Jamaica’s female team is made of talented schoolgirls Solesha Young, Dadrian Lewis, Brittany Murray and Kelsey Davidson. Last year, Murray helped Jamaica to the bronze medal with Young getting some experience in the individual singles. With Lewis a survivor of the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Jamaica may have a chance to repeat the third- place finish of a year ago. Puerto Rico took team gold in the CAC Games but comes to Kingston without its ace, Ariana Diaz, the world number 33. In those circumstances, the republic could upgrade the silver medal won in Cuba last time around. Still, the highest world-ranked women’s player is Diaz’s sister, Melanie, at 138, some distance ahead of Rachel Ortiz of the Republic who is world number 193. When Jamaica lost in the 2017 semis, it was at the hands of the Dominican Republic with a score of 0-3. The other semi-finalists were Guyana, who are also among the 10 countries who will do battle at the National Arena. None of the Jamaican girls are world ranked. Play starts at 9 a.m. on each day of the tournament, with a break on Thursday, with a resumption on Friday, September 28. SOME EXPERIENCE When the 60th Caribbean Table Tennis Championships begins today at the National Arena, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico will start as favourites over eight other countries in the team competition. Fresh from podium finishes at this summer’s Central American and Caribbean Games, and aided by the absence of last year’s hosts Cuba, those two countries assemble teams with quality and depth. Jamaica, with Simon Tomlinson and Kane Watson in form, fellow three-time national champion Chris Marsh aiming at a grand farewell before retirement, and tricky veteran Alphanso Morris, are stronger than last year when Watson went down with a leg injury early in the proceedings in Cuba. They face the Dominican Republic, second last year to the Cubans, and Puerto Rico, third last year. The latter team pushed Jamaica out in the quarterfinals, with a hapless Watson watching from the sidelines. The Puerto Ricans are led by Brian Afanador, who is world-ranked at 130 by the International Table Tennis Federation, and they arrive with the CAC Games men’s team silver medal. The Dominican Republic’s attack is led by reigning Caribbean singles champion Samuel Galvez, 242, and beaten semi-finalist Emil Santos, 179. By comparison, Tomlinson and Watson share the honour of being Jamaica’s highest-ranked male player at 1,034. However, the Jamaican pair has prepared for the Championships in the USA and have both achieved their highest US rankings ever.
Group C Yesterday’s results Wolmer’s 4 Jose Marti 0 Holy Trinity 3 Waterford 0 Pembroke Hall 1 Edith Dalton James 2 St George’s College’s coach, Neville Bell, said the difference between his team and St Andrew Technical was goalkeeper Jaedin White, who continued where he left off last season, and pulled off a string of saves to earn St Andrew a point in their top-of-the-table Group A Digicel/Manning Cup match at Winchester Park, yesterday. Akeen Brown fired the visitors into the lead after 58 minutes but Raheem Williams ensured a share of the points with a 69th minute header. However, had it not been for White’s heroics the hosts would have probably come away with all three points. The Cavalier ‘shot stopper’ denied the ‘Georgians’ two clear scoring chances in the first-half, then came back second half and produced another three fantastic saves to deny the home team. “Jaedin White was the difference,” Bell told The Gleaner. “He made about four or five saves, so he was the difference. We had opportunities to win the game but White was excellent. We are, however, leading the zone after fives games. The aim is to win the zone and we are on track.” St George’s who were dropping points for the first time in five matches this season, lead the group with 13 points. They are two points ahead of St Andrew Technical, who were drawing their second match of the competition. Meanwhile, White who was named player of the match, said his recent experience with the senior national team has helped greatly. “It’s a performance that comes from mental strength, because coming to ‘George’s’ is never easy, either for a big name team or a little team. But the experience I got from going to New York with the senior team against Ecuador helped me a lot. “There are mainly St George’s supporters here and during the match they are yelling at me and telling me this and that. But I know I am the one leading my team and at any moment I could be called up on, so I had to stay razor sharp. “I shouldn’t have conceded that goal but it is something to learn from. My team should have won the game despite the many chances St George’s got,” he stated. Charlie Smith 1 Eltham 0 Camperdown 2 Norman Manley 0 Meadowbrook 0 Jonathan Grant 1 Group G
