Tricia Robinson officially takes Netball Jamaica reigns

By February 10, 2020
New Netball Jamaica President Tricia Robinson New Netball Jamaica President Tricia Robinson

Tricia Robinson is the new president of Netball Jamaica after she was elevated unopposed during an Annual General Meeting at the Jamaica Olympic Association headquarters on Saturday.

Robinson is replacing Dr Paula Daley-Morris, who spent the last four years in office, is the outgoing president and should have been replaced from last December but the organization was unable to find a quorum and was also delayed by the absence of a financial statement.

Robinson comes into an organization with many problems, as Dr Daley-Morris’ tenure was frought with fighting among administrators.

At the AGM on Saturday, senior team coach Sasher-Gaye Henry was the most vocal of the high-profile members in pointing out to the new boss that there was much work to do.

According to Henry, it is disappointing to see how ‘rundown’ the sport had become in Jamaica.

Robinson will lead a board that includes Simone Forbes, Karlene Waugh, Jennifer Headlam, Keyan Murdock, Wayne Shaw, Leonie Phinn, Denise Wisdom, and Janet Johnson-Haughton.

Paul-Andre Walker

Paul-Andre is the Managing Editor at He comes to the role with almost 20 years of experience as journalist. That experience includes all facets of media. He began as a sports Journalist in 2001, quickly moving into radio, where he was an editor before becoming a news editor and then an entertainment editor with one of the biggest media houses in the Caribbean.

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    Two weeks ago a young footballer was shot and killed in Jamaica. Not long before that, the United States of America had a rejuvenation of its #BlackLivesMatter campaign following the death of George Floyd, who died after a policeman, Derek Chauvin, kneeled on his neck for almost nine minutes, camera rolling and all.

    It has been heartening for me to see black people from all over the world standing, marching, kneeling, lying face down, repeating Floyd’s last words ‘I can’t breathe’ together to say enough is enough.

    The reach of the Black Lives Matter movement has been incredible since Floyd’s death, reaching all over Europe, Canada, the Caribbean.

    But I am now hoping that there is another type of spill-over effect.

    Already, there is very little talk about the young man, Shemar Nairne, who was one of eight people murdered on a random Wednesday in Jamaica.

    Nairne played football for a living and he isn’t the first sportsman to be impacted by violence. Sports can no longer stand on the sidelines (the irony is obvious here), while the ills of society go without highlight.

    For a long time, sports has sought to stay out of the fray for fear that it will be used for political gain and lose its purity, its independence.

    But in Jamaica, just as has been the case in other countries, sport isn’t immune to the problems of the society it grows from.

    I asked the question, what will be sport’s response to the murder of Nairne and by extension the wanton violence that pervades an increasing number of spaces on the island of Jamaica?

    The responses were the very generic indignation that something like this could happen and the condolences to the family. It was not a George Floyd moment.

    Sports, like music, are great at bringing people together in Jamaica.

    I can remember watching Shell Cup football and being able to run through the spaces between the seats as Jamaica beat Trinidad and Tobago 2-0 to lift the crown.

    The peanut vendor never had to chance his arm when selling his product to me and hope that I was decent enough to pass the money person-to-person across rows of fans to get him his due. He came to my feet to sell me the salted delights and was in no danger of blocking anyone’s view.

    But then I can also remember that less than a decade later, I could not move more than a few inches either side of me when the Reggae Boyz were making their historic trek towards a first World Cup berth and the peanut vendor could not hear my screams for his attention. But Bunny didn’t mind. He was very much in the black with the number of orders he was getting. And violent crimes were down.

    I say all that to say, Sports and music,  have a major part to play in getting the perpetrators of violence in Jamaica to stop.

    Just as the Black Lives Matter campaign has gained worldwide traction and I witnessed as people like dancehall icon Bounty Killer waved placards in front of the US Embassy calling for an end to injustice for all black people, I want a concerted response from sports stars in Jamaica.

    Football clubs, cricket clubs, track clubs must lead the way in bringing about an understanding of the importance of life.

    I am fully aware of the fact that #GhettoLivesMatter is about putting an end to police excesses, but I believe the slogan can mean something bigger.

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    That being the case, #GhettoLivesMatter is apt.

    Let’s hear the voices of the Jamaica Olympic Association, the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association, the Jamaica Football Association, Netball Jamaica, the Inter-Schools Sports Association, the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the sports stars who fall under all these umbrellas.

    Justice for Shemar Nairne. #GhettoLivesMatter      

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    “Avoidance has never been a great tactic in solving any problem. It only makes matters worse.”— Says who?

