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It is Calabar and Edwin Allen

Calabar shrugged off 30-time winners Kingston College (KC) to win the 2012 Boys Championships at the National Stadium.  In the Girls Championships, it was Edwin-Allen who dethroned 9-consecutive time champions Holmwood convincingly to walk away with the Girls title.

Calabar had the rat scandal along with the pressure of winning on the 100th anniversary of their first lien to overcome.  But, according to their coach, they made fun of themselves and remained focused.

Likewise, Edwin Allen had the pressure of being the bridesmaid to Holmwood’s party to overcome even in 2011 when they were slight favorites and this year when they were overwhelming favorites.  But they were finally able to do it, projected to win after only 3 days of competition with the final-laden final day still to come, winning by over 100 points.

Congratulations to Calabar High School (CBar or Rabalac) who earlier won the 2012 Schools Challenge Quiz.  Also congratulations to Edwin-Allen.

Boys Championships 2012 – Results
Calabar High School – 287.5
Kingston College – 265
Jamaica College – 220.5
Wolmers’ Boys School – 140
Munro College – 94
Girls Championships 2012 – Results
Edwin Allen High – 351
Holmwood Technical – 227
St Jago – 174
Vere Technical – 147
Hydel – 113

More to come… Say your piece.  Talk to me nuh.

It’s Champs time again

Friends from everywhere in the globe, it’s that time again for the annual Inter-Secondary-school Sports Association (ISSA) Boys and Girls Championships at the National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica. I believe this is one of the biggest such event in the world.

Since the decision to hold both Boys and Girls Championships together (they used to be separate events running different weeks), the event has run from Wednesday through Saturday and gives the less-popular Girls Champs the same attention as the Boys.  No different, this event starts this coming Wednesday, March 28, 2012 and runs through Saturday night March 31, 2012.  The first two days have mostly preliminaries while the last 2 days have more semi-finals and finals.

Join Yowlink on Sports Max all 4 days as we represent.  In addition make sure you visit Yowlink often and update your group, link, comments, etc.  Tell people from your school to visit your school’s group on Yowlink, join and comment.

Yowlink is your Caribbean social and information network.

As always, mek sure you talk to us this week here on Yowlink and on Sportsmax/Facebook during the live feed, then visit Yowlink each week after that, making new connections, and learning new things.

WI fall short in fifth ODI; Series drawn
March 25, 2012
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It was a gallant effort by all-rounders captain Darren Sammy (84 runs) and Adrian Russell (42), but the West Indies went down by 30 runs to #1 ODI team Australia.  With the Australians batting well and making an attainable 281 when they expected to go beyond 300 the way the started, the West Indies lost early wickets and seemingly hung their hopes on Pollard.  However, when Pollard went for 33, it seemed all was lost until the Captain and Russell came together.  This was not the first that they’ve done something like this.  In fact, the performance had many questioning why both these men are not further up in the order… perhaps the same people who wondered why Sammy batted before the wicketkeeper (Baugh) in previous series where the West Indies fared poorly.

The loss meant the Aussies leveled the 5-match ODI series at 2-2, with the 3rd match ending in that dramatic tie. So, the drought continues for the West Indies against Australia but the West Indies can say that they should’ve won the series 4-1 and build on those mistakes.  In addition, the “fortis” man, Marlon Samuels, needs to improve his attack in one-day and T-20 situations by practicing more and demonstrating his class.  Otherwise, he should sit out the shorter forms of the game in the next series.  There’s no question about his batting in the test matches, however.

That being said, the West Indies still needs Chris Gayle in all 3 forms of the game.  He’s still the best cricketer we have.  In addition, we could use Chanderpaul in the tests, until he decides to retire from international cricket, which I expect to happen by the end of this year.

Welcome back Barath.  Hopefully we will see a lineup like the following in the tests:

Openers (2): Chris Gayle, Adrian Barath

Middle order (4): Darren Bravo, Marlon Samuels, Shiv Chanderpaul, Brendan Nash

Wicketkeeper (1): Carlton Baugh

Bowlers (4): Dwayne Bravo (all-rounder), Darren Sammy (captain), Kemar Roach, Sunil Narine (spinner)

I am OK if Baugh or a fit Ramdin plays.  Also, I’m OK with Bishoo replacing Narine.  If Roach is injured then we have to go with Best.  Pollard is omitted from my list because he’s a master ODI and T-20 man who also bowls decent medium pace.  Vastly improved, he still hasn’t fully demonstrated his mastery to include him over Nash or Samuels.  That team can defeat the Australians in the upcoming test series.

Who will sponsor a new stadium in Jamaica
March 20, 2012
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The National Stadium, Independence Park, Kingston, JamaicaThe National Stadium at Independence Park, Kingston, was built in 1962, the year Jamaica gained independence from Britain.  Other than some decent upgrades for last year’s Boys and Girls Athletic Championships, the stadium has largely remained unchanged.

The case for rebuilding

There are 5 reasons I can give to support the immediate (next 2 years) need for a new stadium instead of just “patching up” the current one.

1. Safety Concerns — a 50-year old infrastructure poses safety risks, despite the recent patchwork/renovation.

2. Soccer/Football — The Reggae Boyz call the National Stadium “the office” and play most of their games there.  In fact, there was a period of time where they didn’t lose a single game at “the office“.  High school matches are also played there and many students descend on these grounds each fall, cheering on their favorite team.

3. Track & Field — The Jamaica Invitational is at World challenge status and hope to gain meet the IAAF’s lucrative Diamond League certification.  Of course the Jamaica Invitational could meet Diamond League status without a stadium upgrade but it certainly would help keep that status since the talent is not going anywhere, that is with the annual Boys and Girls Championships held at the same venue.

4.  Capacity — The Grand Stand seats about 5000 of the 35000 capacity and could increase to 10,000.  There are 11 suites and 1 “super suite”.  This could increase to 20 + 2.  Basically this would increase the capacity to a more respectable 41,000.

5.  Aesthetics — “The stadium looks old and run-down” was the complaint from a close relative who visited Jamaica a few weeks ago.  Apparently, that’s what others are saying also when they look at the exterior of such a historic stadium, as far as Jamaicans are concerned.  If Jamaicans are not impressed, the tourists who come to see the talent at this venue will not be impressed with the structure either.  People like aesthetically-pleasant structures.

The case against rebuilding

Likewise, there are 5 reasons I can see why we would face problems getting a new stadium.

1.  Money — How does Jamaica raise the money to build a stadium that could cost them at least 250 million US dollars?  Who will sponsor this? The Jamaican government doesn’t have the kind of money to build a top-of-the-line stadium.  If Jamaicans decide to borrow from other countries, who?  Also, would the Jamaican people support such a venture?

2.  Money — Where will the money come from?  This could be reasons 1-5 instead of 1 and 2…

3.  Location — where do we build this new stadium?  Is there a prime but accessible location for it?

4.  Replacement — a stadium of this size would take about 2 years to build.  Do we demolish and rebuild?  If so, where will all the activities (e.g. major international soccer matches, track & field meets, etc.) be held while the rebuilding is taking place?

5.  Ride it out — with the renovations of last year (2011), can we spend another $25 million USD to improve the aesthetics (especially the exterior) and ride it out for another 10 years.  Jamaica turns 50 this year and no stadium can be rebuilt this year, so the 60th anniversary is as good a target for a new stadium as I can see.  If we gain start looking for funding and support now, obtain the funding by 2019, and start breaking ground by 2020, it will be done before 2022.

What do you think?