COWAN’S INSPIRATION Peter Kavanaugh may be the forerunner in a new wave of Jamaican table tennis coaches teaching the game in the region, but he’s no newcomer. Inspired by a Caribbean hero, Kavanaugh has been playing and coaching the game for decades. Having just returned from conducting a training course for coaches in Grenada, he sees his work as a way to help youngsters. Kavanaugh’s time in the Spice Isle was the first opportunity for him to teach the game overseas, but it comes almost 40 years after legendary teacher Godfrey Dennis introduced him and a gaggle of Mandeville youngsters to table tennis. Kavanaugh has loved the game ever since. With his brother Everett also a steady player, he played high-school and parish table tennis and at The University of the West Indies (UWI), where he helped to elevate the game as president of that institution’s table tennis club. While he was at The UWI, he came under the influence of Fuarnado Roberts, the first Caribbean men’s singles champion, and learnt much. “Everybody knew Robbie had a love for the Caribbean,” he reminisced of the man who ended his career with three regional crowns. “He worked all over the place; he was a regionalist in his approach.” He’s been coaching since those days and has tutored several of Manchester’s brightest talents, including national players Nina Burton and Chantelle McLennon. The coaching bug bit deeper in 2002. “I think the first time I became interested in it was in 2002. Leandro Olvech, an Argentine coach who now serves as head of the International Table Tennis Federation Foundation, conducted a course in Mandeville in 2008. Seeing how Leandro made his presentation as a course conductor that day, I became interested in being a course conductor,” Kavanaugh said. He listed interaction with former national coach Winston Cowans, the 1975 Caribbean doubles champion, as another factor that spurred him on. He explained the motivation that led him to Grenada. “I wanted to spread the news of table tennis through the region,” he revealed, “so that the kids, the children within the various territories, can actually get an opportunity to learn the thing properly and have an impact in that way.” He believes Grenada was a divine choice. “They have only six level-one coaches here and one level-two so you look at your life, and you want to make an impact, where can you get the most impact, and if you get a call, and I believe there is a divine direction in this, so I accepted it,” he said. In an observation about the game in the region, he reflected, “The young people might start, but if they get an opportunity to go and live abroad, they’re going to take it. We call it the brain drain, but it’s an opportunity, so sustainability is always an issue.”
Jamaica made it through to the last eight of the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup after playing to a 1-1 draw with Curacao in their Group C game at the Banc of California Stadium on Tuesday. Jurien Gaari’s added time goal cancelled out Shamar Nicholson’s 12 minute strike, however, the Jamaicans advanced to the next round with five points, one more than Curacao. El Salvador’s 4-1 loss to the previously pointless Honduras means that despite the result, the Reggae Boyz topped the group ahead of Curacao, which ended with a better goal difference than El Salvador. Jamaica started well and had three great chances after just five minutes. The first fell to Nicholson, who did not get a clean strike and placed his shot wide. From the resulting corner Damion Lowe’s header was deflected on to the post for another corner, from which Nicholson headed down and over with the goal at his mercy. The Reggae boyz continued to raid their opponents and Nicholson and Watson missed good chances to put the team ahead. Jamaica should have taken the lead 12 minutes into the match but Nicholson hit the post with a curling shot and Andre Lewis kicked the rebound straight at goalkeeper Eloy Room. But a minute later the pair combined to give Jamaica the lead when they rushed their opponents into a hurried clearance and Nicholson turned Lewis’ off target volley home from six yards. Curacao came close to an equaliser in the 19th minute but an alert Andre Blake tipped Jurien Gaari’s goal-bound cross for a corner. Jamaica continued to create good openings despite taking their foot off the gas and Lowe missed another great chance from another Kemar Lawrence corner 38 minutes in. Jarchinio Antoni should have tied the game for Curacao but he dragged his shot wide with Andre Blake at his mercy. A minute after the interval Damion Williams almost put his name on the scoresheet but his effort, after being set up by Nicholson, was parried for a corner. Nicholson and Jamaica continued to waste chances and in the 61st minute he headed over from eight yards But Curacao who desperately hunted the equaliser, forced Blake into a save twice after 70 minutes and Nicholson, who should have had a hattrick, then shot over from 12 yards. Curacao kept at it and in time added on, Gaari, hit a scorcher from the edge of the penalty area that gave Blake no chance.
