Tue | Jan 18, 2022

Paul Wright | Windies deserve our support

Published:Tuesday | January 21, 2020 | 12:00 AM

The RJRGLEANER Sports Foundation National Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year Awards went to Tajay Gayle on the men’s side and the great Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce for the women as predicted and expected.

The glittering ceremony at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel registered the appreciation of a tense and unsettled nation, for moments of joy and a reason to celebrate the athleticism and sporting prowess of our citizens who continue to defeat the world in sports, even though we lack the financial resources of the more populated and sport-friendly nations of the world.

Our professional athletes across many sporting disciplines are not only providing for their financial future and that of their families, but they are lifting the spirits of all of us. So it is fitting that they be regaled and feted.

The principals at the Foundation have found it necessary to add different categories for recognition and reward nationals who for one reason or another do not command the media frenzy/attention that some of our stars demand. These men and women provide not only the administrative and behind-the-scenes expertise that help to make success possible.

The young have not been left out. Those youngsters that matter, the performers, also had their moment of glory and recognition. The “bad news” is that their special moment was literally behind closed doors as the nation with access to free-to air-television were denied the opportunity to join in their moment of “joy”. The audience, limited by space, comprised specially invited guests with the recipients being allowed the luxury of a few tickets.

This group of awardees are for the most part amateurs whose reward is not only personal satisfaction at a job well done, but the adulation of a public, who are anxious for these young ones to equal and potentially better the exploits of icons and adults, who have blazed the trail of excellence that they are striving to follow.

I am suggesting that consideration be made to have this annual spectacle of appreciation be moved to the National Arena and allow the public; we the people, to be a part of this celebration. I have spoken to many fans and supporters who would have loved to be there when their heroes are recognised. Congratulations to all the awardees. Your dedication and expertise have made us proud and happy to be Jamaican.

Windies steady rise

In cricket, the West Indies have continued their steady and continued rise from the doldrums of minnow status to contenders, going toe-to-toe with the best, even winning some of the contests.

So, every West Indian cricket fan should be pleased. Unfortunately, not everyone who claims to love cricket is happy. The match-winning exploits of Dwayne Bravo and skipper Keiron Pollard ensured a comprehensive victory in the last T20 International against Ireland. Yet, the bowling and batting of recalled veterans of the game are criticised and pooh-poohed only because they are showing up the short-sightedness and “bad mind” of the previous administrative policy of demanding and rewarding fealty to administrators instead of judging a cricketer on his form and talent. The present group of cricketers now performing and doing what is necessary to gain selection and do well in future engagements when the quality of opponents is enhanced.

We are winning. We are performing. Let us all with one accord support our sporting ambassadors. They are on the field of play. The support of ALL OF US does wonders for their peace of mind. Go Windies!