MONTEGO BAY (JIS):Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), Dr Horace Chang, has endorsed the third staging of the MoBay City Run, which is held annually to raise funds for needy tertiary students in western Jamaica.Speaking during the recent launch at the St James Parish Council’s chambers in Montego Bay, Chang said the event’s goal is consistent with the Government’s commitment to making tertiary education more accessible to students by providing them with financing options.In noting that the Government’s policy for training aims to ensure that young people are provided with a secondary education “without any significant cost”, Chang said efforts by many students to access tertiary education often incurred “a major expense”.Against this background, Chang, who is the Member of Parliament for North Western St James – where the event will be staged – lauded the MoBay City Run’s Organising Committee for its efforts over the past two years in assisting tertiary students experiencing financial challenges.He noted that Montego Bay has a significant number of talented and academically brilliant youngsters, many of whom struggle to maintain their enrolment in tertiary institutions in western Jamaica, and encouraged corporate entities and other stakeholders to support the fundraising event.ESSENTIAL INGREDIENT”Any effort to support the students is welcome and will be supported by me both at the local and national (level) as an educated population is the most essential ingredient to developing our society,” he stated.He also said the MoBay City Run has the potential to boost Jamaica’s foreign exchange earnings by broadening the range of tourism product offerings to international participants and fans of the event.”This kind of activity does engage a significant number of visitors, and these marathons and athletics events have become part of the travel industry just like entertainment and food,” the minister added.Organising committee chairperson Janet Silvera hopes to raise in excess of $6 million to fund bursaries and scholarships to assist students attending the University of the West Indies (UWI) and the University of Technology (UTech) western campuses; Sam Sharpe Teachers’ College; and Montego Bay Community College.She said since MoBay City Run’s first staging in 2014, approximately 100 students have benefited each year from the proceeds and added that the committee planned to double the number of beneficiaries this year.Some 3,000 racers are expected to participate in the 5K and 10K run and walk events, set for Sunday, May 1.
POOR STATE OF CRICKET As was revealed through a press release, former West Indies captain and doughty middle-order batsman Jimmy Adams has taken over as the director of cricket at Cricket West Indies (CWI). Adams, at age 49, has taken the post after Australian Richard Pybus elected to blow the whistle on his contract, ending it without exercising an option to renew. It has been reported that following the demise of the sacked coach, Phil Simmons, the former Jamaica College scholar had sought that vacancy, having had a similar role at the Kent County Cricket Club in England. However, the story is told that a piece of advice came from way up – and there is emphasis on the high level from which it came – to change course. Once Adams’ sights were set on a higher plane, and the call came, it was only left for the terms to be successfully negotiated. The news of the appointment was accompanied by a statement from Adams which said, “I am very excited to be directly involved in Caribbean cricket once again, and I look forward to working with all those committed to moving the game forward in the West Indies.” Foster’s Fairplay is drawn to his words “those committed.” The question to be asked here is, how much recognition there is of the level of that commodity which will be involved. Many will argue that a pair of back-to-back T20 global trophies tastes good to the buds that govern that sensation, but it is not the lingering effect of the sumptuous gourmet meal that skipper Lloyd, ‘Sir Viv’ Richards, Greenidge, Haynes and four ferocious fast bowlers of that era served up. It is the abysmal state of Test cricket that, most urgently, needs to be tackled frontally. The current bottom-of-the-barrel situation is quite debilitating, made more so by the team being well off the pace for an agonisingly extended period. The actual date of the announcement was January 10, just over a month ago. One would have thought that the new director would, by now, have been brought to the public to announce sections of a battle plan that is mandatory to what must be an ambitious recovery programme. Foster’s Fairplay sees the absence of such a positive move as a platform to question the level of commitment that is available to assist Adams on his declared mission. CWI President Dave Cameron and his Dominican pal Emmanuel Nanthan are set to return to the helm unopposed come March 24. Thankfully, on a more parochial note, the boss finally garnered (no pun intended) the support from his homeboys. It could have been unsettling not to enjoy that extra energy going forward. All this speaks to there being no necessity for what could be the distraction of an active campaign for leadership. Leaders in this position are not unknown to claim that there is unfinished business to be tackled in the third term. They tend to see it as a major plank in their thrust for re-election. One hopes that with that anxiety out of the way, the efforts to get Adams and, by extension, upward movement in the game on a fresh path, are absolutely crucial. If there is one factor to be held responsible for the perilous and pitiful state of West Indies cricket, it must be the introduction of the limited-overs version. Admittedly, in times past, the great ones would have acquired the skills to do well in all formats. But the cricketers of today seem unable to develop the technique and discipline inherent in the longer game in order to establish command there as well. With that in mind, why should they, when four lofted hits in the deep can earn a tail-end batsman a hefty contract to play Twenty20 cricket in one of the private leagues? This is what Adams will be up against. How will he rekindle the interest, let alone the zeal that will get the youngsters to make the West Indies great again. Who knows? It might very well be that the Jamaica College old boy holds the trump card. The region will soon see. Email: email@example.com