Latanya Wilson, the Jamaican netball star who recently received a new home from the Government of Jamaica following the tragic loss of her family's home to arsonists on August 17, has expressed her heartfelt gratitude for the steadfast support she has received from the Grace and Staff Community Foundation.

On Wednesday, September 6, the Government of Jamaica, in partnership with the National Housing Trust, provided Wilson with a new house in St Catherine on a lease-to-buy basis. This generous gesture came as a glimmer of hope for Wilson, who plays for the Adelaide Thunderbirds in the Suncorp Super Netball League, where the Thunderbirds were crowned the 2023 Super League champions.

In addition to the housing assistance, the GraceKennedy Foundation extended their support by contributing bags of essential food items and a cheque for J$250,000 to assist Latanya and her family during this challenging time.

The Grace and Staff Community Foundation has been a pillar of support in Latanya Wilson's life, dating back to her high school years when they assisted with tuition expenses. Sandrina Davis, the CEO of the Grace and Staff Community Foundation, spoke about their ongoing involvement with Latanya and the decision to help her during her time of need.

Davis shared the foundation's commitment to downtown Kingston, saying, "Our Grace and Staff Foundation works with a lot of our students from the downtown area. In our 44th year, we've seen a lot of our young people grow up just like Latanya. Latanya through high school was on our tuition assistance program, studied in our homework centre, interacted with our social workers and our counsellor, and then she became an adult. We've been watching from the sidelines and cheering her on."

She continued, "And even as something unfortunate happened, it was our joy to be able to still come on board and, as I call it, continue to support her just as we have been in years before. So today (Wednesday) we wanted her to have all the good things to eat in that new space through the donation of some Grace products. And our group CEO, Mr. Don Wehby wanted to make sure that there was something else tangible. And so there's a cash donation to Latanya and her family today as well." 

Davis emphasized that the foundation's support extended beyond material assistance, stating, "I don't know how many people know about the foundation providing psychosocial support, so our beneficiaries, a lot of the children who have been impacted, have been coming into our office and having their own consultations in that way so that they can deal with the trauma."

In response to the generous contributions, Wilson expressed her deep gratitude, saying, "Yes, we definitely have a family with GraceKennedy in the sense that I used to go to their youth development program back when I was in high school, and to see, you know, still keep the connection even while I'm still attending MICO University and to see the unfortunate situation present and they're coming on board to actually assist is heartwarming."

Wilson continued, "There are not enough words that I can really express how grateful I am to them because they have already given me goodies already, and for them to come back again and give me more goodies and cash, it's amazing, and it's only one step closer to getting this nightmare over."

The support and love from the Grace and Staff Community Foundation and the larger community have been a source of strength for Wilson and her family during this challenging period. Their unrelenting commitment to her well-being is a testament to the power of community and the spirit of unity in Jamaica.





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.

In a historic and heartwarming gesture, the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) announced today, Monday, August 28, that they will be rewarding the stellar achievements of Jamaica's netball players with JMD$1 million each (about USD$6000) for their triumphant performance at the Netball World Cup, where they clinched the bronze medal.

The JOA's rewarding initiative encompasses a comprehensive approach, aiming to not only honor the team's success but also contribute to their future financial stability. Each player from the bronze medal-winning team will receive JMD$1 million from a joint reward from Supreme Ventures Limited and Mayberry Investments.

The JMD$13 million in rewards will go towards funding investment accounts at Mayberry Investments for each medallist. The funds will be under management at Mayberry Investments for a period of three years or until the athlete's retirement from netball, whichever comes earlier.

The announcement, made at the JOA headquarters on Cunningham Avenue in Kingston on Monday, August 28, marks a momentous occasion as the JOA has never before rewarded a team and their coach for their exceptional performances. Following the Tokyo Olympics, the JOA had rewarded the track and field athletes a total of JMD$45 million.

This unprecedented decision is a testament to the remarkable journey and victories of the Jamaican netball team. Over the years, they have showcased their prowess, securing victories like the CAC gold, which ultimately culminated in their monumental success at the Netball World Cup.

