Inflation and the rising operational costs of the annual ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletic Championships have forced the school sports governing body to increase the cost of tickets for this year’s event.”The operational cost for Champs has increased many times. If you are to be practical it (ticket price) has to be increased,” Champs committee chairman Colleen Montague told The Gleaner at yesterday’s official opening of the McKenley/Wint track at Calabar High School in Kingston.Ticket prices for all categories of seating for the Champs, which will be held at the National Stadium from March 15-19, have gone up by $500.Season tickets for the grandstand moved to $8,500 and $9,000, while bleachers tickets for Saturday now cost $1,500 up from $1,000. Grandstand tickets for Tuesday through Thursday still cost $500.NOCHOICEMontague said that the rising costs of goods and services left the association with no choice.”The minimum wage has gone up and there is an increase for private security and inflation in every single area has been increased and, therefore, we can’t hold it for any longer. We have to push up the prices in all the categories if we are to host it at the same standards that we have in the past,” the Wolmer’s Girls’ School principal said.Montague also pointed out that ticket prices for the bleachers had not been increased in some time.”We have not increased the bleachers tickets for Saturday for the last seven years,” she said.While some have queried whether ticket prices would be prohibitive to students, Montague noted that the students were a primary consideration in arriving at ticket prices.”We have always been considering the students and their cost and making sure it’s affordable for students. There are systems that we put in place for the students. If they purchase through their schools, it’s $1,200 for students for Saturday bleachers,” Montague said.”The cost for bleachers on Saturday, there are special arrangements for our students and so it’s not priced for our students it’s priced for the adults who will be attending,” she added.Addressing the ever-controversial matter of availability of tickets, Montague said only 5,000 tickets were available for Saturday, which always proves to be the problematic day.”The demand has increased but the supply has remained the same because the Stadium is the same stadium last year and the year before. Those who are trying to get tickets have increased. The number of tickets remain the same. It’s only Saturday tickets that are an issue because the tickets are available every other day.
It might sound paradoxical, but in a strange way, Twenty20 cricket has emerged as destroyer and saviour of West Indies cricket.Destroyer in the sense that it has effectively captured the hearts and passion of an entire generation of regional players, who could not care less about playing traditional Test cricket, saviour in the sense that the very same heart and passion for Twenty20 cricket by the modern players have led to us producing some of the best Twenty20 players in the world, which has resulted in the West Indies now having one of, if not the best, Twenty20 teams in the world.It is absolutely refreshing to see the West Indies entering an international tournament as genuine contenders. I will go even further by stating that the West Indies should win the World T20. The 15-man squad heading to India is full of tried and proven matchwinners.I have counted at least 10 individuals in that squad who, on any given day, can single-handedly win a game against any opposition. I venture to say there are more potential and proven matchwinners in this West Indies squad than in any other squad, including India, playing at home, and the powerful Australians.CLICKING ON ALL CYLINDERSThe objective must be for the entire team to click on all cylinders and produce overall matchwinning performances game after game but, realistically, that is not going to happen. The more realistic ask is for at least one of our stars to put their hand up and produce one match-winning performance in every single game.It should be an understanding in that West Indies dressing room that at least one of Chris Gayle, Andre Russell, Dwayne Bravo, Darren Bravo, Darren Sammy, Lendl Simmons, Marlon Samuels, Samuel Badree, Jerome Taylor, Sunil Narine and Kierron Pollard, pending availability, be obligated, by professional responsibility, to produce at least one big performance per game.The eligibility of Narine will be the key. The psychological impact of having our mystery bowler in the team will be immeasurable, even if the adjustments to his bowling action affect his execution even at 60 or 70 per cent Narine will still be a real threat.Pollard has been out of cricket for a while, but he is such a physical specimen and natural athlete, a perfect fit for this explosive format of the game, his reintroduction could very well be seamless. Worst case scenario should these two are unavailable, there is the emerging Carlos Brathwaite and Johnson Charles, a member of the 2012 winning team, both waiting in the wings.I have said and written some mean things about West Indies cricket in recent times, all justified and fair, in a context where the Windies continue to embarrass the people of the region in the longer versions of the game. I am now a full convert from traditional Test and ODI cricket to T20, as far as the West Indies team in concerned.The importance of winning this particular title, at this point in time, is crucial for the West Indies cricket brand. The sooner we realise and admit that we are a hopeless and pathetic embarrassment in Test and ODIs, it should be clearer to all that winning the World T20 would mean so much more to the region and its people, as they yearn to stand tall and proud again. GO WINDIES!
