A senior manager at the Jamaica Energy Partners (JEP) company has praised the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) for its efforts at managing talent as the country continues to do well in all but one regional cricket championship.
Echoing the sentiments shared by her company's CEO Wayne McKenzie, the human resources director for JEP, Odeth Reynolds, in addressing a function for the handing over of a sponsorship cheque worth just over $500,000 to the St Catherine Cricket Association, said she was proud of the investment her company was putting into the sport.
"We are investing in the future and it is a good investment and one that we are proud of. We hope it continues to grow and that the talent that exists will multiply.
"The Jamaica Cricket Association has done really well in the management of talent. There is Chris Gayle, Stafanie Taylor, Marlon Samuels, Nkrumah Bonner, and so on, who have done well under your leadership.
"Talent management, I believe, is your strength," Reynolds told a small group including JCA President Lyndel Wright and his Secretary Fritz Harris, who gathered at the JEP New Kingston office for the presentation last Wednesday morning.
MORE INVESTMENT NEEDED
With the low levels of sponsorship offered to cricket, Reynolds noted that there was a great need for more companies to get on board since professional players not only earn money for themselves but for their clubs as well.
Turning to the new and popular Twenty20 version of cricket, Reynolds said that the strong support, especially among the young, was good for nation building.
"Part of nation building is the investment one puts into sporting activities," she said, adding that sporting administrators should look to new ways to get a new generation of young people to play so the talent can be identified and developed in the game.
Wright, in lauding the company for its 13th year of sponsorship of St Catherine's cricket, noted that the game was not just about playing, but that it was a "life game" that came with certain values and discipline.
New president of the St Catherine Cricket Association, Milholland Barker, in accepting the cheque from Melissa Newman, public and community relations officer at JEP, expressed thanks for the sponsorship and told his audience that the parish was indeed grateful for the continued relationship that existed between the company and the association.
The financial contribution enabled the parish's cricket to grow, Barker said.
Barker added that the association has been able to attract 13 teams this season. Four teams, including defending champions Church Pen, opted not to participate at this time. The newcomers this year are Unions Estate CC and National Housing Trust Sports Club.