Ryan Foster, General Secretary of the JOA, expressed the significance of this moment and the association's pride in the team's accomplishments:

"Today, the Jamaica Olympic Association celebrates and acknowledges your achievements on the court but we also want to reward them. We have watched with pride over the years of the success and progress made by our Sunshine Girls and are elated that we have been a part of that journey along with our partners SVL and Mayberry."

Foster recounted the dedication of the team and the vital role that the JOA, along with its partners, played in supporting the sport's resurgence after the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic:

"I remember when President (Tricia) Robinson came to us seeking ways to restart the sport after COVID and the most important goal was to get the Elite League and the National League going, and the JOA along with SVL and Marathon have invested over JMD$9 million in the restart of the Netball leagues."

Highlighting the team's historic accomplishments, Mr. Foster emphasized that the bronze medal at the World Cup was the perfect culmination of their remarkable journey:

"Following upon the Commonwealth Games, Caribbean Games, and CAC, all historic performances, it was only fitting that the icing on the cake was the World Cup. The JOA and our partners salutes you and your contribution to Jamaican pride, sports prowess, and generally being great ambassadors of not only yourselves but also of the JOA and our partners."

Acknowledging the pivotal role of Coach Connie Francis, Mr. Foster announced a reward of JMD$2 million for her extraordinary leadership.

"For the signal work done by Coach Connie Francis, the JOA will reward the coach extraordinaire with an amount of $2 million," Foster said.

Recognizing the strength of their netball family, the JOA extended a helping hand to Latanya, contributing $1M towards her recovery. Wilson recently lost her home and all her personal belongings including her trophies and medals when arsonists set her home on fire.

"It is in times of distress and crisis that we see the heart of our family, and Latanya, you are family. With that said, the JOA will contribute JMD$1 million towards your road to recovery."

As the JOA, SVL, and Mayberry unite to celebrate the achievements of the Sunshine Girls, Foster assured that the journey is far from over, with the promise of continuous collaboration and support.

"Life is what you make it. Journeys are made to be explored and memories last a lifetime. Your memorable accomplishments have warmed our hearts, and similarly, when you were to restart the sport, we will continue the journey hand in hand, a marriage that won’t be broken."

Foster extended gratitude to SVL and Mayberry for their partnership and dedication to the athletes' success, foreshadowing further exciting announcements as the journey towards the Olympic year continues.


Minister of sports Olivia Grange and Netball Jamaica are leading the charge to assist Sunshine Girls defender Latanya Wilson and her family to get back on their feet, following the loss of their home in an early morning fire at Rum Lane in Downtown Kingston on Thursday.

Details surrounding the incident is unclear, but it is understood that Wilson’s house was one of three that went up in the blaze.

Wilson, an exciting player with a wealth of potential, was among the Sunshine Girls team that secured bronze at the Vitality Netball World Cup in South Africa, recently.

Grange, who is currently at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary, revealed that she has already made contacts to secure help for Wilson and family.

“It is particularly painful that Latanya, who was a member of the bronze medal Jamaica team at the recent Netball World Cup in South Africa should suffer this devastating loss,” Grange said in post on social media site X, formerly Twitter.

“From Budapest where I am right now, I am making contacts to get immediate assistance for Latanya and her family,” the post added.

The 22-year-old Wilson, who plies her trade in the Suncorp Netball League in Australia, is currently in the island on break.

Leonie Phinn, a member of Netball Jamaica’s board, expressed the effects of the situation on Wilson and her wider netball family.

“They lost everything and so it is devastating to the entire NJ family. As you know our girls are closely knit, so we are all grieving with Latanya and everyone has reached out and offer their love,” Phinn told

“We have reached out to her and are rallying support through some channels we have, in addition to working with the minister, whom we are in dialogue with. So, we are doing everything possible to get Latanya the support needed,” she noted.

The Jamaica Olympic Association has lavished praise on the country’s netball team that won the bronze medal at the just-concluded Netball World Cup in South Africa. After losing their semi-final 57-54 to eventual champions on Saturday, the Sunshine Girls rebounded on Sunday to defeat prior champions New Zealand 52-45 to secure the bronze medal, their first at the championships in 16 years.