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (CMC): All-rounder Andre Russell grabbed three wickets to help fire Islamabad United into the final of the Pakistan Super League, with a 50-run victory over Darren Sammy’s Peshawar Zalmi’s in yesterday’s last semi-final. United posted 176 for three off 20 overs after being sent in at the Dubai International Stadium and then restricted Zalmi to 126 all out of 18 overs to book their spot in the championship game against Quetta Gladiators tomorrow. Seamer Russell picked up three for 37 from his four overs, including the wicket of captain Shahid Afridi, who smashed a 17-ball 38 with two fours and four sixes. Left-arm spinner Imran Khalid was the best bowler with four for 20, while opener Kamran Akmal stroked the top score of 45 from 32 deliveries. Sammy made nine from eight balls with two fours before he was fifth out at 80 for five in the 13th over. Earlier, opener Sharjeel Khan smashed 117 off 62 deliveries to propel United’s innings. He put on 108 for the first wicket with Barbados and West Indies right-hander, Dwayne Smith, who made a painstaking 19 off 37 balls. On Saturday, in contrast, Smith hit an unbeaten 50 from 48 deliveries to help United post a nine-wicket victory over Karachi Kings.
CAPE TOWN, South Africa (CMC):Another lower-order collapse condemned West Indies Women to a four-run defeat to South Africa Women in their third and final Twenty20 International and a 2-1 series loss here yesterday.Chasing 120 for victory at Newlands, West Indies Women were sailing at 81 for three in the 15th over at one stage before losing five wickets for 16 runs in the space of 18 deliveries to end on 115 for eight off their 20 overs.They required 12 runs off the final over, but came up short as Shamalia Connell (13 not out) and Anisa Mohammed (five not out), failed to find the boundary.Deandra Dottin and opener Hayley Matthews both top-scored with 24, while captain Stafanie Taylor got 23. But they were just three of four batsmen to reach double figures.Off-spinner Yolanie Fourie was the best bowler with two for 20 from four her four overs.Winning the toss and batting, the Proteas Women were carried by Lizelle Lee, who struck an unbeaten 33, captain Mignon du Preez, who scored 32 and Marizanne Kapp, who finished on 24 not out.In reply, West Indies Women lost Kycia Knight for three at 15 for one in the third over, lbw to left-arm seamer Moseline Daniels.Taylor and Matthews then revived the innings in a 32-run stand before Fourie claimed the first of her two wickets when she had Matthews brilliantly caught by Daniels, leaping one-handed on the backward square boundary at 47 for two in the ninth over.Taylor followed 10 runs later, bowled around her legs after missing a sweep at leg-spinner van Niekerk.Dottin quickly counter-attacked in a 24-run fourth wicket stand with Kyshone Knight (9). She smashed a four and two sixes off 18 balls and looked be changing the course of the innings when she holed out to long on against seamer Masabata Klaas. Her dismissal triggered a slide and West Indies Women were unable to recover.The Caribbean side will now turn its attention to the Twenty20 Women’s World Cup in India from March 15 to April 3.
