Month: June 2018

Damion Cheese Darting Through On A High

“I managed to pull it off. It was tough, but luckily for me, Mark Birthwright ranked at number one, and Tenge Brown, at number three were not there. This title goes a far way in deciding the placings for next year,” Cheese said following the President’s Cup last Sunday at Club Odyssey in Discovery Bay, St Ann.

“I am leading with eight points, followed by Marco Walters, who I beat 3-2 in the final on six points, and Jennifer Reid and Albert Bailey on four points each. It feels good to win the President’s Cup back to back, which is not easy in darts,” the 2018 number two ranked JDA player said.

“There will be four ranking tournaments for the year and the next one is due in late March or early April at the Constant Spring Tax Office. That is the shooting star,” Cheese explained.

Confidence Boost

“The aim is to be number one next.. The more confident you are, the better for you as darts is a mental sports. I am more confident heading into the next tournament,” said Cheese, who started playing darts in 2015, concluded.

JDA members participate in ranking tournaments during the year and accumulate points. These points are important in determining eligibility to participate in the national trials.

Meanwhile, Kerdyia Wills, having accumulated the most points during the Under-18 trials last Saturday at Jarrett Park in Montego Bay, will join Kailya Cheese, Jahiem Chin and Donte Burchell as Jamaica’s representatives in the junior section for the Caribbean Championships to be held in Trinidad and Tobago in July.

The full national youth squad is: boys Jahiem Chin, Donte Burchell, Jahmari Wright and Mickail Esson; girls Kailya Cheese, Kerdyia Wills, Shanna Headley and Aaliyah Eccleston.

Table Tennis Champ To Revive The Game In St. Ann

Former Jamaica national table tennis player Ian Spencer is moving to resurrect the dormant sport of table tennis in the parish of St Ann by the formulation of a parish table tennis association.

Spencer, currently Regional Public Relations Manager for Sandals Resort in the Ocho Rios Region, said there was too much talent being wasted in the parish and the formation of the St Ann Table Tennis Association was the first step to harnessing that talent.

“I have been speaking with a number of former players, business persons and sports enthusiasts in St Ann and they have expressed a willingness to be a part of such a body and to make table tennis a household name once more in the parish.

Spencer once matched skills with the likes of Colin McNeish, Robertyo Byles, Stephen Hylton and Peter MooYoung and participated in a number of tournaments at home and abroad as part of the national team. He was also part of the great St James table tennis team, along with champion Courtney Wilson, which caused a sensation by breaking the Corporate Area stranglehold on the sport.

“I have devised a comprehensive plan for the development of the sport,” Spencer noted. “Starting from coaching and competition at the primary and prep schools, high schools and community level. It will also take the input of businesses in the region, as well as the political representatives and the Social Development Commission.”

The Sandals PR executive further added that once the association was up and running, which will be in a matter of weeks, they will be in contact with the Jamaica Table Tennis Association, with a move to bringing top players to the parish to participate in exhibitions and conduct coaching clinics.

“We will also be starting junior tournaments and coaching throughout the summer to set the stage for competitions once the students get back to school,” he noted.

Spencer is targeting the Buckfield Community Centre as a possible base for practice sessions for community members, once they can get the government or the JTTA to donate a few tables.

In response to funding, Spencer noted that the St Ann Business Community would assist the sport and with companies such as Sandals Resorts and other tourism entities around, he was confident of securing sponsorship.

Members of the association will be introduced to the media shortly after the group has been formally put together.

Sport Minister calls for Domino organisations to Come Together

The Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport has called for the establishment of a formal relationship between all the Domino organisations in the country.

Minister Grange who was addressing the launch of the Dragon Stout World Domino Championship at Gee Wee Car Park in St. Andrew last night (February 22), suggested that there should be “some form of alliance between all the Domino entities in the country.”

Miss Grange said that as it stands the Sports Development Foundation (SDF) which falls under her Ministry gives official support to the National Association of Domino Bodies (NADB).

She said the NADB was running a “wonderful programme” in which Dominoes was not only being played as a sport but was being used as an educational tool.

Minister Grange said they saw the game as being able even to awaken social awareness, improve morals and boost community pride and the NADB was using it to also improve the self-esteem among youngsters.

“So Dominoes is doing much more for us these days than just being the traditional sport but more hands are needed on deck and this is one good example of why there should be this meeting of the minds and working together by the domino entities, all of them.”

“May I remind us that unity is strength and the stronger we are the more progress we are likely to make.”

Remarking on Jamaica’s affinity for the Dominoes, the Sport Minister said, “If we in Jamaica are not the most ardent domino players in the world, then we are close to it.” She reminded her audience that as Minister she had declared Dominoes a national sport in 2010 and that Jamaica supports the call for Dominoes to be elevated to status of an Olympic sport.

She gave her “blessings” to the Dragon Stout World Domino Championship, commending the Jamaica Domino Council Association for taking yet another bold step in the interest of sport in Jamaica with this competition.

“I am pleased to learn that the tournament will cover all of five regions comprising the Portmore League, Western League, St. Elizabeth League, Eastern League and the Kingston League.

“To Dragon Stout I say great decision to partner with Jamaica Domino Council Association. I like to think that already the Dragon product is a winner in the marketplace and with the link with Dominoes, sales can only soar to greater levels,” Miss Grange concluded.

