Gibson/McCook Relays alive and kicking

first_img The love and respect for the giant of a sporting icon, seeming to be ever present asserted itself even more in what the professor must have thought was the final query as he offered a sum up remark. “However, the basic attitudes, values and principles are the same ones enunciated by Bishop Gibson and the Honourable Neville Teddy McCook. We will not change a winning formula.” Foster’s Fairplay is not known to sideline those who are the major players – spectators. They should always receive value for funds spent. Many come to the park seeking innovations or features, new or established, which will heighten the appeal of and ensure lasting interest in the spectacle. With this in mind and alert to scarcity of disposable income to satisfy a sophisticated entertainment appetite, there would be no ignoring that. The man who seems to forget his auspicious title, calling himself simply ‘Rainford’, responded. “The GMR is a spectacle, its essence is high-quality athletics executed efficiently and on time. Jamaica is the focus and repository of high-quality athletics, and relay running in particular, and we feel no pressure to change anything, except being more efficient.” He referred to the GMR as “a training ground for track and field officials”. About overseas participation? “(It) would complement the meet and we would welcome it, but it is difficult to arrange for a variety of reasons. We continue to pursue that initiative and we will see how it goes when the opportunity presents itself.” On future plans? “We are in a strategic review process and will have to pay attention to several factors, including sustainable funding, penetration of the Caribbean and wider NACAC area in order to contribute to regional development of athletics. But short of extending to a second day, there is little room for change.” The chief organiser was less effusive on the 2016 features. “We will introduce a bit of spectacle for some of the championship events this year with the help of (sponsors) Digicel. Our emphasis is on quality and efficiency in a safe, fun-filled environment. The spectacle will come from the performances.” Rest well, Teddy. The Gibson McCook Relays will live on. n For feedback, email lauriefoster2012@gmail.com. Last week, the team leader of the organising committee of the Gibson-McCook Relays (GMR) was interviewed on KLAS Sports Radio. Any sentimentally inclined sporting enthusiast must have been duly moved. Foster’s Fairplay was privileged to have been part of the audience. The show, configured for the ‘riding home’ pleasure of working class Jamaica and hosted by a Fortis stalwart in sports journalist, Stratton Palmer, drove home a salient point. The rich legacy of the event, conceptualised and cofounded by bright minds, was alive and kicking. Forty years ago, inspired by visits to the world acclaimed Penn Relays Carnival, Jamaica’s now departed track and field icon, the energetic and ebullient administrator, Neville ‘Teddy’ McCook, could no longer ignore the bee in his bonnet. The concept, aligned to the energy and enthusiasm to create and replicate for his own, led to the founding of the Gibson Relays, as it was first named. Why not, as the Reverend Percival William Gibson, born in the same year as Prime Minister Norman Washington Manley – had played such a significant and seminal role in the shaping and steering of the McCook of the 1950s. The term ‘no-brainer’, not yet hatched, would now be quite appropriate. It is no easy task to have Kingston College old boy and former athlete medical professor Rainford Wilks speak about the planning team and his achievements. However, it would be a journalistic faux pas not to try. He was quizzed on attempts to emulate the McCook model and sustain the principles, prestige and precision of the event. He explained: “The organisation and execution are based on the same principles as under Mr McCook. The committee consists of complementary personalities and skills required to execute the meet, many carefully chosen by McCook himself and serving long internship – are very prepared for the job.” The assessment demonstrated a stark and unapologetic resolve to laud the work of the man who threw the first die. There was more to come. “We have enhanced the organisation with modern information and communication technology, as well as organisational and accounting principles and requirements.” LOVE AND RESPECTlast_img read more

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This is for dad – Cousins … Humble Lion star stays strong after father’s death

first_imgSunday April 10, 2016 is a day that will be etched in the memory of seven-time capped midfielder Ricardo Cousins. The player, who impressed with his quality as a schoolboy at Glenmuir High School was having one of his better days in recent memory. He had just scored the opening goal in his team’s 2-1 win over ‘League’ champions and his former club Portmore United in their first leg semi-final of the Red Stripe Premier League. It was wonderful time for him and the ‘poorer’ of the two ‘Clarendon’ clubs in the Red Stripe Premier League, Humble Lion(s). They had one foot in the final of the knock out stage of the competition, a first for them and their dream of going all the way was alive. Cousins was doubly happy, not just because of the major role he had played in the victory but also because his biggest fan and the one person who had been present at all his local games from schoolboy level upwards, was there to witness it. Things could not be better. So he thought. After all, he had left him, his father Conrad Cousins, at home taking a shower in preparation to attend the match and had no reason to believe that he was not present. He always was. “Normally at the matches I would glimpse him in the crowd but it was a big, big crowd so I didn’t see him and did not think anything of it,” explained the 28 year-old. When he got home cousins expected to see his father at home and he did. “When I reached home I figured that he had got back home. I switched on the television and called out to him but did not hear him. I checked the bathroom and saw him lying in the bath looking like he was relaxing and had probably dozed off. I called out to him but did not get a response,” the all action midfielder said. He Continued, “I touched him in the head twice and said to him, ‘how yuh tired so like is you play the match?’ but I did not get a response. I then realised that something was wrong.” Naturally, the realisation shocked him but Cousins, the only member of his immediate family still residing in Jamaica and who shared house with his 52 year-old father, said he had to gather himself and handle the situation. “I still can’t describe the feeling that went through me when I realised what had happened but I had to gather myself and be strong,” said the man who won two Premier League titles with Portmore United in 2008 and 2012. So strong was he that three days later he was back at training and witnessing his father’s autopsy. “I took two days off but went back to training on Wednesday and then went to witness the autopsy,” the Clarendon resident said. “Everyone is asking me if I can play the next leg tomorrow (today) and my thing is of course. When you have a job, any job you have to do what you have to do and with football for the time that you are out on the field it takes your mind away from everything so I will be there,” he said of the very important second leg semi-final set for the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex at 8:40pm. The added incentive of playing for his father is also a reason. “I can’t stop now. I have to finish what I started. It is not a choice. “I did pledge to win it (the title) for my people and he is a big part of that,” he said defiantly.last_img read more

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