Jamaica to reward Netball World Cup bronze-medal winning Sunshine Girls

By Sports Desk September 06, 2023
Minister Olivia Grange with members of Jamaica's Sunshine Girls Minister Olivia Grange with members of Jamaica's Sunshine Girls Contributed

The Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, has unveiled a significant token of appreciation for the remarkable achievements of Jamaica's Sunshine Girls netball team at the recent Netball World Cup held in South Africa.

Minister Grange announced on Tuesday that the Ministry will provide direct payments totaling more than JMD$6 million to the players and coaches who represented Jamaica with distinction on the international stage.

During a heartwarming courtesy call held at her New Kingston offices, Minister Grange welcomed the triumphant Sunshine Girls, who secured a bronze medal at the World Cup. She expressed the Ministry's profound gratitude and admiration for their outstanding performance.

"The Sunshine Girls will each receive a direct payment of JMD$300,000, which will be promptly credited to their accounts. This gesture reflects our deep appreciation for your dedication and accomplishments," the minister proudly declared.

In addition to acknowledging the players, Minister Grange extended her gratitude to the coaching staff, who played an instrumental role in the team's success. Coaches will receive JMD$200,000 each, and members of the management team will be rewarded with JMD$100,000 each.

 Minister Grange emphasized the significance of the support team and encouraged the Sunshine Girls to recognize their invaluable contributions. Highlighting the Ministry's unwavering commitment to sports development, Minister Grange revealed that a sum of J$20 million was allocated to Netball Jamaica by the Ministry to facilitate Jamaica's participation in the Netball World Cup. This investment underscores the government's dedication to promoting excellence in sports.

Further, Minister Grange disclosed plans for an upcoming celebratory event dedicated to honoring the exceptional achievements of the Sunshine Girls and other national representatives in various sporting disciplines throughout the year.

The event will bring together the Sunshine Girls, the Reggae Girls, and the successful female volleyball team that excelled at the CAZOVA championships. Minister Grange emphasized the importance of celebrating the accomplishments of Jamaican women in sports.

Regarding the celebratory function, Minister Grange stated, "I am pleased to announce that I will be hosting a special congratulatory function that will encompass the Sunshine Girls, the Reggae Girls, and the female volleyball team. As women, it's time to come together and celebrate our remarkable achievements."

Details regarding the format and date of this celebration will be unveiled at a later date. The Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport remains committed to uplifting and supporting Jamaica's athletes and recognizing their exceptional contributions on the global stage.

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    The young Gems, led by goalshooter and tournament Most Valuable Player (MVP) Keanna Harte, outclassed their opponents 27-19 to again end the tournament with an unbeaten record intact.

    Harte netted 19 of her 21 attempts, as goal-attack Tyesha Trotman scored seven of her 10 attempts, while Tyra Griffith had a solitary goal from three attempts. Grenada's effort was led by Keisha Mathurine who scored 17 goals from 22 attempts and goal-attack Reshonna Francis, who had two goals from three attempts.

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    To stamp their dominance, the Baby Gems also took home the majority of awards on offer. They won prizes for best uniform, most disciplined team, best spirited team, best goal average and best defending team, and placed second in the shooting competition.

    Harte along with Deeya Forde-Haynes, Chelsea Best, Trotman and Griffith were also named in the top 16 players of the tournament.

    President of the Barbados Netball Association, Dr Carmeta Douglin was full of praise for the team. She said the impressive showing by the Cameron Greenidge-coached team was as a result of hard work and dedication by the juniors.

    “A big congratulations to our Baby Bajan Gems who have done extremely well once again at the Jean Pierre Caribbean Netball tournament. They have dominated this tournament for the last three years winning every game that they played and this year in St Lucia they were victorious in every game in the preliminary round, in the knockout and now they are the champions once again, so congratulations to the entire team," she told Barbados TODAY

    “They usually start very slow in the first and second quarters, but they built the momentum and by the third quarter they really outplayed everyone. They also captured a number of different awards, and we would like to congratulate every player,” Douglin added.

  • T&T's Wallace-Joseph faces backlash for social media post about International Transgender Day on Easter Sunday T&T's Wallace-Joseph faces backlash for social media post about International Transgender Day on Easter Sunday

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  • Grange offers extra incentive to players as St Patrick's, Corinaldi Avenue cop Insports primary schools' all-island netball, football titles Grange offers extra incentive to players as St Patrick's, Corinaldi Avenue cop Insports primary schools' all-island netball, football titles

    St Patrick’s Primary of Kingston and St Andrew retained their INSPORTS Primary Schools All-Island Netball title, while St James’ Corinaldi Avenue Primary were crowned football champion on Tuesday.

    St Patrick’s defeated Bethabara of Manchester 23-21 in a close encounter played at the Leila Robinson Court at Independence Park, while Corinaldi edged Rosseau Primary, also of Kingston and St Andrew, 6-5 on penalties after battling to a 0-0 draw in regulation and extra time.

    Both all-island champions walked away with $200,000 each, as the runners up collected $125,000 each.

    Third-place finishers White Horses Primary of St Thomas and Portland’s Port Antonio Primary earned $75,000 for their efforts in the netball and football competitions respectively. White Horses defeated Corinaldi of St James 20-17, and Port Antonio bettered Holland Primary 3-1 on penalties.

    The fourth-placed teams received $50,000 each.

    Both winning coaches, Lecia Walters of St Patrick’s and Recardo Esmie of Corinaldi were rewarded with $10,000 each.

    Shantae Powell of St Patrick’s and Donovan Carey of Corinaldi were the Netball and Football MVPs. This was especially nice for Carey, who suffered a broken leg last year.

    While applauding the winners, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports, Olivia “Babsy” Grange, who assisted young Carey last year, revealed an additional incentive.

    “It has been a thrilling season with fantastic performances from all of our teams. This is a testament to all the hard work and dedication that has been put in over the season and I am proud to see such wonderful talents on display,” Grange said during the closing ceremony at the National Arena.

    “In addition to the prize money, twenty (20) football students (male and female) will be offered the opportunity to attend a one-week football camp to be hosted by the Spanish club OSASUNA from April 8-17 at the Barbican AstroTurf,” she shared.

    “This will be an incredible opportunity for our young athletes to hone their skills and learn from some of the best in the business. Furthermore, five primary school coaches will also be offered the chance to attend the camp to enhance their knowledge and expertise in the world of football,” the minister added.

    That said, Grange made mention of Jamaica and Chelsea’s rising sensation Dujuan “Whisper” Richards, who was discovered from this same competition.

    “A few years back for the 2015/2016 season, we unearthed one Dujuan ‘Whisper’ Richards of Harbour View Primary, who went on to Kingston College and made a name for himself in the Manning Cup and now, he is at one of the biggest clubs in the world – Chelsea FC,” she noted.

    “This is the kind of impact we want coming out of these football and netball competitions. These programmes will enable us to bring to the fore, the best talent in a competitive environment in line with INSPORTS mandate of unearthing talent in every nook and cranny of Jamaica,” Grange explained.

    The INSPORTS competitions – arguably the best of their kind anywhere in the region – started in December 2023 with 280 schools involving 4,200 kids in netball and 5,600 in football of which 560 were girls, as each team needed to have 2 girls.

    Result

    Netball

    St Patrick’s Primary 23 vs Bethabara Primary 21

    White Horses 20 vs Corinaldi Primary 17

    Football

    Corinaldi 0 vs Rosseau 0 (Corinaldi won 6-5 on penalties)

    Port Antonio 0 vs Holland 0 (Port Antonio won 3-1 on penalties)

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