It is after much support that the Euphoria Dance Crew travelled to Trinidad and Tobago to compete in the World of Dance competition but unfortunately, they failed to get the nod from the judges.However, the Enigma Dance Group wowed the audience and the judges to come out on top of their category at the competition held on Saturday last. The group would have taken the top prize in the junior category of the competition.The Enigma Dance Group was founded in 2009 by director Lynn Medford-Ronnkvist. Enigma Dance Studio, a section of the group, has taken its talents countrywide and beyond Guyana also.The Group was founded specifically as a community awareness project in West Ruimveldt but as the years went by, it grew bigger and eventually moved to the Georgetown Cricket Club (GCC), Bourda, Georgetown.It was founded around the same time as the Guyana Youth Arts Festival and is directly linked to the original Youth Arts Festival in England. The Group started with 65 members, including 10 coordinators but has grown tremendously over the years.To date, the dance group has 63 dancers in categories from beginners to professionals. On April 7, five dancers accompanied by the Director travelled to Trinidad for the competition. The trip did pay off as they were recognised for their outstanding performance in the art form.Enigma offers cultural (Afro-Caribbean, latin and modern India), modern contemporary, ballet, jazz, hip hop and commercial dance classes. With the win, the group intends to defend their title in 2019.
Every human at some point in his or her lives has loved learning. From the tender age of three or four, we go through this phase of questioning how everything is, and why things work the way they do. For example, “Why is the sky blue”, “How do cars work?” . Why is it that as we grow older, we lose this inquisitive nature?One of the issues I faced, as a child, was that people always tried to limit how much I was allowed to learn based solely on my age. It was assumed that because I fell into a certain age group I would be unable to comprehend anything higher than the knowledge typically associated with that age range. If I questioned something, I would be met with unsatisfying answers such as, “You don’t need to know that”, or “You wouldn’t understand this”, and while, perhaps both of these may have been true, they were quite annoying to receive. I would have been much more content if someone had tried to explain to me as simply as they could the answers to my questions, or even encouraged me to do more research myself, giving me hints as to what I should look up. Yet, very few people go through the trouble of doing this.Time after time, people accuse the school system of teaching children what to think, of producing students who can only “regurgitate”, but maybe the reason for this is that within schools (and even at home), we don’t encourage students to think about their course material any further than what is provided. It is sort of like children are told something is a fact, and not taught to question why it is a fact, because they could not possibly understand the reason it is factual. Because of this, students lose their passion for learning. They are no longer learning because they wish to understand how the world works, but because they have to write an exam and this is what is required to do so. As a result, we get children who can tell you exactly what the textbook says, but probably not much more.This is not necessarily bad for exam pass rates, because if students adhere strictly to syllabi and can answer the questions perfectly, they are bound to pass. However, on the other hand, what effect does it have on the child? They no longer view learning as this amazing experience: a way to discover new things, but rather as a job, a chore, or something that they are forced to do. They don’t care about the things they are learning, and so find no enjoyment from them. One of the best things I think we can do is enable our children to think for themselves. We should encourage them to read books that might be a little difficult for a child at their age, encourage them to learn about sophisticated topics such as politics and social illnesses, so that they can begin to form their own opinions, and we should encourage them to keep asking questions by always providing them with fulfilling answers.
