Tuesday, 19 January 2016

MAN TALK: Omar Holness’ soccer dreams + Mark Wignall riffs on political leadership + Hilary Beckles hails Team Jamaica

Noted West Indian academic Sir Hilary Beckles delivered a sharp and insightful keynote address at Friday night’s National Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year Awards at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, drawing special attention to Jamaica’s iconic perch in the global sporting arena. “Jamaica has done what many countries have aspired to do in many areas, but especially the sporting culture. This phenomenal achievement has been recognized and it has been respected,” said the Barbarian-born historian, author and former WICB member. “There is a tradition of excellence in Jamaica, and this excellence has to be maintained and it has to be sustained. It must be institutionalized and it must be industrialized.” Beckles is the current Vice-Chancellor of the regional University of the West Indies (UWI).

“Playing football professionally has been a dream of mine ever since I was a little boy,” shares fast-rising sportsman Omar Holness, who was recently selected by Real Salt Lake as the number-five pick in the Major League Soccer’s (MLS) Super Draft in the United States. “To finally realize that this is actually coming true is very exciting. I think what I am looking forward to most is making this transition and playing against my childhood hero, Steven Gerard.” The 21-year-old, who competed for the University of North Carolina’s Tar Heels for three seasons, is a former captain of the Reggae Boyz’ Under 17 team.

Newspaper columnist and current affairs commentator Mark Wignall has never been one to mince words when it comes to casting a keen eye over Jamaica’s political landscape. With Election Watch in full swing, his observations have become increasingly noteworthy. “Those looking at all possible sides of political strategy couldn’t eliminate the ruling PNP administration ceding power because the flame has singed its wings, and it wants to create distance from the agonizing heat. This would satisfy at least three objectives of the PNP,” he tells his Sunday Gleaner readers. “It would place the JLP as the team at the batting crease when the team is at its most dangerous, whether or not the bowling is good. It would also give the PNP the opportunity to rebuild its leadership and second-tier structure, a process more difficult to complete when the party has power.”






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