Grange signs historic sports cooperation agreement with China

The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has described the sports cooperation agreement which she signed in the Chinese capital today (Friday) as “historic and extremely beneficial”.

Minister Grange and the General Manager of China Sport International Company (the state-owned sports cooperation agency) Mr Lu Guoguang officially signed the agreement which will see more than 400 Jamaican athletes travelling to China for training over the next three years.

Minister Grange said it was the first time that so many Jamaican athletes would benefit directly from a bilateral sports cooperation agreement.

“Our athletes have natural abilities but need assistance and the Government of Jamaica can only do so much, and so we sincerely thank you for the current project and we believe that the benefits are of tremendous value to our athletes,” said the Minister.

Although the signing of the document took place only today, implementation of the programme began in January of this year when a contingent of Chinese coaches and administrators arrived in Jamaica to assess certain national teams, collaborate with local coaches and administrators, and prepare for the first batch of 138 Jamaican athletes and coaches to arrive in China. The first batch — representing seven disciplines: Synchronised Swimming, Gymnastics, Swimming, Badminton, Women’s Volleyball, Women’s Football and Women’s Basketball — is currently completing 60 days of intense training at specialised facilities across China.

Mr Lu (speaking through an interpreter) said the Jamaican athletes made tremendous strides during training:

“In the two months we have made great improvement.  The first (main) improvement is the record of your athletes and in the two months together, the athletes from Jamaica and China live, eat and train together and have built a great relationship between each other.”

Ahead of signing the agreement in Beijing, Minister Grange travelled to some of the training centres in the cities of the Changsha and Kunming to observe the facilities, receive progress reports on the athletes from their Jamaican coaches and Chinese trainers, and to hear from the athletes their impression of the programme.  They all reported that the first year of the programme has been a success.

Minister Grange said:

“I’m happy to see first hand the vast improvement in the skill level of our athletes and to tour the facilities.  Our athletes have now been exposed to world class training facilities and to world class coaching and we will make sure that your investment is not wasted. We want to ensure that the infrastructure is in place for them to do well when they return to Jamaica and so we want to look at the development of our national stadium, for example.”

Under the agreement, the Chinese government will also donate equipment to the seven sporting disciplines.  The equipment is to arrive in Jamaica this year.

By: 

Original Article Found Here

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Source: Caribbean News

The China Connection Part I (A Surprise Opportunity)

Since the 19th century when Jamaica began receiving Chinese migrants, primarily as indentured servants meant to fill the gap left by the abolition of enslaved blacks, the relationship between Jamaicans and the Chinese has been an interesting one. It is not uncommon to still hear some Jamaicans speak of Chinese persons negatively. Across our island, we see them owning numerous businesses namely restaurants and wholesales, and we often question their business practices, whether fairly or unfairly, based on their successes. In most recent years, there has been a mixture of praise and disapproval aimed at the Chinese as we witnessed their increased presence and involvement in Jamaica with our government and development projects island-wide. The Chinese have brought us highways that have significantly reduced travel time to far-reaching areas, but with this came questions about how land was acquired, why jobs got funnelled from Jamaicans and what the actual cost was to the country for the beautiful new roadways built.

China
My home away from home – the James Joyce Coffetel

These debates continue as do the many construction projects led by the Chinese. It is difficult to state having any specific feelings toward the Chinese personally. In my interactions with them, primarily through their businesses, I observed them to be industrious people but also quite insulated within their communities. Outside of this, I could not say much more. So, when I recently received an email that included Chinese characters in the subject line, in this age of spam and creative hacking, I immediately deleted the message without a second thought. A phone call the next day would bring to my attention that the email was in fact an invitation to participate in an upcoming seminar. Through my work, I had been selected to join a cohort of 14 Jamaican females to attend a seminar on capacity building in China… for 20 days!

An avid traveller who never needs a reason to get on a plane, I was surprisingly quite hesitant to accept this opportunity. I worried about how far away China was, what the food would be like, what the people would be like, and in general, what living in the country would be like for such an extended period. China was never on my bucket list, but now I had the opportunity to add it, and fortunately, I did. So, two weeks later I was on my way to China.

I departed on a Tuesday afternoon with luggage that I prayed would not be overweight given the cans of sardines, water crackers, Shirley biscuits, cereal, powdered milk and Chippies I had packed to ensure I had something to eat, just in case. After traversing two time zones, Kingston to New York and then New York to Beijing (technically two days of travelling), I arrived in China, stiff, exhausted and now curiously excited. Once through the standard immigration and luggage collection processes, the group gradually formed as our hosts for the trip signalled and corralled us in a waiting area in the airport. The adventure was about to begin!

