Thu | Aug 17, 2017

Hubert Lawrence | A victory over grief

Published:Thursday | September 29, 2016 | 9:00 AM
Parents of the late St George’s College Manning Cup captain Dominic James, Denese and David James watch on bravely during a match between St George’s College and Greater Portmore High School at Winchester Park, St George’s College. It was the team’s first game since Dominic’s passing.

 

2016 has seen its fair share of big sporting moments. For Jamaicans.

The Olympic sprint doubles by Usain Bolt and Elaine Thompson probably top the charts with the twin triumphs by the West Indies at the World Twenty20 World Cup being the biggest accomplishments early in the year.

Ranking right up there is a victory over grief.

Just days after their son Dominic James collapsed during a Manning Cup game, his parents - David and Denese - came to watch last Friday's match between St George's College, which their son captained at the time of his death and Greater Portmore High School.

To make their intent clear, they came wearing shirts their son wore during his time representing St George's. It would have been easier to stay away but the James' came forward to inspire their son's team-mates.

They wore light blue but their courage and dignity is an example for every Jamaican. I don't know how many of us could do that. I know I couldn't. In some ways, it's even more of a shot in the arm than those famous triumphs by Bolt, Thompson and the West Indies.

It is said that sport builds character. It tests character too and not just for those on the field of play. The West Indies' double T20 triumphs showed that regional cricket, in the shortest form of that venerable game, had the potential to be the best in the world. In Rio de Janeiro at the Olympics, Bolt, Thompson and Omar McLeod showed our world class prowess in athletics. Last week Friday, James' parents showed that there are times when Jamaicans are 'tallawah' off the field of play as well.

It won't be easy for Mr and Mrs James to get over the loss of their only son. Their memories will be bittersweet.

Even though they too played on bravely, the St George's Manning Cup players will need time to mend.

Thankfully, all affected parties, led by James' parents and their son's team-mates, have faced the tragedy bravely.

Together, they made Friday, September 23 one of the biggest days ever in sport.

• Hubert Lawrence has made notes at track side since 1980.