…on oil and gasHave you, dear readers, noticed that – as predicted by your Eyewitness – the price of oil dipped below US per barrel? As he said, US shale production – which Exxon has now jumped into – would rise faster than anyone was predicting; fast outstripping OPEC’s production cut that was supposed to create “tight supplies” and raise prices. The US stared down the Saudis – who’d sworn to break shale oil – and the Saudis blinked!!So what’s this got to do with us, apart from GPL making a killing, since its rates were set at US0 per barrel of oil?? Well, we return to the Government in general – and to Trotman in particular – who invoke oil ad nauseum since everything but gold has fallen apart from Government’s misguided policies. Now don’t get your Eyewitness wrong; he’s firmly convinced Exxon will make its final investment decision (FID) to go ahead.But as he’s been asking: What’s in it for us?? Even if we could ever keep tabs on how much oil Exxon will be pumping out – ha!! – can WE make anything on US oil?? Your Eyewitness is amazed that local reporters don’t ask Trotman these questions; instead, letting him get away with spouting hot air and adding to global warming!To misdirect folks terrified at the economy collapsing, Trotman started floating some nebulous US0M “oil processing facility” on Crab Island – which may have crabs, but is certainly no island! And this even though Exxon said it won’t touch that idea with a short-boom turret!! With that going nowhere, we now hear about him shelling out US0,000 to explore the idea of running a gas pipeline from the Stabroek Field to provide natural gas to fire a 200MW power plant.More pie in the sky, in line with Trotman’s mantra of “if you can’t impress them with facts, dazzle them with BS!!” And this is high-grade, pungent BS! Not the idea, but the mega-bucks being shelled out to some Texan for the “study!!” This stinks to the high heavens; and if SARA were even SLIGHTLY less politicised, they’d be investigating this deal. Sounds like that electricity barge Corbin brought in from Texas back in the day for millions and millions, but we never got a watt of power. Lots of “WHAT the F***”, but no power!!Anyhow, your Eyewitness has been pushing this Government to have a tie-in with Ghana on developing our oil and gas. They’re a decade ahead of us with their mirror Jubilee field.Why not ask them about the US0M contract they just signed with China for their gas pipelines from their underwater oil fields??…on EducationWe just had an Education CoI Report given to an Education Minister. Yes, another one; this time from a CoI headed by former long-serving Chief Education Officer Ed Caesar. HE must’ve received dozens of these reports in his time from the education ministers who preceded this one. The incumbent minister said he hoped this report won’t be left to gather dust.But that is exactly why your Eyewitness is worried. Since HE’s in charge, it’s up to THE MINISTER to ensure the report doesn’t gather dust. Since he felt it necessary to HOPE it didn’t, however, it’s clear that, like his predecessors, he’s expecting someone else to take charge to ensure the Report is implemented.Remember the “No child left behind” Reports?? Remember the “Change from tests to Assessments” reports? Remember the Improve maths report?? The Improve English Report? Remember the Science Kits Report?Well, this time there will be billions and billions of dollars from the World Bank to spend.Expect the “Where’d the money go?” Report!!…on Press FreedomThe PNC-led Coalition Govt complained that the Press Freedom report that dropped it THREE places on the world ranking is flawed!! When its predecessor PPP government was being given stick, the report was OK.It’s not fair that they changed the criteria just to penalise the PNC!!