We were guided to our waiting bus after quick introductions and were soon on our way to our first destination. Under the darkness of night, we drove through strange and busy streets despite the late hour, already trying to get information about what to expect from our hosts, as none of us had received a full agenda before the trip. We learnt that our workshop would begin the next day with an opening ceremony, followed by our first session. When we finally unloaded from the bus in front of the James Joyce Coffetel Hotel, collected luggage once again and awaited room keys to settle in for some rest, my mind was racing with thoughts of anticipation and residual nervousness. Nonetheless, I knew I was ready for whatever the next 20 days had in store.

*Stay tuned to Good News Jamaica for Part II – Understanding China’s Development

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Source: Caribbean News

JCF Launches New Branch to Restore and Maintain Public Order

The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) has increased its capacity to improve the safety of citizens, as well as restore and maintain public order, with the launch of its new Public Safety and Traffic Enforcement Branch (PSTEB).

The branch, which is the result of a merger of the motorised patrol and traffic and highway divisions of the JCF, was officially launched during a ceremony at Harman Barracks in Kingston on Wednesday (August 29).

Headquartered in Kingston at the Elletson Road police complex, the branch is expected to result in improved compliance with the Road Traffic Act, reduced crime in public spaces, and increased public support to the JCF.

Speaking at the ceremony, Minister of National Security, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, said that while the initial roll-out of the PSTEB’s operations will be in the Corporate Area, St. Catherine and major resort towns, it will eventually be expanded islandwide.

He noted that members of the branch have been specially trained to engage community members as they carry out their duties to deal with traffic, vending and the general population in public spaces, “which means their whole approach is somewhat different from the traditional way”.

“They have been trained to engage our public in a very positive way and restore not only public safety but build public trust and build public understanding with the police force as we go forward to ensure that the community, and members of the community, will feel safe,” he said.

The new branch consists of 700 members who had to undergo training in human rights and situational awareness, among other areas.

Dr. Chang noted that specifically, the PSTEB’s road-policing activities will concentrate on denying criminals the use of roads by enforcing the law, reducing road casualties, tracking the threat of criminal gangs operating in public spaces, and enhancing public confidence and reassurance by patrolling the roads.

He pointed out that one of the immediate tasks of the newly established branch is to assist with easing some of the traffic congestion expected for the back-to-school period, in light of ongoing roadworks along major thoroughfares.

“We expect them to have a positive impact in the back-to-school week. They are going out this week to get a feel of what’s happening out there. We expect this branch to work with the National Works Agency (NWA). There will still be some challenges, but I am confident that this team will work to ensure that the back-to-school week is much smoother than it was before,” the Minister said.

For his part, Commissioner of Police, Major General Antony Anderson, said establishment of the branch was necessary, as the JCF is aware that it needs to be “far more visible”, noting that through the increased presence of the police, “hopefully we can shape behaviour and not spend as much time on enforcement”.

“With high visibility, there needs to be high accessibility. So, we need to be more accessible to the public. We need to be more approachable, we need to be seen. We need to be the ‘go to’ people for whatever concerns the public has on safety issues, on security issues and, I dare say, as our presence become more and more felt out there, the public will be coming to us for just about everything,” he said.

The Public Safety and Traffic Enforcement Branch, which will feature motorcycle, motor car, bicycle and beat patrols, consists of three divisions – the Public Safety Division, Highway and Safety Patrol Division, and the Traffic Enforcement Division. Assigned officers will be easily identified in neon yellow uniforms and motorcycles. The motor vehicles are also specially marked for high visibility.

The unit’s strategic objectives are the overall improvement of public safety through strategic deployment of police assets; and a reduction in response time to demands for police service, especially in road accidents and domestic disputes.

It will also reduce crime and disorder with terrain-ready equipment, as well as targeted and sustained social-intervention strategies, in addition to which the public safety branch will be equipped with modern non-lethal equipment to assist in dealing with challenges on the roadway.

Original Article Found Here

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Source: Caribbean News

Farming with No Regrets

When Nicholas Anderson decided to venture into farming seven years ago, this was not his first career choice, but he has no regrets after taking this step into somewhat unfamiliar territory.

Through farming, which is his only source of income, Mr. Anderson has been able to sustain himself and his family as well as create employment for 18 members of his and surrounding communities.

Even though he grew up in rural Jamaica with his grandparents who reared goats, the concept of farming was still foreign to him, and it, therefore, took sheer persistence in the field until he found his footing.

“It worked itself out… it chose me,” Mr. Andersen tells JIS News.

