Paul Wright | Those who 'did know'
As our Reggae Girls travel to England to play against a female side from Nottingham Forest, as part of the Windrush commemorations, let us continue to keep these women in the national spotlight. The assistance of Cedella Marley and the Bob Marley Foundation and the input of the Alacran Foundation out of Great Britain, proved to be the impetus, financial and motivational, that our women needed in order to make the 'impossible' possible.
I am amased at the number of people ('wagoninsts' all) who have rushed to the airways and print media to claim some kind of paternity of this incredible achievement. Not a word has been said about the girls/
women and support teams (coaches, teachers, parents and well-wishers) who kept the dream alive when no one - yes, no one, who now claims paternity did anything to keep the dream of possible World Cup qualification alive.
I don't expect that there will be features remembering those who bore the brunt of criticism and lack of resources while continuing to play and arrange competitions, all with the forlorn hope of 'recognition'. But this is Jamaica, the land of 'I did know' whenever our talented and dedicated fellow citizens do well. Let us now see who will step forward with cash, and other vital necessities needed for the task ahead, to improve our ladies and make our foray into France memorable. I do believe that if we start by having the likeness of these ladies available on umbrellas, towels, mugs and other merchandise, we will generate added finances that can assist in purchasing some of the necessities of World Cup preparation. I am sure that our many and talented marketers will have other ideas that can attract the support from all of us 'who did know that we would be playing in France next year. Let us put our money where our mouth is!
Condolences are necessary for the friends and family of Daeshon Gordon, a youth record holder of the sprint hurdle event. She did the then fantastic time of 12.97 in 2015 as she tried to qualify for national selection. Ms Gordon passed away last week and early reports give the cause as a "heart attack". The sudden death of anyone, young or old, is usually devastating for those who knew or were close to the individual. With the young, the devastation can be catastrophic.
That being said, the next question is, "could we have known? Should we have known"? A pre-participation physical exam (PPE) that includes a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) evaluation is available here in Jamaica and came to national prominence after the tragic loss of young Jamaicans involved in sports. This comprehensive examination, that includes a question-and-answer segment that alerts the examiner to special areas that need detailed attention, is necessary for anyone involved in an athletic event. These examinations that should be mandatory before participation in any youth competition or mass-participation event, have discovered medical issues that were unnoticed by the examinee. This is so because a majority of those examined are having their FIRST such examination by a medical team.
Usually, people seek medical attention for a specific complaint which is usually adequately addressed by the medical professional involved. Things like the fact that close relatives have died of cardiac-related events before the age of 50 are not elicited, if the complaint is an increase in frequency of passing urine or a fractured limb. PPEs have discovered dental, vision and, indeed, cardiac abnormalities that did not previously attract the attention of the individual or their parent. So, once again, the call goes out: make PPEs and SC's mandatory for participation in youth sports and mass-participation events. Who knows whose life may be saved by this important examination? Over to you, ISSA.