‘BIG MONEY’ TRANSFER APPROVAL So, another chapter in the sordid affairs governing children at play, when “big money” is involved. The letter of the day from a member of the Jamaican Bar Association that appeared in this newspaper on Friday, March 17, reminds me of the present state of affairs in the English Premier League. Arsene Wenger, the man in charge of Arsenal Football Club has been reappointed year after year to lead the team to success, anywhere – the EPL, the Champions League … anywhere. He has failed year after year, yet year after year, he promises “soon”. The author of the letter in question has been leading the charge of athletes who run afoul of the regulations of the Jamaican Anti-Doping Commission, year after year, and has failed year after year to find success. Therefore, who is to blame? The referee, the pitch, the schedule, the tribunal, the procedure, the opinion writers? The list seems endless because under no circumstance must the finger be pointed where the blame really lies. Fans of Arsenal are asking “when will we win one?” Could there be a similar call here in Jamaica? Young Rodgers had his application to transfer to Kingston College (KC) approved and left his native land Uganda in time to fulfil the requirements of a successful transfer. However, a series of blunders, between airline staffers and German Embassy officials, resulted in a planned arrival in Jamaica on or around August 24, being transformed to his physical arrival here on October 16 and arriving on the doorsteps of KC on October 18 last year. Since his arrival, young Rodgers has excelled academically, and more important, it seems, has proven to be an exceptionally gifted middle- to long-distance runner. This has resulted in the young man becoming a firm candidate to earn 18 points for his school in the upcoming ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships (Champs) according to those who have become, by virtue of historical success, experts in making such predictions. His academic success in class (98% in a recent mathematics exam, according to his headmaster) seems to be of little interest to educators of rival schools. What has irked some of these leaders is the fact that he now has the potential to be a major factor in the ‘fight’ between the top schools to win at Champs, thus qualifying for mind-boggling monetary rewards, previously unheard of in this annual athletics competition. Thus the win-at-all-cost mantra of once-upon-a-time friendly rivalry among schools has resulted in a bizarre breach of accepted protocol regarding decisions made by the executive of Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA), the body of principals who control Champs, and the threatened withdrawal of one of the major players in Champs from participating in some of the pre-Champs ceremonies. This has resulted in a flurry of unsupportive comments on social media, and a call from a sports journalist for KC to ban this child from representing his school at Champs. The effect of all of this … “He is unhappy. He feels down, especially when he goes on Facebook and sees everything that is being said about him”, to quote his headmaster at KC, Dave Myrie, “The result of the objection of a rival school which, as revealed by the head of ISSA, has benefited from a similar ruling of ISSA in the past, is the mental and psychological abuse of a child!” An objection that has absolutely no chance of success if we are to believe the facts behind the decision of the executive of ISSA as outlined by the president. The response in Jamaica to the consistent and persistent abuse of its children has resulted in the formation of different organisations whose main aim is to sensitise us, the citizens, of the scope of the problem; and to identify ways to combat this blot on our yearning to be civilised. Betty Ann Blaine’s group, Hear the Children’s Cry, has made impressive headway in fulfilling this mandate. However, abuse continues apace, and the now increasing aggressive posture of new groups is causing mainstream Jamaica to respond in ways that appear to view protest as worthy of ‘lock down’. The continued abuse of our children is not limited, however, to physical and sexual abuse. The consistent and persistent psychological abuse of our young population is nurtured and perpetrated by some of the very organisations tasked with protecting our children from mental and psychological abuse. The brouhaha surrounding the (successful) attempt of those tasked with the upbringing of Ugandan teenager Arymanya Rodgers to come to Jamaica to live and continue his education brings into sharp focus the ‘abuse’ of a child.