When his first attempt at farming – rearing pigs – failed, Mr. Anderson says he was not deterred. He instead turned his next effort – a small plot of ginger – into a now thriving business.

It was this same tenacity that earned the 31-year-old, who hails from Reckfort in Clarendon, the coveted title of Young Farmer of the Year, during the recent staging of the Denbigh Agricultural, Industrial and Food Show. He was also crowned Champion Ginger Farmer.

“It’s a very good feeling to know that the (recognition has been given to someone from the area I am from, which is a farming area. You never have anyone in my area who has risen to the level where I am at, at my age. So, it’s a great feeling for me. It’s a great accomplishment,” he says.

Although he now cultivates other crops, including Scotch bonnet pepper, cabbage, yam and dasheen, Mr. Anderson notes that “the real start was with ginger,” when in 2011 he heard about the Agriculture Ministry’s Export Division ginger supply programme.

This involved farmers growing and selling their ginger crops to the Export Division to supply the Japanese market.

“I started out with 250lb (of ginger) and after reaping that 250lb, I got 1,800lb and I plant the 1,800lb again and sell and make an increase again, and I (then) planted an acre,” he shares.

He continued on this trend of reinvesting in the business until he now harvests thousands of pounds of ginger during reaping season. Just two weeks ago, Mr. Anderson reaped more than 150,000lb of ginger.

The ambitious young man, who works along with his uncle, now operates his farm on 16 acres of land, a parcel of which is leased and some owned by his grandfather. He is currently seeking another 20 acres of land to expand his cultivation of Scotch bonnet peppers.

The Stacyville All-Age and Kellits High alumnus, notes that while farming has “its ups and downs”, with challenges, including praedial larceny and inclement weather, if given the option, he would again choose this source of income.

Mr. Anderson shares that since this year, praedial larcenists stole from one ginger field five times, taking 40lb of ginger the first time they struck. In total, they made away with 300lb, resulting in losses amounting to $90,000.

The undaunted farmer says he is wary of the thieves, whom he says targets his ginger crop as it is the most valuable, noting that he just has to stay a step ahead of the thieves “and dig it fast”.

He notes that while last year was a good season in terms of the weather, it has been “very rough” this year due to the prevailing drought, which has had an impact on his yields.

“That’s one of the things that really fight me the most, but, you know, I hold on. Some of the years I don’t make any money…we just get back what we plant,” he shares.

Mr. Anderson says that he is grateful for the assistance he has received throughout the years, which has helped him to improve on his farming techniques, and, in turn, boost his yields. Of note, he says, is the technical support he receives from the Government through the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA).

He says that while he was not able to benefit from all the training opportunities the agency offers, due to his busy schedule, he is appreciative of the knowledge he has garnered from the sessions he attends. He notes, as well, that he works closely with the RADA extension officer that has been assigned to him.

Mr. Anderson has also been the beneficiary of fertiliser from the Government, through RADA. He was given a 50-lb bag of the product following Denbigh this year. He also received some fertiliser in the previous two years after the staging of the show.

The young farmer, who currently sells his produce to a processor in St. Ann, as well as higglers and hotel and supermarket suppliers, says he also harbours hopes of expanding his business and leaving a legacy for his six-year-old son.

He adds that he would love to get directly into the supermarket and hotel markets “which carry a much better price…; it would make a whole lot of difference”.

Mr. Anderson says he is happy he remained persistent and continued to cultivate the land as it has not only empowered him to help others but he has even surprised himself and proven that with true grit comes great rewards.

“Where I am at in farming now, to be frank with you, I didn’t expect it… . I am well grateful and well pleased,” he says.

Original Article Found Here

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Source: Caribbean News

Fraser-Pryce Facilitates Waterhouse Scholarships

With two Olympic, seven World titles and the joint-fourth fastest 100-metre times in history, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, over the past decade, has built a legacy as one of the best female sprinters in history.

Over that same period, she has also steadily built an equally powerful legacy as a humanitarian.

Ten students from the impoverished Waterhouse community will, this academic year, benefit from academic scholarships  valued at just under $500,000, courtesy of the elite athlete through her Hugh Senior Scholarship Awards.

The money was raised from a 5K Run/Walk the athlete staged in her community on April 14 in honour of the late pastor of the Penwood Church of Christ. Senior died in September 2017.

“I speak with two different emotions; one of happiness for these kids, and one of sadness for the passing of a great man. Growing up in this church, I have always seen the efforts of Pastor Senior reaching out to help the less fortunate children and trying to ensure they get the basic opportunity of attending primary, high school or college,” said Fraser-Pryce who is still a member of the church.