Satiricus was a bit worried. He wasn’t getting clear signals from his leaders in the KFC on the party’s position in dealing with the big enchilada in the coalition – the Pee an’ See. Here it was that Nagga Man and Rum Jhaat were singing “Solidarity Forever”, but Trot Man was threatening to have the KFC fly solo in the local elections. As he swayed in his hammock reading the newspaper, Satiricus fell into a not-so-blissful slumber. And had this dream.“A wha’ raas yuh mek trouble fa, Trottie?” whined Nagga Man. “Yuh na know w’en yuh haan in tigah mout’ yuh gat fuh rub ‘e head?”“That’s the problem I have with you, Nagga Man,” said Trot Man sharply. “Half the time I don’t know what the arse you talking, with all yor parables.”“What he mean, Trottie, is you will p*ss aff de Pee an’ See?” explained Rum Jhaat in his town voice. “They might tell you to haul yuh ass!”“ME p*ss off Pee an’ See?!” exclaimed Trot Man, swirling his rum in his glass like his idol Burnt Ham. “I AM Pee an’ See!!”“See, Rum Jhaat?!!” shrieked Nagga Man. “Same t’ing me tell yuh. Yuh cyaan trus’ dem red people. Dem a cut all-two side like raza-blade!”“What’s he babbling about?” Trot Man asked Rum Jhaat.“He says you are playing both sides – the Pee an’ See and KFC,” explained Rum Jhaat in his town voice.“You mean I had to spell it out for you?” asked Trotman of Nagga Man, as he sipped his rum daintily. “What you think ‘Nassau’ is?”“Me t’ink you and Grain Ja bin pan vacation,” said Nagga Man weakly, as he eyed Trot Man’s rum. “Wha’ da?”“Explain ‘Nassau’ to him,” said Rum Jhaat before Trot Man could ask him anything.“Na! Me na kay ‘bout da,” interjected Nagga Man. “Wha’ da Trot Man a drink?”“Give him some rum to drink,” said Rum Jhaat to Trotman. “And you might as well give me some too.”“Haul yuh ass!” said Trot Man. “Go pat Grain Ja head!”
…from confrontationYour Eyewitness is beyond ecstatic today at the news he just received from the DPI! He’s practically jumping into the air and clicking his heels!! Moses Nagamootoo decided to make a stand against the PNC’s scuttling of the promises they’d made in the Cummingsburg Accord! Imagine that!! Who’d have thought he’d grow a pair after four years of humiliation and denigration?? But there it was, in black and white, on the DPI’s website, run by his loyal water boy.The first demand was he be put back in charge of “governance” – covering the entire gamut of governmental activities, rather than just being in charge of a DEPARTMENT peddling propaganda. And even there, the President’s PRO outfit dwarfed his two-bit operation. The worst mortification was having to personally write that weekly column in the Chronic, in which he had to sycophantly simper praises to President Granger. He pointed to the last one he wrote in yesterday’s edition, wherein he had to quote Granger at least four times!!The second demand was on the related Cummingsburg promise to have him CHAIR Cabinet meetings, rather than having him sit in and twiddle his thumbs. He wasn’t even allowed to report on his work to Cabinet, since he wasn’t running a Ministry but just a Department!! Now he’d probably be able to get back at those snotty PNC Ministers who snickered when he attempted to get a word into any discussion.But most of all, he insisted that Constitutional Reform begin immediately. He emphasised that it was a promise to the people, and he was a man of his word. Your Eyewitness is sure it had nothing to do with the fact that, in the Manifesto, the constitutional change emphasised that several powers of the president would be hived off and passed on to the Prime Minister. Which just happened to be Nagamootoo.To demonstrate that he was a “son of the soil” and a “man of the people”, Nagamootoo declared he would not be so ostentatious in public displays of his high status. He’d cut down the number of outriders that heralded his approach from twelve to eight!! He allowed that, sadly, he couldn’t reduce his whopping multi-million-dollar monthly salary, because then the Government would have to reduce the newly-conferred super pension of Hamilton Green. He didn’t want to embarrass that elder statesman, to whom he felt the PPP was very vindictive not to have awarded an Order of Roraima. He’d helped rectify that, hadn’t he?Finally, he announced he’d apologise to those 7,000 fired sugar workers whom he’d led up the garden path!Can’t believe this, dear reader?? Well, this is April Fool’s Day, isn’t it?…with the new mathFinance Minister Jordan has a droll sense of humour, but he keeps it well hidden, doesn’t he!! Take his “announcement” that GDP growth for last year was 4.1 per cent, and even exceeded the optimistic 3.4 per cent he’d projected back then. I know you thought, dear reader, that the man was off his rocker – but he anticipated April Fool’s Day! After all, sugar has tanked – even the Chronic’s article on Jordan’s projection quotes the CDB as saying it’s shrunk by 30 per cent.Bauxite is flat, with the Trump’s Deripaksha sanctions causing RUSAL not to ship for six months. Production at Guyana Goldfields, the largest producer, has shrunk and precipitated a shakeup in that company. Businesses have reported a slowdown in sales; yet President Granger – probably using the same new math that Jordan used — says they don’t know what they’re talking about!!You don’t know what “new math” your Eyewitness is talking about? It’s the same one that was used to decide that 33 isn’t greater than 32!!So each sector shrank, and yet the economy’s growth increased…with house to houseEven with a 60 per cent approval rate for the 72,000 who applied for US visitors’ visas, that means 43,000 were out in 2018 just to one destination.If the same number of persons are out of the country this year during HtH registration, what’s their voting fate??