According to the JOA, the Sunshine Girls quest for gold at the Cape Town International Convention Centre in South Africa, which had been the home of the Netball World Cup for the couple of weeks,  ended with a well-deserved bronze. But their heroic journey remains imprinted in the sporting landscape and hearts of many and foremost the apex local body.

“Gold was not the medal but golden was the achievement, golden is the future of the sport and golden will be the legacy,” said Secretary General and Chief Executive Officer, Ryan Foster.

“The JOA is reveling in the sunshine as we celebrate the commitment, courage, purpose and professionalism of our girls who continue steadfastly to keep their appointment with destiny.”

The hour will come when the world will acknowledge the Sunshine Girls as its champion in netball and the hope is “that the cup will, in the near future, come home to Jamrock where it will become the cornerstone of the ambitions of young girls in the sport and the foundation of Jamaica’s dominance on the global stage,” Secretary General Foster further commented.

The JOA is of the view that netball has earned a right locally to be a flagship sport and with the accomplishment in Cape Town and the historic gold medal in the recent inaugural tournament at the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games in San Salvador, it has nothing more to prove.

“Netball’s credentials are well established and its pedigree as a leading sport is not up for debate for as we say ‘argument done,” JOA President Christopher Samuda stated.

“The Tricia Robinson-led netball administration and national coach, Connie Francis, can be justly proud of the sport’s achievements which continue to gain the applause of a global audience. The future continues to be bright and secure in safe hands.”

Jhaniele Fowler, one of the most imposing and skillful shooters in Netball, headlines a strong 15-member Sunshine Girls squad to the highly anticipated Vitality Netball World Cup in South Africa later this year.

The Jamaicans, ranked number four in the world, will be hoping to improve on their disappointing fifth-place finish at the 2019 World Cup in Liverpool, with 10 players from that squad being retained for this year’s showpiece, scheduled for July 28 to August 6.

Expectations are high that the formidable mix of seasoned veterans, including Romelda Aiken-George, who recently returned from giving birth, and rising stars, such as Crystal Plummer, Kimone Shaw, Abigale Sutherland and Latanya Wilson, who have proven their mettle on previous occasions, will deliver exceptional results.

They will seek to add a gold or silver to the country’s three World Cup bronze medals won in 1991, 2003 and 2007.

Head coach Connie Francis, who will be assisted by Keyan Murdock, is anticipating a successful campaign with her team.

“All the players have been doing their work and are presenting well. The strength in depth of quality of players we now have at our disposal, fighting to get on court for the Sunshine Girls makes the selectors job very challenging and makes Jamaica a big threat to the top three countries going into the World Cup this summer,” said Francis.

“We have seven ladies currently playing in the Suncorp League and dominating the statistics at both ends of the court and locally we have our attacking core which includes three players who are making their third World Cup appearance,” she noted.

Specialist Coach Rob Wright, who will spearhead the team's strategic preparations, is also a part of the coaching staff.

Netball Jamaica President Tricia Robinson expressed sincere gratitude to all sponsors for their invaluable contributions in ensuring $41 million of the required $51 million for the team’s participation, is already in the bag.

This, she said emphasizes the critical role they play in helping Jamaica's netball team prepare for the World Cup.

“The support of our sponsors enables the team to focus on achieving greatness and represents our collective effort to elevate the sport to its rightful status with an elite world ranked team within the Nation’s sporting greats,” said Robinson.

The team will depart for their final training camp in South Africa on July 14, before bowing into World Cup action on July 28.

Squad: Romelda Aiken-George, Shanice Beckford, Jhaniele Fowler, Shimona Nelson, Rebecca Robinson, Nicole Dixon-Rochester, Crystal Plummer, Abigale Sutherland, Adean Thomas, Khadijah Williams, Kadie-Ann Dehaney, Kimone Shaw, Shamera Sterling, Jodi-Ann Ward, Latanya Wilson


It was a happy and hopeful environment at the Summit in Kingston on Friday when Netball Jamaica kicked off their Road to Cape Town campaign ahead of the 2023 Vitality Netball World Cup in Cape Town, South Africa.