    Though a happy school life depended on it, I avoided netball. Playing netball was a requirement for PE at my single-sex high school. If I wanted to progress with good grades, I needed to excel at it. But, I would purposely leave my gears at home— the oldest trick in the book. I’d tell my coach that, “it was better than being absent.” She was nice about it and didn’t mind me watching from the sidelines.

    While I watched, I didn't want to look too comfortable. I’d mimic the girls on the court. Pivoting was the worst. It was a burden to remember what foot did what. On a normal day, the only responsibility my feet had was to walk- lifting and setting down each foot in turn. I found it difficult to remember that I couldn't move the landing foot; other than to pivot on the spot. Once I lifted the landing foot, it couldn't touch the ground again until I released the ball. It was all too much! The mistakes stopped me from participating. Still, I managed to get full marks in netball.

    As the end of the semester approached, I noticed something. My coach for netball started avoiding us.

    When it was time for PE, there wasn’t anyone to hurry us up. Usually, we’d waste time in the locker room, doing absolutely nothing. Girls would spitefully change into their gears slowly and even pretended to look for missing gears. We would tell our coach that someone was missing their shirt (or any other item) and that we were helping her to find it. She thought the idea was rubbish and requested the owner to look for it. However, we wasted more time debating about why all of us needed to look for it together; obviously to find it quicker.

    We no longer heard her chafing. For most classes, our coach wore a top paired with polyester sweatpants. The pants were the loudest thing ever. Especially because our coach had thick thighs that would rub against each other, the fabric eliciting a distinct sound. We could always hear her walking towards the locker room to hurry us up.

    Now, P.E was basically conducted by us. Instead of being responsible and making our coach proud, we slowly neglected the session. We went about our business, roaming the campus; idling. It was risky though. If we got caught, the head of school would suspect something was wrong. She would figure that we weren’t in a class because our teacher was absent. Then, she'd appoint someone to oversee us. We didn’t want that. So we stayed on the court as much as possible having discussions about boys.

    When she did show up, she'd come late.

    One evening, while the girls and I were having a heated discussion about which teachers were pushovers, we heard that distinct chafing sound made when polyester pants rubbed. “Do you guys hear that?” One girl asked. “It can’t be!” said another. “There’s only like five minutes remaining for the class.” Another girl opined.

    Lo and behold, it was our coach. “Hello girls, how are you?” “I have a lot of explaining to do.” She explained why we hadn’t seen her in some time. Outside of coaching us, she had other obligations for netball. According to her, the tasks were time consuming.

    Almost interrupting her, one girl brought up more important matters. Since it was nearing the end of the semester, we wondered about our grades. We haven’t been learning anything and our confidence level to do a test for netball was low. About two months later, my report card showed that I passed netball.

    I’m not sure what happened but I try not to question it. Netball was good to me even though I avoided it. Avoidance works – doesn’t it?

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    Hey guys! Let’s talk about sports gear. Particularly the adorable ones netballers wear.

    Many years ago, I wanted to give netball a chance. It already had a lot going for itself.

    Yes, it is a space mostly for women (that’s nice and all) but... the outfits!

    The gears were so cute. I admired the over shoulder bibs, pleated mini skirts and sleeveless V neck tops. Actually, they looked too good to be sports gears. So I wondered how effective they really were.

    Personally, I’d find it hard to concentrate looking as cute as I do. Whether you like it or not, attractiveness takes up a big part of a woman’s life. We try to look our best most of the time. Inside, outside and online. Especially if you're representing a company or team. There’s an expectation that you are required to meet. They expect you to look a certain way since branding is everything.

    People associate your look with how successful you are and that impacts how you are treated. With that said, I’ll be more concerned about parading my gears instead of worrying about an actual match.

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    Who remembers Gabby Douglas? The American gymnast who became the first woman of colour to win the individual all-around event at the 2012 summer Olympics.

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    Yesterday I was watching a netball match. Specifically the 2018 Fast5 Netball World Series.  It was between Jamaica and New Zealand. I wanted to see how the gears are currently. I realized they didn’t have on over-the-shoulder bibs. Instead, the bibs were attached to their tops with what looked like velcro. During the match, a bib kept falling off. Players had to assist in sticking the bib back on. That’s not all. Jamaican players were seen dragging down their skirts to an appropriate length. I wondered if it was a distraction for them. It would’ve been for me.

    It’s no secret, athletes perform better with effective gears. In 2006, the NBA ditched their leather ball for a new one. The new ball had microfiber material which gave players a better grip. In other sports, effective gears allowed athletes to cut through air easier, glide through water quicker and run without slipping. Hence sports gears can influence performance.

    But netball doesn’t seem to have caught up just yet.

    Please share your thoughts about netball gears on Twitter (@SportsMax_Carib) or in the comments section on Facebook (@SportsMax). Don’t forget to use the hashtag IAmNotAFan. Until next time!

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