Sat | Oct 21, 2017

Sunshine Girls need better coaches

Published:Monday | May 29, 2017 | 12:03 AM

 

The Editor, Sir;

The recent series between Barbados and Jamaica's Sunshine Girls has been shocking and disappointing. Here I was thinking that even with a C team, Jamaica, being head and shoulders above our regional counterparts, would be able to pull off a series win. I was wrong. This article is by no means an attack on our beloved Sunshine Girls, but rather a look into a deep-seated problem, that of Netball Jamaica's selection of coaches.

The Sunshine Girls have had to adjust and readjust to several coaches over the years, a few of whom have been of foreign extract. It seems to me that Netball Jamaica is obsessed with foreign coaches, especially the white ones. First it was Australian Jill McIntosh, now it is British Jermaine Allison-McCracken. The question I would ask Netball Jamaica is, do you think these foreign coaches would be loyal to us that they would coach our girls to beat their native countries? Do they have our best interest at heart?

The deck seemed stacked against our local coaches who from time to time have graced the covers of the national programme but never seem to steal the show. Connie Francis, Minneth Reynolds and several others have done their stints but always seem to end up on the wrong end of the stick.

The programme is not just prejudiced against local coaches but men as well. In the words of former President Marva Bernard, until she sees a woman coaching football, "no man will coach the Sunshine Girls." Those words have hovered over the programme and managed to keep any man that would be interested in the top job at bay. We have many talented local coaches such as Winston Nevers, who have proven their worth and could have contributed greatly to the programme but alas, they are men and that has snuffed out any influence they might have had. Argument done!

The time has come for us to value our local expertise outside of nationality and sex.

Nardia Grant

nardiaj@gmail.com