Lennon had the better play for most of the game with Gordon, Shanesia Smith, Judian Jones and Christine Graham putting the Xavier Gilbert-coached team on the defensive for most of the regular time, but lacked the quality to get the job done. Excelsior were not totally outplayed and did have their moments. They relied heavily on the presence of Tarania Clarke and her deliveries from set-pieces. For losing coach Gilbert, his team exceeded his expectations this season. “The girls were every disappointed they didn’t win, but I am proud of them, we did not expect to reach this far. We did not execute well (penalties) but their legs were tired and I don’t know if played a part,” he said. Lennon High School defeated Excelsior High 2-0 on penalty kicks in the ISSA Schoolgirl football final at Prison Oval yesterday, to win their seventh championship and their second in succession. After battling to a 0-0 regulation and extra-time scoreline, Renae Gordon and captain Petakaye Green converted from the spot for the Clarendon-based school, while Excelsior missed all their four kicks. Lennon had to go through extra-time and penalties in the semi-finals against Denham Town on Tuesday and although they had to do it all over again coach Sherlon Lennon, said they were well prepared. “We got most of the chances in regular time, but we didn’t finish off the game and we had to go to penalties but we were well prepared for it, and winning the title and bringing it back to the community is a wonderful feeling,” he said. BETTER PLAY
SUPPORT FOR PARIS Drivers wore black armbands as a sign of mourning for those killed in deadly attacks in Paris. In addition, a French flag decorated with a black ribbon was displayed on a truck used during the drivers’ parade before the race. The race at Interlagos was run on a dry day free of rain, which is often a feature of the Brazilian GP outside S„o Paulo. It made for a race with few incidents, and little excitement in the racing. Rosberg safely protected his lead at the start with Hamilton right behind. Both pitted early and Rosberg managed to hold the lead by 0.9 seconds after the first round of stops with Vettel and Raikkonen right behind. A third of the way through, Hamilton was closing on Rosberg – cutting the gap to 0.4 seconds – with Vettel slipping sevens second behind the leaders. But that was as close as Hamilton ever got. “I’m faster but I can’t get close,” Hamilton said over the team radio as he began to slip further off the lead in second place. That summed up the day. Two more pits, and the positions held with almost no passing in the entire race. SAO PAULO (AP): Nico Rosberg won yesterday’s Brazilian Grand Prix, leading from start to finish to beat Mercedes teammate and already-crowned season champion Lewis Hamilton. Rosberg started from pole and won his second consecutive race – his fifth victory of the season – to clinch second place in the season standings with one race to run in Abu Dhabi. Rosberg and Hamilton spent the entire race 1-2, remaining that way through three pits stops. Hamilton turned some of the fastest laps near the end but could not catch his teammate and rival. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel finished third and teammate Kimi Raikkonen was fourth, exactly the way the top four racers started on the grid. It was Hamilton’s ninth race in Brazil, and he has yet to win. He often compares his struggle to that of Brazilian great Ayrton Senna, who needed eight races to win his home race.
The Institute of Sports (INSPORTS) is being challenged by one of its creditors, Edward Cooke, whose lawyer has filed on his behalf for compensation from the government agency for monies owed for his services.Attorney Davion L. Vassell served the notice yesterday on the agency largely responsible for grassroots sporting development. It seeks payment for services allegedly rendered between July and October 2, 2014, which amounted to $619,000 and was accompanied by six invoices.The letter was addressed to INSPORTS to the attention of its chairman, Don Anderson, “re payment of funds to Edward Cooke”, with administrative director Ian Andrews and Cooke also cited.”I act for Edward Cooke in the captioned matter,” it said. “I am instructed that Mr Cooke did work on several occasions for the Institute and to date has not been compensated for services rendered.”I am further instructed that despite several demands, the Institute has failed and/or refused to honour its obligation to Mr Cooke.”Further, it said: “We demand that this sum be paid in two weeks of the date of this letter (January 5, 2015), failing which we will explore other avenues available to Mr Cooke without further notice to you if the debt is not paid.”UNAWARE OF DEVELOPMENTWhen contacted, Anderson said he was oblivious to the development.”I am not aware of it. I am sitting in my office working now and I will continue for the rest of the day to work, no intention to investigate this,” he noted.”If it comes to me, fine, but right now, I have no idea of it. If it comes to me, I will consult my lawyer, but I know nothing about it, so I cannot answer any question,” he further stated.Further calls were made to INSPORTS, where a source, who requested anonymity, explained that the situation stems from a policy change in September 2015 by the new board of directors, which relieved Andrews of the authority to sign cheques. The source said that has resulted in a backlog of payments to its creditors.Andrews was also barred from his office and sent on leave at the time.However, the latter actions were reversed after union intervention, with the exception of Andrews’ signing power.ALLEGED BREACHThis authorisation of cheques is now facilitated with signatures by two board members, an action the source alleges constitutes a breach of government financial regulations on the grounds that the board functions in an advisory capacity and is only responsible for setting policies, as opposed to an executive capacity, which would make it responsible for the day-to-day running of the agency’s operations.In the meantime, Cooke’s attorney expressed hope in the letter that the matter against the government agency would be resolved soon.”We look forward to a prompt and positive response in light of the above,” said Vassell.