Team Seven Swings Through

Stephen Willems of Team Seven says a strong combined effort formed the backbone of their top-place finish in last weekend’s Baxter Travel Golf Tournament at the Sandals Golf and Country Club in Ocho Rios, St Ann.

Team seven, comprising Willems, Robert Cole, and twin brothers Larry Field and Dennis Field, had a combined score of 130 in the scramble format over the two-day competition, after leading at the end of the opening day with 67.Team seven also won the award for being the best-dressed quartet.“It was a great team effort and each one of us had some good shots and some bad shots, but we all made it work to win the tournament,” Willems, a first-timer at the tournament, told the Jamaica Observer at Saturday’s award ceremony.“The course was great, I really enjoyed it and Sandals and Baxter threw a wonderful tournament. We had two caddies and they were absolutely fantastic and really helped us to feel the course,” he added.The winning team will represent the Canadian travel industry at the Sandals world travel golf tournament next year.Team six (Chippy Jega, Spirkathan Naqalingam, Virgilio Russi and Michael Degrace) finished four shots behind to take second place. They were also in second place after day one with a score of 68.Team eight of Kathy Munroe, Wayne Lickers, Stephen Dugal and Chinita Williams improved to overall third place after scoring 73 on the first day. In individual contests, Jackie Smith of team one was awarded the female with the longest drive, while Willems won the male equivalent.Toni Rolli of team nine won the putting contest.The tournament, which welcomed influential Canadian travel agents and tour operators, is the third major international travel agent golf event staged at the venue in a month after the Sandals United States and Latin American travel agents tournaments, respectively.The events promote Jamaica as a golfing destination with the goal of boosting the nation’s hotel and tourism industry.Maureen Barnes-Smith, director of sales and marketing for Sandals Canada, said the event was a success.“The Canadian travel agents know the value of Jamaica, they know the value of Sandals, and they also know the value of this tournament. It’s a great event. We have travel agents from all over Canada — from Vancouver, from Quebec, from Ontario—and they all come to have a huge weekend where they are having fun playing golf, but it’s also to learn about the island and to learn about Sandals,” she remarked.

Ramel Sobrino, general manager of Sandals Ochi, lauded all team members at Sandals for putting on another successful tournament, especially with the “excellent preparation” despite the very active rainy season. He also noted Sandals’ partnerships with Red Stripe beer and Appleton Estate Rum.Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett expressed “deep appreciation of the partnership” between Canada and the Jamaica’s tourism, and praised Sandals for helping Jamaica’s tourism industry to reach its objectives.

St Ann Orchids -Berger Elite League netball

Defending champions St Ann Orchids strengthened their chances of making the four-team play-offs in Netball Jamaica’s Berger Elite League with a 37-31 win over Clarendon Gaters at Leila Robinson Courts, National Stadium complex, on Tuesday night.

Victory lifted the Orchids to nine points, while the Gaters flapped yet again to suffer their fifth consecutive defeat, as they remain the only team without a win in this season’s six-team championship.

Orchids coach Janet Guy switched her shooting combination for most of the game from Thristina Harwood and Rebekah Robinson, with Simone Gordon playing as the main shooter. Gordon showed her capabilities with a game-high 26 goals from 35 tries, while Harwood, with six goals from 10 attempts and Robinson, five from eight, contributed the other goals.

For the Clarendon Gaters, Shedeiky Hamilton-Barnes was their top shooter, scoring 22 goals from 27 tries, while Shadian Hemmings, seven goals from 13 attempts and Melisha Josephs, two from three, netted the other goals.

Also improving their chances were St Catherine Racers, who moved to six points and fourth after beating St James Sharpes 48-38 in the opening contest of the day. Both teams entered the contest with three points, garnered from one win apiece in four previous matches.

Tracy-Ann Francis led the Racers with 36 goals from 42 attempts, with the other goals coming from Shanice Howe, who scored nine of 10 tries and Kestina Sturridge, three from six.

The Sharpes, who were playing their third match, shot very well but had difficulty getting the ball to their shooters. Simone Forbes, the former national shooter, was perfect with 18 goals from 18 tries, while her back-up support from Jodi-Ann French-Kentish, 16 goals from 19 tries and Deneen Taylor, four from six, weren’t bad either.

Meanwhile, the competition continues today with red-hot Manchester Spurs and Kingston Hummingbirds, the joint leaders, on court.

The Connie Francis-coached Spurs, who have won all four matches to score 12 points, will face St Catherine Racers in the opening game at 6:00 pm. The Spurs had won the first-round contest 41-37.

For the feature encounter, set to begin at 7:30 pm, the Marvette Anderson-coached Kingston Hummingbirds will face St James Sharpes. The Hummingbirds also have 12 points, but have played one more match than the Spurs.

Pepe 11 Claimed 2018 Division I Title

It was Pepe 11 after the third time of asking who walked away with the 2018 Division One title defeating first time entrants Madras Utd.2-1 on Wednesday.

Madras started out the stronger and actually took the lead in the 22nd min. through Nikimo Clarke, but Ropae Biggs in the 38th min. restored parity for Pepe 11 as the half ended 1-1.

just when it seemed that extra time would beckon, up popped veteran Dmitri ‘Lassy’ Rose to squeeze his shot under goalkeeper Peter Sinclair for the 90+3 min. winner. Both teams will now turn their attention to next season’s Major League.