well I have a passion for all things that will empower women and children.  Just sitting in that interview with the Jamaica Cancer Society and really appreciating the gravity of the situation, I knew I had to contribute in some way.  An estimated 200 women die from Cervical Cancer in Jamaica each year. That’s mind blowing. Having done the #PapSmearLyme I am even more committed to the effort.  The call was for 50 women.  Close to 3 times that number showed up before we had even reached half of the time scheduled for the event.  Many of them participated because access to the test was made possible through NCB Insurance and the generous spirit of a few Jamaicans.  I want to keep the women coming in for tests.  Who knows how many lives we will save?

As it relates to MJW, I am very excited to be on the planning team.  Jamaica has some of the most beautiful women in the world but we also have some of the most benevolent and altruistic women that I have ever met.  The renewed focus on Beauty with a Purpose means we can highlight those women who have been making a difference in their communities.  That’s a major part of Brand Jamaica…service to our fellow citizen…that’s what we want to showcase to the world. The global crown will allow us to do that.  We are aiming to take it home.   

Come May, you will have something new out, tell us about this – Case of the EX 

It’s a relationship comedy that deals with the hot topic of how you cope with exes. It is really a sensitive issue.  Jealousy for your girlfriend’s or boyfriend’s ex can easily turn into suspicion and doubt, but in some cases are these emotions justified?  When faced with your partners ex, what do you do!  

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Case of the EX is centered around DJ Cheetah (Kadeem Wilson), a young reggae producer struggling to reclaim his popularity in the music industry.  His latest love Dymond (Alexandria Gregory), has her sights set on becoming a global star, but Cheetah keeps ignoring her talent and her love for him prevents her from cutting ties and moving on.   When a local station launches a lucrative national song competition, Cheetah seizes the opportunity to bring in his ex, DJ Cyattie (Dahlia Harris),  to help him win that big ‘buss’.  However, Cyattie has other objectives; she wants to move from Cheetah’s past into his present and has no qualms about getting rid of Dymond.  With just one night to make a major hit, things get very heated in the recording studio.  When the sun comes out, someone will wear the title of EX …let the games begin.

It’s a delightful story and I am happy to be working again with screen and stage actor Kadeem Wilson who is still thrilling audiences in Dat A Gwaan Jamaica:Remix.  I am also happy to introduce Alexandra Gregory to a wider commercial theatre audience.  Some would have seen her featured as the school girl in Television Jamaica’s “Inna De Bus”, and she brings a wealth of talent and experience to the show.

You have worked with a number of young people over the last year, what are you most proud of? 

I am proudest when I see the accomplishments that they have made and how mature they are about their careers in the creative industry.  They strategically plan for where they want to go, they put in the work, and they rebound from their challenges.  They are inspiring to watch. I don’t necessarily want to name anyone in particular because I don’t want them to feel like any accomplishment has greater value than the other and there are a lot of young people I could name LOL!  I am just heartened that they are not only talking about success, they are doing what it takes to get there.

What else are you working on to ensure your expertise is passed on to the next generation? 

All my productions are basically managed by young people.  They do the administrative work, they are a major part of production work, and I rotate them on stage as actors.  This way they have an understanding of how all aspects of the business operates.  I have been working on a project that will extend to communities across the island but until I have everything in place I don’t want to say too much about that. That project will however not just be about honing performers; it will pay equal attention to technical and production capacity building.  We can’t progress as an industry if the sum of the parts isn’t all functioning at the same level.

TV is always a great fit for you be it Sport, News or Entertainment, how do you maintain that drive to keep at it? Dahlia Harris

The viewers.  What we do means so much to them that I consider it a privilege to be able to impact lives in this way.  Whether it’s sharing information that will improve their lives, or just providing light moments to brighten their day…it really makes a difference to someone and I take that seriously.  I think the diversity also helps; being able to host various events and interact with people who are dissimilar yet alike in so many ways keeps the work interesting.  Top that all with the fact that I am a entertainment and Sport fan…I’m doing what I love and I am grateful!

Offer some advice to a school leaver who has interest in the business of music/theatre/film as this seems to be a growing option for some. 

Respect the business.  That means getting the necessary skills and knowledge required to make it work.  This holds true at any aspect of the business. If you’re talent, do what it takes to get your skills up to a level that makes you marketable.  If you are production, understand the industry.  Read as much as you can, enroll in workshops; observe others who have been successful.  I’m not suggesting that you duplicate all that you see; I’m saying understanding what works and what doesn’t will help you as you forge your own path.  Too many believe that creative business is easy.   If you fail to respect the business, it won’t respect you. 

Until next time, #OneLove

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Joseph and Cornwall making progress

St John’s, ANTIGUA – WINDIES Senior Team pacer, Alzarri Joseph and WINDIES A team all-rounder Rahkeem Cornwall have been in an intensive rehabilitation and fitness program.

Joseph’s program has been geared towards helping him recover and rehabilitate from a stress injury to his back, sustained during the WINDIES tour of New Zealand late last year. Joseph has already completed four weeks of physical training and is currently on his 16 day of “return to bowling” program.

