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Just give Jamaica the trophy, Netball NZ!

Opinion By Jamie Wall @jamiewall2

Netball NZ’s refusal to let Jamaica take the Taini Jamison trophy home is another PR failure for an organisation that really doesn’t need one right now, writes Jamie Wall.


Jhaniele Fowler Reid of Jamaica celebrates with the Taini Jamison Trophy after winning the final against the Silver Ferns. Photo: PhotoSport

You have to hand it Netball NZ. Just when it seemed like they couldn’t possibly do anything else wrong, this week saw the news that they don’t know how a trophy works.

The word ‘trophy’ literally means a ‘tangible reminder of a significant achievement’. That’s why you have trophy presentations after someone wins something, so they can lift it up, celebrate with it, and drink out of it. Then you get to take it home and put it in a cabinet for everyone to see.


It’s that last bit that Netball NZ has trouble understanding, because Jamaica left New Zealand without a reasonably important piece of baggage at the start of this month: the Taini Jamison Trophy. If you’ve forgotten, and you’d be forgiven for doing so given the complete downward spiral that the Silver Ferns have gone through since, that’s the trophy that the Sunshine Girls won before the Commonwealth Games.

They did so by becoming the first Jamaican team to record successive wins against New Zealand ever and the first to get a win in New Zealand. A remarkable effort by an outstanding group of athletes, so you’d think they’d be able to get something to remind them of the achievement. But not according to some bureaucratic nonsense from Netball NZ head of events, Kate Agnew:


“Each series is a discrete competition. It is not a defendable trophy. Each series stands alone and each series is recorded on the trophy. Jamaica won the series. They don’t hold the trophy. Each series is independent of all the others so you can win the trophy but it doesn’t mean you are the holder.”

Of course, this explanation fails a simple examination on the basis of linguistics, first and foremost. If it’s not ‘defendable’ it’s not a trophy. If you can’t ‘win’ it, it’s not one either. So, by all means, call it the Taini Jamison Series to honour the former coach of the Silver Ferns. But don’t chuck in a piece of silverware that you can’t actually take with you.

Especially considering that it’s standard practice to have replicas of the most important trophies in world sport. It’s not even a secret either, World Rugby routinely publicise the fact that they have at least two versions of the William Webb Ellis trophy to use for promotional purposes – as well as one that the winners get to keep.


The fact that it was brought to light by the Jamaicans makes Netball NZ look foolish, because they clearly didn’t tell anyone that it wasn’t going anywhere regardless of the result. The response about ‘discrete competition’ doesn’t really do much to convince anyone that this is nothing more than another PR failure for an organisation that really doesn’t need one right now.

However, it may shine some light on the sort of decision-making processes that have landed Netball NZ in the mess that it’s in. If they can’t even get the logistics of letting someone win a trophy right, then it goes a long way to explaining why the ANZ Championship got disbanded. Also how Janine Southby remains as coach, despite seemingly not having the coaching credentials or staff around her to take a high school side. And why Laura Langman decided that playing pro in Australia was a better option than representing her country under the current regime.


Right now, Netball NZ have comfortably overtaken NZ Football as the leading contender for most inept sporting body in the country. But while they haven’t picked any ineligible players like the soccer boys did, it’s because they adhered to the draconian and nonsensical rules that they made up around that themselves.


You get the feeling that there’s a lot more to come in the fallout of the Commonwealth Games netball debacle. But, for now, Netball NZ could at least do themselves a favour and quietly courier the Taini Jamison Trophy to Kingston, Jamaica.


Because handing over a trophy is what you do when you get beaten.



Netball New Zealand keeping hold of Taini Jamison Trophy despite series defeat

Netball New Zealand is keeping hold of the Taini Jamison Trophy despite the fact the Silver Ferns lost the most recent series decider to Jamaica.


NNZ’s head of events Kate Agnew fronted with some answers after Netball Jamaica president Paula Daley-Morris criticised the decision not to allow the Sunshine Girls take the silverware home, even though they won the final 59-53.

The Taini Jamison Trophy was introduced in 2008 and is contested when any national side other than Australia plays the Silver Ferns in New Zealand.

Agnew said it was simply a physical symbol which represented the history of the series, and they could not afford to let it go offshore.


“Each series is a discrete competition. It is not a defendable trophy. Each series stands alone and each series is recorded on the trophy. Jamaica won the series. They don’t hold the trophy. Each series is independent on all the others so you can win the trophy but it doesn’t mean you are the holder,” Agnew said.

“Because of the value and preciousness of the trophy we couldn’t afford to have it go offshore either. For insurance purposes and its ongoing value in the history of New Zealand, we can’t really have it go offshore.”

The Silver Ferns lost twice to Jamaica during the series, going down by six goals in the decider. New Zealand then lost to Jamaica again in the bronze medal match at the Commonwealth Games.

Daley-Morris told Jamaican media that the players were upset by the fact they could not take the trophy home as it was a milestone victory.

“At the end of the series for the Taini Jamison Trophy, we were anticipating receiving the trophy, but we were told that it has never been won by any other national team and that it couldn’t leave the country,” Daley-Morris said.

“The team was disappointed in that we didn’t get medals or replicas, and we asked for even a picture of the trophy itself or even something symbolic to mark the occasion, and we haven’t received that either.”