“Under the umbrella of this church, many outreach activities have been established to assist community members. I will host this race annually in honour of his name and in an effort to assist those among us along the way to achieving their personal goals.”

Brent Dacosta is to be awarded a grant of $150,000 to attend the University of Technology as one of the first 10 beneficiaries. Fraser-Pryce is an alumnus of UTech.

Meanwhile, Andre Mason, Christina Hanson, Alaina McIntosh, Kayla McDonald and Amalie Thompson will receive $45,000 grants towards their high school education.

Cameron Miller, Makeba Haughton, and Dania Taylor will receive $30,000-grants towards their primary school education while Antoine Scott gets $20,000 towards his early childhood education.

The grants will be awarded at a ceremony at the Penwood Church of Christ in Waterhouse on Sunday, September 2.

The second staging of this SFP/Hugh Senior 5K Run/Walk will be held on Saturday January 19, 2019, inside the Waterhouse community.

Waterhouse has benefitted in other ways from the Fraser-Pryce’s largesse.

In May, she opened the newly refurbished Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce Resource Centre that will be a refuge for more than 400 students, who will use it as a skills-training facility and play area. It will also serve as a homework and study centre.

The Digicel Foundation refurbished the centre at a cost of $5.7 million. Digicel’s sponsors the seven-time world champion.

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Source: Caribbean News

10-Year-Old Violinist Leah Flynn for Aretha Franklin

Leah Flynn, 10, is a violin prodigy who began playing the instrument at 5 years old. The music enthusiast paid respect to Aretha Franklin, by performing a violin rendition of her 1967 hit single, “(You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman).”

Flynn is the daughter of Jamaican-born parents Paula and Lennox Flynn. Her father, a pianist and organist,  became a stay-at-home dad and music coach after suffering a stroke when Paula was just three months pregnant with their daughter. The 10-year-old became a member of Orlando, Florida’s Metropolitan Area Youth Symphony in 2013.  She also served as the concertmaster for the Intermezzo group nine months in 2015.

In 2017, the family started Hearts for Strings, a foundation to help spread the power and love of music especially in the African-American community.
By: Christina Santi

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Source: Caribbean News

Global star Tarrus Riley new Uganda Cricket Ambassador

For American-born Jamaican Tarrus Riley, cricket flows in his blood. Even before he could say anything, the Reggae Artiste was visibly excited to catch some action as Uganda’s African champions played out in a duel dubbed ‘Tarrus Riley Cricket Carnival’ at Lugogo yesterday.

His attention was undivided at the boundary as he got animated between the beautiful shots played and animated wicket celebrations by the girls. And Riley welcomed the appointment as Uganda Cricket Association (UCA)’s new global brand ambassador.

“It is part of me to support young guys and give them a chance and inspiration,” Riley answered when asked on his unrelenting role to lend a hand to several charitable causes across the globe.
“Music and sports rhyme along together. It is a good feeling being in Uganda. Watching the girls play makes me feel joy and for the girls to know someone like me is cheering for them makes them work harder to achieve success. Uganda is just like home and I am having the time of my life.”

Jazz Safari’s Tshaka Mayanja, whose brand sponsors the Men and Women’s National League for the last five years, said Jazz Safari was intent on promoting talent with a special attachment to women’s cricket.
“We are going to be here for long time in the future and Tarrus (Riley), too.

He is willing to lend a hand in whichever way he can. Uganda cricket can bank on him as they continue to strive for success. We urge you to give back in equal measure by turning up in droves for the Swangz Avenue Concert of The Year here on Friday,” said Mayanja.

UCA Board Women’s Representative Mary Makumbi handed over to the 39-year-old superstar with a Lady Cricket Cranes cap and jersey emblazoned with No.1 for his new role. And then captain Kevin Awino and assistant skipper Janet Mbabazi presented to him the two trophies Uganda won in United Arab Emirates and Windhoek, Namibia, where they won the African title last year.

By: Innocent Ndawula & Darren Allan Kyeyune

Original Article Found Here

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Source: Caribbean News

Meet Neelam Hakeem An Exquisite Lyrical Graceful Princess She is Dope

Ms Neelam Hakeem is a force to be reckoned with…Yes she is very very very attractive but besides the look an the elegant
garments she demolished the track with razor sharp lyrics and punch lines…Her voice is so clear over this  track as she
expresses pure poetry…He dropped concise and precise bars like “I don’t have time for you posers, I am the gun in the holster, Turn a boss into a chauffeur”. She flows effortlessly all over the track like and Instrument. She says ” give me space like and Astronomer, you are only conscious now because it’s popular”!…. She is dope and get used to her..You will here more from her for sure

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