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High-Performance Director, Graeme West is pleased with Alzarri’s progress and reaction to the rehabilitation program. West indicated “The really positive thing so far is that there’s been no negative reaction by his body to bowling. Roddy Estwick has introduced a couple small technical changes that we hope will help his efficiency and take a little bit of stress off his bowling action.”

Cornwall, on the other hand, has had a shorter period since starting the fitness program but is making quick progress. He has played a considerable amount of cricket over the last 6 months. However, CWI has identified a window where he could focus on some physical training and he is currently working six days a week with Strength and Conditioning Coach to complete a three-week program.

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West was also pleased with the progress and determination that Cornwall has shown, “He’s progressing very well and will be putting that to the test soon, with some club cricket in Antigua. The ultimate goal is to have him ready for ongoing tours to include, but not limited to WINDIES A tour of the England, CPL, Super50 and the 4-Day League.”

Both Cornwall and Joseph train at the Coolidge Cricket Ground. Strength and Conditioning Expert, Ronald Rogers is part of the team included in the recovery of both players.

The program is managed by West, along with Dr. Oba Gulston Manager of Sports Medicine and Science, along with Rogers and Bowling Consultant Roddy Estwick.

*CWI Media Release*

Sport Academy – is really a concept, not a physical space

November 26 – Sport Academies have become popular globally. Since the 1970s, some societies deemed it important to balance the lives of youngsters who were choosing sport as a career. Since then, some of those have morphed into what we call High Performance Centers.

We can define a sport academy as a talent development program designed to create the best athletes in any sport; using specific techniques and a system to create excellence. The academy concept has the capacity to zone in on preparation, execution and after care.

Here is an example of why an Academy worked back in the 1970s. The Americans thought the team’s performance at the 1972 Summer Olympic Games was below par and Dr Carl Blyth and Dr Frederick Muller of the University of North Carolina in a report established a link that showed that preparation was lacking. The need for a sport institute (Academy) was revealed.

Since then the Academy concept has gone through several revisions. The Global Sports Academy, based in Alberta, Canada, has as its 2nd approach – we develop physical, mental and social growth. What I also realized, they “move students out of their comfort zone and into their learning and panic zones” – in other words, they prepare athletes to compete.

The High Performance Center today, does that and more. But what has also happened, is the HPC has developed into a concept which focuses on excellence, in some cases, specialization and the mental and social. What has changed though is the developing nations, largely with great talent, have been beaten in intense competitions and there was need for teams/athletes to learn how to finish. The Academy in its concept helps athletes develop the ‘competitive edge’.

The Academy concept caught on in the Caribbean region in the late 90s. The formation and standardized operations of track and field clubs based in the region; the HPC for cricket and academic institutions with curricula focused on preparation – became a thing.

We have seen the results of home trained athletes across the sporting disciplines and the medal table at the Olympic Games for the Caribbean shows the kind of growth which has taken place.

Fast forward to 2017, with developing economies unable to find budgets to fund programs of national priority; it has created the call for sporting federations to be more creative and the role of technical experts now got a chance to show their worth.

The experiment with cricket worked and to its credit did include some of the current members of the Test team. The center, based in Barbados (at the time) was officially opened in 2010 and was a partnership with the University of the West Indies. The center targeted players between the ages of 19 to 27. The first group of players were Shamarh Brooks, Jason Holder, Shane Dowrich (Barbados), Kyle Corbin, Kevin McClean (Combined Campuses & Colleges), Brandon Bess, Ravindra Chandrika, Veerasammy Permaul (Guyana), Nkrumah Bonner, Andre Creary (Jamaica), Kieran Powell, Devon Thomas (Leeward Islands), Shannon Gabriel (Trinidad and Tobago) Keron Cottoy, Delorn Johnson (Windward Islands).

The HPC in its original form has been discontinued. Since then, the franchise system has been developed. New systems have been in place and the results/records have a lot to tell the discerning public.

After four years of the Professional Cricket League (PCL) system with 10 rounds of 4-day cricket; two zones of 50-overs cricket with ten played within 30 days and a 6-weeks’ T20, regional cricketers have more than a fair chance to excel. What exists now in each region is a list of professional and coaching staff with upgraded skills sets (in two years, there has been two Level 3 coaches courses). The A Team has assembled for tours in and out of the region and the player pathway seems clearer. Selection remains subjective to the biased onlooker, but there are merits to the system, now in place.

I wanted to make the point though, HPCs in 2017 are but a concept, one which is determined by its focus on excellence, specialization and results; one supported by its participants committed to doing the tasks and programs required to compete. That I think, can be done in a physical space, but with things the way they are, can be done from anywhere, once the mindset of those involved are all on the same page.

High Performance

The ideal Caribbean would want a physical space; but with limitations, we must consider the options. Also it is an opportunity for teams and clubs within the region, while adopting in principle, the HPC plan, upgrade its facilities while finding ways and means to attract more participants to its programs.