With just 100 days to go before the start of the World Cup scheduled for July 28-August 6, Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls are going full speed ahead in their preparation for the long-awaited showdown.

In anticipation of the excitement, President of Netball Jamaica, Tricia Robinson, said a provisional team of 23 players will be selected in May before the squad is cut down to 15 in June for the event.

The first edition of the tournament to be held on the continent of Africa will see 16 teams taking part with Jamaica slated to compete in Pool C against the hosts, Wales and Sri Lanka.

“We are hopeful that our selections will dominate the courts in Cape Town,” Robinson said.

Our girls have worked hard and shown tremendous dedication over the past few years and I know that they are ready to take on this challenge,” she added.

Jamaica qualified automatically for the tournament due to their current global ranking of four.

In addition to getting the Sunshine Girls in shape, Netball Jamaica is labouring to secure funding for the World Cup as well as their pre-tournament camp in South Africa.

Approximately $51 million is needed to get the team to South Africa and the local governing body is responsible for raising the funds independently.

So far, $25 million has been secured through sponsorship. Robinson underscored that the organisation is grateful for the contribution from entities like lead sponsor Berylium Limited and main sponsors the National Baking Company, Wray & Nephew and Seprod Limited, who have been playing a critical role in helping Jamaica prepare for the World Cup.

Gilbert has joined the cause in providing kit and ball support while Wisynco is serving as the hydration sponsor. Marathon Insurance Brokers sponsorship of the Elite League has also aided in the team’s preparation.

Additionally, the government has, so far, committed $10 million to partially cover the cost of accommodation, ground transportation, luggage and airport transfer for the Sunshine Girls, while the team’s overseas travel insurance will be covered by the Jamaica Athletes Insurance Plan (JAIP).

Robinson remains hopeful that more sponsors will come on board and support the national team.

“I invite all Jamaicans to join us in supporting our group as we go for gold. Whether you are cheering from home or joining us at the World Cup, let us make Jamaica proud!” Robinson said.

Individuals will soon be able to contribute to the team through the popular crowd funding platform, GoFundMe.

Netball Jamaica has been fined almost one million Jamaican dollars (£5,000) by World Netball following last year’s fiasco involving the Sunshine Girls series with the Silver Ferns in September 2022. Resulting from the sanction, the Sunshine Girls will be barred from international tournaments until the fine is fully paid.

According to reports, passport and visa issues delated the arrival of the Sunshine Girls in New Zealand resulting in a condensed series with two tests being moved to Auckland. Subsequently, only seven players eventually arrived in New Zealand as the other five of the 12-player squad continued to experience challenges with their visas.

As a result, Jamaica in a bid to field the mandatory 10 players for a recognized test match, were forced to add coach Connie Francis to the team sheet. They were also forced to recruit Romelda Aiken-George and the retired Carla Borrego from Australia. Aiken-George had given birth to her first child a few weeks earlier.

Reports said lost ticket sales and a change of venue and costs for travel assistance cost New Zealand dearly and prompted the World Netball investigation. The two games that were not played were recorded as losses for Jamaica which saw them drop to fourth in the world rankings.

Netball Jamaica has received a major financial boost towards its preparations for the 2023 Netball World Cup scheduled for July 28-August 6 in Cape Town.

The association, on Tuesday, received a $10 million sponsorship from National Baking Company and are looking to raise $51 million to cover its expenses in the build-up to the marquee event.

“It is a big day for us at Netball Jamaica. We are grateful to National for coming on board,” said President Tricia Robinson.

Their final preparation before the World Cup will come in a three-match series against England which will take place from January 11th- January 15th.

“We are really looking forward to this tour. It will give the coaching staff an opportunity to see exactly where we are in terms of preparation for the World Cup,” Robinson said.

The first match, on the 11th January, will take place at Manchester’s AO Arena, before the teams travel down south to the Copper Box Arena in London for back-to-back games on the 14th and 15th January.

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