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Heaven hopes improved fitness enhance performance of national cricket teams

Published:Thursday | May 14, 2015 | 5:00 AMJermaine Lannaman
JCA president Heaven

Head of the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA), Wilford 'Billy' Heaven, is hopeful that with the establishment of a fitness and wellness centre at Sabina Park, the performance of national cricketers and cricket teams will improve.

Speaking at the recent launch of the Sports Development Foundation-sponsored JCA Primary, All-Age and Junior High Championship, Heaven highlighted the need for players to be physically and mentally healthy.

This, he explained, would allow them to concentrate much better and for longer periods, leading to better output.

"One of the things that is identified as a major contributor to the low performance level over the years is the fitness level of our players, both physical and mental fitness," Heaven stated.

"I am therefore happy to announce that gym equipment

valued at US$60,000 will arrive in the country shortly, and thereafter we will establish our wellness

centre right here at Sabina Park."

The gym, which was part of Heaven's manifesto - prior to his election to office close to two years ago - will be made available to various national teams.

This include Jamaica's senior men's and women's units, as well as the Under-15, Under-17 and Under-19 outfits.

Regarding the schools' Championship, Heaven thanked the SDF for their continued support of the game at the grassroots level and encouraged the young players to dream big.

He said that cricket, like several established professions, can be a vehicle for economic prosperity, as it relates to on or off the field occupations.

"I am looking at the future leaders in cricket," he said.

"Future elite players, coaches, umpires administrators and future millionaires because you can make a worthwhile living out of cricket," he said.

The JCA Primary, All-Age and Junior High Championship will see 12 primary and four all-age schools from the country's 14 parishes, plus the municipality of Portmore, taking part for a grand total of 180 primary and 60 all-age schools.

The parish and Portmore winners in each category will then advance to round two, where they will compete in geographical clusters on a knockout basis, leading to the national finals set for June 25.