I would want to suggest that in five years if the plans are adopted to fit each program in each territory, with decent facilities and more technically prepared officials; the HPC model would continue to create cricketers that can adapt to global demands; while importantly, earn enough to take care of their families.

Sporting federations today facilitate growth in key areas for its athletes by ensuring its stakeholders are given the chance to be up skilled to meet the dynamic global demands. They do this by creating an environment where this is possible. The HPC forms just one part of the ever changing cricket culture and market.

The challenge is therefore for the regional bodies to make this change and in their daily operations, surround themselves with the HPC focus and mentality. Cricket will win!

#StayInTheGame

Football in Jamaica – the preferred pathway

November 12 – Even before the 2017 version of the Manning, DaCosta, Ben Francis, Walker and Flow Super Cup competitions end, I would like to make some suggestions to the folks who manage football in Jamaica. This includes all the organizations with Prep, Primary, High, Club and Elite football under its purview.

The traditional competitions all together have brought us to the ultimate in 1998, when Jamaica participated in the World Cup of Football. That is what all countries dream of.

What has happened since? And what will happen now? I have suggested over and over that Jamaica needs the football program. It is the sport that will bring the best opportunity for investment and the sport that is likely to attract the greatest level of support in sponsorship, if shown to be well-organized and bearing fruit.

What does this mean?

  1. Prepare a plan that speaks to the pathway to achieve the ultimate (another appearance in World Cup)
  2. Invest in the technical development of all those involved – coaches, officials, strength and conditioning experts, academicians, analysts, other support teams
  3. Improve the facilities – for competition, for training and preparation
  4. ISSA and the JFF must sit together and figure out how the schools’ program feed into the professional/elite program, and what if any adjustments are required     Team-Building       This system then has to match what our competitors are doing globally in this particular age group. We will match the outputs to see what adjustment may be necessary to ensure that the Under 17, Under 23 and Senior levels of football are on par. In the meantime, the academic development  of the athletes must also be comparable. ISSA as a governing body for school sports require a research unit to assemble this information and put a strategic plan to share with its stakeholders for 1. Buy-in 2. Delivery and ultimately for results. Development takes time and we have to be prepared to do the work.

For Jamaica to get back to the World Cup, the timeframe for this cycle, 2017 – 2022, must be in planning stage now and I would hope that this planning in happening behind the scenes. Remember now, sport is judged (ultimately) by Olympic medals, appearances in World Cup/Championship and athletes being able to the among those with the biggest pay checks and endorsement packages.

Is our system ready to absorb this? If so, it is time. So whether the remedy is to reorganize school football, club football and senior program, then now is as good a time. We can acknowledge our traditions by maintaining names of competitions etc, but we must embrace a new way of thinking and approach the sport as a business to meet the goal as required.

The 17-year old in Germany, England, Australia and Brazil is on a path to World Cup…are our players at the same age at the same point? We can no longer depend on talent, as we have seen where that has placed us. We need strategy at all levels to compete.

You may refer to this column I wrote July this year, http://web.jamaica-gleaner.com/article/sports/20170724/carole-beckford-jamaica-and-football-leadership

Or you can go back to October 2012 http://carolebeckford.blogspot.com/2012/10/jamaica-needs-football-programme.html

#GetinTheGame

 

 

 

BECKFORD TO DONATE BOOKS TO INSTITUTIONS IN JAMAICA

September 12 – Author and Communications Specialist, Carole Beckford is donating 200 copies of her latest book – Jamaica Is In – Sport and Tourism to a number of educational/academic institutions across Jamaica.

Beckford who launched her second book last November at the Miami Book Fair and last December in Kingston, has used research in Sport, Sport and Tourism and Sport Marketing to highlight how value that industry can be to Jamaica and by extension the Caribbean region.

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The Latest

The institutions to benefit are her alma maters – Ferncourt High, EXED Community College and Mico University Teachers’ College. Beckford is partnering with Yardie Sports to make this contribution possible.

Beckford noted that “Jamaica still has a competitive advantage in the region for anything sport, from its athletes, officials, infrastructure and support system and should be maximized for greater earnings. All the global research speaks to the growth in the industry and it is time Jamaica benefits in a more meaningful way.”

Dwayne Richards of Yardie Sports says, “This is a timely and excellent move by Carole Beckford as Jamaica transitions from the Bolt era to its next phase in athletics. It is time for more people to get a handle on what we need to do as a nation and this book is not only informative but a great teaching aid for everyone concerned. Yardie Sports is happy to be a part of this process and we look forward to the country growing in Sports Tourism because of this awesome initiative.”

The first set of books will be donated on Thursday, September 14 and will go the Mico University College library. The list will also include some libraries and other high schools across the island.

Books are also on sale at Usain Bolt Tracks and Records (Kingston) and the Jamaica Pegasus Gift Shop and online at https://www.bookfusion.com/books/117289-jamaica-is-in-sport-and-tourism

The books cost J$2,200 and US$17.50 online.