…of terrorismNot unexpectedly, the US came out swinging at the PNC/AFC Government’s honouring of the terrorist Kadir. They were backed by Britain and the EU, whose innocent citizens have also suffered at the hands of terrorists in recent times. Terrorism – killing civilians to get at their governments – is an especially abhorrent scourge that’s sweeping the world. The Government’s action came on the heels of atrocious terrorist killings in New Zealand and Sri Lanka.The US, however, mentioned that it was the “National Assembly” that passed the repugnant motion. That’s technically true but there are two caveats to be noted. Only APNU (read PNC) and AFC’s MP’s were present – the PPP had boycotted the sitting. If they’d been there, your Eyewitness is sure their cogent moral arguments against terrorism in general and pulling the American tiger’s tail in particular, would’ve persuaded a couple of PNC/AFC MPs to vote with the PPP to defeat it.The second caveat is unlike the US, our Westminster system of government’s Executive is not SEPARATE from the Legislature (National Assembly). Every member of the Cabinet sits in the latter – AND THE Prime Minister (Nagamootoo in this case) explicitly represents the President! This was a PNC/AFC Government’s praise for terrorism. And not only for planning the JFK bombing – but passing secrets to Iran, a state branded by the US as “sponsoring terrorism”!But sadly, the international public will now see GUYANA also in that light and when travelling abroad we’ll not only get special frisking for drugs, but now special interrogation for terrorist links. And once you get on that list, you’re there till hell freezes over! That’s what the PNC/AFC have done to all Guyanese. The PNC, through its Chief Whip, desperately tried to extricate itself from shooting itself in the foot by adopting TUC leader Lincoln Lewis’ distinction in search of a difference – that Kadir was honoured for his parliamentary service only!! Wasn’t there a moment of silence back in January for him and two other MPs who’d passed on? They think the world is stupid??There are some who’re only blaming the sponsor and seconder of the motion for the mess the PNC’s gotten our country into. Well, rendition for sponsoring terrorism might be too harsh, but for sure the US should at a minimum cancel their visas immediately. But they cannot be made the scapegoat: the Chief Whip, Amna Ally, had to’ve approved the motion, and her visa should also be revoked. The motion also had to’ve been on the Assembly’s Order Paper at least a week ago. As such, the honouring of the terrorist Kadir had to’ve been approved by Granger himself!!Bun dem all!!…a la BurnhamNow some of his supporters see Granger as some big time military strategist because he attended a couple of courses at some War Colleges. But Granger is more than anything, an acolyte of Burnham, who he speaks of as the greatest strategist since Clausewitz!! Don’t forget that Burnham awarded himself a 2-star Generalship while Granger was just a Lieutenant!!Granger’s willing to take on the Americans because he’s imitating Burnham from the 1970s and ‘80s. The US was between a rock and a hard place on the communist threat at the time and Burnham could just point to Jagan and run roughshod over then US Ambassadors, like Carlson and King. The US even had to swallow Burnham’s co-op socialist swing!! What Granger seems to’ve forgotten, however, is, as Evan Ellis, professor for the US War College pointed out in his recent visit to Guyana, the communist bogeyman is long gone!! But the PPP and PNC have signed onto the free market regime.The US now has options to protect its strategic interests!…for a long timeBack when Buxton-based terrorists took on the PPP Government, they embarrassed the US by kidnapping the latter’s Caribbean security expert Stephen Lesniac and held him hostage.But the PNC insisted there were no criminals, much less terrorists, in Buxton!!