Five-time world champion M C Mary Kom (48kg) clinched her first gold medal of the year by finishing on top in the Asian Cup Women’s Boxing tournament in Haikou, China.The mother-of-two from Manipur claimed the gold after beating Asian champion Kim Myong Sim of North Korea 4-3 in the final.Playing her first tournament since her bronze medal at the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games, Mary Kom had made a place in the last two of her weight division after drubbing Kate Appari of Philippines.In the title clash she had to work hard as her North Korean opponent put up a stiff challenge.In the end though, it was the skill and agility of the world champion that came through as she went on to clinch the yellow metal, the Indian Boxing Federation said in a statement.However, he other Indian in fray, Pavitra (57kg) had to face defeat in the finals as she lost 6-11 to Tossamalee Thonalan of Thailand.Earlier in the tournament Neetu (60kg), Kavita Goyat (75kg), Laxmi Padiya (81kg) and Kavita Chahal (+81kg) earned bronze medals for their performance.PTI
COMMENT Virat Kohli’s colossal presence is sure to be missed when the 10th Indian Premier League (IPL) takes off tomorrow after a build-up mired in administrative tug-of-war over funds.A clutch of Indian stars led by Kohli are out of this edition — either partially or fully, which certainly lessens the novelty factor for all the star gazers.Even off the field, the run-up to the tournament has been far from smooth. Several state units had expressed their inability to conduct matches, citing lack of funds, before the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (COA) stepped in to resolve the matter.The COA will have the onerous job of continuing to keep an eye on officials to ensure that no such teething troubles crop up during the tournament.Stars’ absenceOn to the cricketing issues, it will only be known next week when exactly Kohli will start playing in the league for Royal Challengers Bangalore as he continues to recover from a shoulder injury.The dashing India captain, known as much for his feisty persona as for his peerless batting, would undoubtedly be missed the most most when action kicks off tomorrow in Hyderabad.Kohli had accumulated nearly 1000 runs last time and each of his four hundreds were T20 master-classes.Another big name to be missing from early action would be South African swashbuckler AB de Villiers. Nursing a back injury, there is no clarity on his availability just yet.Till the likes of Kohli and de Villiers come back, the onus of providing perfect “cricketainment” will lie with someone who responds to the name of Christopher Henry Gayle.If Gayle just stands and delivers, RCB will again have a feast.There will be curiosity regarding what T20 specialist Tymal Mills — bought for Rs 12 crore — will bring to the table and how stand-in captain Shane Watson uses him.Sport needs characters and cricket even more so.Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin’s absence from Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS) means there would a bit less colour on the field.A combative cricketer like Ashwin, whose multi-dimensional ability makes him special even though there were doubts about how much he could have contributed after bowling nearly 740 overs.But all eyes will be on Ben Stokes, bought for Rs 14.5 crore by Pune. Each ball that the ‘Big Ben’ bowls and each run he scores will be equated with his pay package.Mahendra Singh Dhoni has no such worries apart from proving a point with his blazing blade — a fitting reply for being stripped off captaincy.Also before he returns to his spiritual home in Chennai, Dhoni won’t mind winning another IPL trophy albeit with different teams.Steve Smith and Faf du Plessis both got injured the last time but would like to make amends in this edition.For the hugely popular Mumbai Indians, skipper Rohit Sharma’s form at the top will be important not only for his franchise but also for the Indian team that will defend the Champions Trophy in the United Kingdom.Jos Buttler’s big hits and Harbhajan Singh’s guile also makes them the team that they are.Kolkata Knight Riders will depend a lot on their quartet of Indian batsmen, including skipper Gautam Gambhir, Surya Kumar Yadav, Robin Uthappa and Manish Pandey.A barely consistent Yusuf Pathan would also look to make his presence felt.Andre Russell’s one year ban has affected the composition of the side. But Chris Woakes and Trent Boult are expected to be used a lot on seamer-friendly tracks till Umesh Yadav is back in action.Kings XI Punjab would miss Murali Vijay but Glenn Maxwell, after a few indifferent knocks last season, may just tee off well.The flashy Manan Vohra, talented Marcus Stoinis and the ever-dependable Wriddhiman Says will form the core of their batting under Virender Sehwag’ s mentorship.This year, a surprise rookie pick Thangarasu Natarajan will be itching to bowl his cutters too.For Gujarat Lions captain Suresh Raina, this season will be a make or break one after being dropped from the one-day squad and central contracts. Till Ravindra Jadeja is absent, Dwayne Bravo will have to take more responsibility as an all-founder.The Delhi Daredevils, after making some inexplicable choices and some injury setbacks, are the weakest team in the competition.Quinton de Kock’s absence is going to hurt them badly as mentor Rahul Dravid has already pointed out. They would depend on their band of speed merchants, including the wily Zaheer Khan, Mohammed Shami, Chris Morris, Pat Cummins and Kagiso Rabada.On a slow Kotla track, Amit Mishra could prove to be the trump card.But it’s the batting that will hurt them most with Karun Nair, Rishabh Pant, and Shreyas Iyer not consistent enough.Last but not the least are the defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad with David Warner at the helm.The core remains the same. Yuvraj Singh, Deepak Hooda and Shikhar Dhawan are capable of changing the course of the match. When fully fit, Ashish Nehra and Mustafizur Rahaman can prove to be a handful.From Brendon McCullum’s 158 on the opening night nine seasons back to S Sreesanth’s arrest on charges of spot-fixing, the league has seen unbelievable highs and abysmal lows.As a cycle gets complete, the craze will only travel northwards. 0 SHARE SHARE EMAIL The IPL 10 trophy – PTI IPL 2017 Published on SHARE April 04, 2017 cricket The IPL 10 trophy – PTI A clutch of Indian stars led by Virat Kohli are out of this edition — either partially or fully × COMMENTS