HIGH NUMBERS IMPORTANT Coaches obtain these badges through the University of Technology’s coaching courses, which starts at Level One and move up to the Jamaica Award, from which coaches can move on to the international level. But Campbell says there needs to be greater urgency in training top-class local coaches. “There is a UTech advanced course. But the Level One starts in a few weeks, and from there, you move through the different levels. The Jamaica Award takes you to the next level of going international and coaching at that level. It’s not an easy course, because it’s for top coaches, and the theoretical, scientific and psychological sides and the whole preparation of playing at that level is not as easy to grasp,” noted Campbell. “But Jamaica is doing what is best to get coaches up to that level, they just need to speed it up, although I think they are trying to do that. We need more coaches, as we are in a bad place now, because the ones that are qualified are just not interested [in coaching the national team] at this time,” Campbell said. International umpire Sylvester Campbell believes there is a need for more top-level local persons fit to coach the national team and is imploring Netball Jamaica to increase the pace at which they are turning out international-level tacticians. The senior Sunshine Girls have been without a coach for more than two months and most of the handful of local qualified coaches (those holding a Jamaica Award, which is the highest qualification locally) are either unavailable or have expressed no interest in the position. This has left the team in a coaching dilemma since late last year. But Campbell, who also sits on the international testing panel of the International Netball Federation, says the answer to problem is to improve the number of accomplished top-level local coaches. “In any system it is good to have a lot, more to choose from, so it’s good to have more. The cadre [of top level coaches] needs to be bigger, enough for you to pick, choose and refuse from. So it’s important to keep the numbers high so we don’t get in the position we are currently (with national team) in where there are only a handful, when we could have more,” Campbell commented. “A league like BEL (Berger Elite League) was played at a high standard, and you need coaches in it that can coach at a very high level. Coaches you can see and pick because they are performing at the highest level,” he added. Currently, only Oberon Pitteron-Nattie, Connie Francis, Minneth Reynolds, Annette Daley and Maureen Hall hold a Jamaica Award, while Tracey-Ann Griffiths, Conrad Parkes and Marvette Anderson are now completing theirs. GREATER URGENCY NEEDED
Windward Road captured the INSPORTS All-Age & Junior High Athletics Championships crown for a fourth straight year at the Stadium East field yesterday. The champions tallied 503 points to top the meet by a mere five points over rivals John Mills who ended on 498. Oral Whilby, coach of Windward Road, said he was very happy with his team’s performance because they had to fight very hard to win it. “We fought very hard for this victory because we only won it by five points,” said Whilby. “I must lift my hat off to my athletes and everyone involved because it was a very difficult victory,” he said. Windward Road trailed John Mills by 19.5 points entering yesterday’s final day of the three-day, but despite this, Whilby said he was always confident that they would have come out on top. “These athletes are champions and that champion spirit that they have in them just came to the fore at the right time and so they never panicked,” Whilby said. The top two were followed by Constant Spring (326), Swallowfield (211.50), Cockburn Gardens (206.50), Shortwood (204), New Day (198), Mico Practising (158), and Calabar (134). In yesterday’s action, Windward Road’s Amanda Spaulding won the girls’ Class One long jump with a leap of 4.91m ahead of her teammate Moesha Thompson (4.39m). Teneisha Morris of Mico Practising was third with a mark of 4.21m. Jahiem Scott of John Mills won the boys’ Class Two long jump with a mark of 5.48m in front of his teammate Leo-Paul Foster (5.46m) and Constant Spring’s Javaugh Walters (5.36m). Calabar’s Naseem Clarke captured the Class One boys 100m in 11.77 seconds defeating Antonio Phillips of Constant Spring (11.85) and Calabar’s Raheim Hamilton (11.93). John Mills’ Antonio Hylton won the boys’ Class One 400m in 54.44 seconds ahead of Windward Road’s Vishaugn Gayle (55.67) and Jahvanie Percy of Cockburn Gardens (55.79). John Mills also took home the gold medal in the girls’ equivalent when Shaniece Benjamin won in 1:02.75. Windward Road’s Amanda Spaulding was second in 1:03.27 while third went to Christopher Shieed of Constant Spring in 1:13.57. Champion athletes
Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ Westbrook, Biles win athlete of year honors at The ESPYS IT happens: Facebook sorry for Xi Jinping’s name mistranslation Malacañang open to creating Taal Commission Britain’s Chris Froome puts on the overall leader’s yellow jersey on the podium after the eleventh stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 203.5 kilometers (126.5 miles) with start in Eymet and finish in Pau, France, Wednesday, July 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)Chris Froome will return to the scene of one of his most frustrating moments at the Tour de France on Thursday.But the three-time champion said after Wednesday’s 11th stage he has no regrets about the day he was denied the chance of going for a stage victory in Peyragudes as he had to wait for team leader and eventual champion Bradley Wiggins.ADVERTISEMENT Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite LIVE: Sinulog 2020 Grand Parade While the last two flat stages since Monday’s rest day were relatively simple and tranquil for the overall contenders, some still managed to get themselves in bother.‘Nervy’Romain Bardet, third overall at 51sec, came off his bike twice, as did two-time former winner Alberto Contador.“I’m ok, I’m happy to have finished with that stage, it was nervy,” said Bardet.“I was caught up in crashes twice so I’m happy to have come out unscathed and to have finished with these flat stages.“It’s never nice to crash twice — these are the type of days on the Tour where you have to know how to accept your pain with patience, kowtow a bit and wait for better days.”Contador might have been thinking about attacking in the Pyrenees but his two crashes, added to two more last Sunday, have left him looking just to survive until the Alps.“This complicates things a lot for me in the Pyrenees but there’s no way I’m letting my head go down,” insisted the 34-year-old, who is already five minutes down and 12th overall.“When things go against you, instead of thinking of other things or other objectives, you need to be stronger, more determined, and that’s what I’m going to do.“This certainly doesn’t help. I’ll have to wait for the Alps (to attack).” Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Duterte’s ‘soft heart’ could save ABS-CBN, says election lawyer View comments LATEST STORIES “I have mixed feelings. On that day there was frustration for not being able to go for the stage win, but at the same time I had great feelings and great legs.“I would be very happy if they felt the same tomorrow.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’The 17th stage in 2012 was won by Spaniard Alejandro Valverde by just 19 seconds as he held off the charging Froome and Wiggins.But several times Froome had been able to accelerate away from his team leader, only to be called back to wait for Wiggins, the yellow jersey holder at that time. MOST READ End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend Colombian Nairo Quintana vowed to attack if he has the strength, although he’s been complaining of a lack of that the last few days.He cracked on the final climb last Sunday and has drifted out to eighth overall at 2min 13sec from Froome. But he too is staying positive.“We’re not far and we’ve not lost hope. We’ll see how tomorrow goes and how the legs are.“For the moment they feel good and we hope they’ll get better still.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano Duterte’s ‘soft heart’ could save ABS-CBN, says election lawyer Missile-capable frigate BRP Jose Rizal inches closer to entering PH Navy’s fleet “I’ve no regrets, that’s not who I am. I will continue to look forward and in the moment I made the right decisions,” said Froome.Thursday’s 214.5km stage will be crucial to the overall standings, according to Froome, and he’s expecting his rivals to try something audacious.“It’s interesting, it’s going to be certainly one of the stages that shapes this year’s Tour de France being one of the only uphill finishes left now — there are two of them,” said the Sky team leader.“From our point of view, we don’t want to see guys who’ve lost time already getting back into the game, so we aren’t going to let any GC contenders get up the road to get that time back.“But my focus is on Fabio Aru who’s only 18 seconds behind.”ADVERTISEMENT