Plus Jamaica didn’t exactly leave empty handed either. They were presented with a framed motif and NNZ plans to send a personalised plaque to recognise their historic achievement next week. Their name has been inscribed on the trophy which will remain on display at their headquarters.

Agnew admitted the communication could have been clearer between the organisations.

“I think we’ve got to absolutely take responsibility about making sure we are even more clearer about the status of the physical trophy itself going forward,” she said.

Netball NZ would consider making a replica trophy for future series, Agnew said.

Tournament winners do not always receive an original trophy. Replica trophies are often given to be taken home. World Rugby hands out replicas of the Webb Ellis Cup to every Rugby World Cup winner and they are not all the same size, while the Ashes cricket urn is kept at the Lord’s museum where it attracts thousands of visitors each year.





Beautiful Bronze for Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls

The Jamaica netball team rebounded from the heartbreaking one-goal loss to England in their semi-final game on Saturday, to score a 60-55 win over New Zealand in the bronze medal match and secure the country’s 27th and final medal of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games on Sunday.


It was the first time that Jamaica were defeating the Kiwis in a major tournament.


Cheered on by a handful of loyal fans, the Girls, who had less than 24 hours to recover both physically and mentally from their semi-final game, took to the court with purpose, obviously determined to not leave Australia without a medal.


Jamaica got off to a solid start in the first half, getting the ball in to Jhaniele Fowler-Reid who was able to do the early damage against the Silver Ferns.


The defensive pair of Shamera Sterling and Stacian Facey did well to limit the New Zealand attack as the quarter ended 15-11.


The Silver Ferns came charging back and levelled things up at 24-all with four minutes left to go in the second quarter. Jamaica’s head coach Sasher-Gaye Henry then went to her bench, bringing in Romelda Aiken for a fatigued Fowler-Reid and Jodi-Ann Ward for an injured Facey.


Jamaica then took back control of the game as Aiken found her range quickly to give Jamaica a two-goal half-time lead at 29-27.


Two quick turnovers by the Jamaicans allowed the Silver Ferns to draw level at the start of the third quarter before they took a two-goal (30-32) lead.


It appeared that another third-quarter malaise was about to befall the Sunshine Girls, but those fears were quickly put to rest as Jamaica increased their defensive intensity to force some New Zealand turnovers.


Sterling and the energetic Ward made some key interceptions and blocks that allowed Jamaica to build up a seven-goal lead (41-34), as Maria Folau and Bailey Mess found the going tough in the New Zealand front court.


The intensity on the defensive end, which included the efforts of the versatile Vangelee Williams who had been switched from wing defence to goal defence, was matched by some equally good through court play as the Girls systematically moved the ball from defence to attack.


The energiser-bunny, Shanice Beckford continued to be the main supplier in attack, finding Aiken as easily as she had found Fowler-Reid. The consistent third-quarter player allowed the Sunshine Girls to keep the Silver Ferns at arms length, as they led 46-39 at the end of the third quarter.


The fourth-quarter performance by the Sunshine Girls was a very mature one, as they were able to maintain the gap of at least six points for most of that quarter.


Despite limping around in her defensive circle, Sterling continued to put in a sparkling performance and came up with more key interceptions and blocks, along with Williams whose aggression in the defensive circle is a nightmare to shooters.


The final two minutes of the game was a tactical masterclass by the Jamaicans, who managed the clock through proper ball possession while scoring on almost each possession. The final whistle brought great celebrations from the Jamaicans, who were scoring their third-consecutive win over the Silver Ferns in a month.


Captain Fowler-Reid said that leaving Australia empty-handed was unthinkable, as she described the performance of the team as “amazing”.


“It’s amazing, definitely. because yesterday we came out hard because we wanted to play in the final, but we learnt from the one-goal loss which is fine for us. We knew we did not want to feel that feeling again so we went out there hard, had a good game, had some bumps, but we picked it up and, yes — we were successful at the end,” she said.


She admitted that getting mentally prepared for the bronze medal match had been quite a challenge for herself and the team.


“I had to recover myself because I was very devastated by the loss… we saw it right there and we just didn’t cross the line. I had to rally them around; I spoke with them and I gave them some encouraging words and I told them that we didn’t come here for nothing,” said Fowler-Reid.


Jamaica’s medal tally at the games reads: seven gold, eight silver and 12 bronze, for a total of 27.

Swimming contributed one medal, netball one medal, while track and field contributed 25.


Jamaica Reggae Rollers get ready to rock!

In 1966 the core sport of lawn bowls was left out of the commonwealth games for the first and only time in the games history. The reason for this was because the country that held the games had no facilities to play the sport. The host country was Jamaica. Fast forward 47 years to 2013 when @bowlsjamaica Andrew Newell held the first of the KNCC championships to help raise the profile of the sport within the Caribbean community. Now with a KNCC championship held every year since and opening the first lawn bowls green in Jamaica and the Caribbean, we fast forward to 2018! Where Jamaica has now been officially named as a development member of world bowls ltd. Jamaica will be sending 2 bowlers to the Gold Coast commonwealth games @mervynedwards Mervyn Edwards and @bowlsjamaica Andrew Newell for the first time in history. How about that for an achievement?


Give them your support at:


From Cool Runnings to Reggae Rollers, a South London man is taking Jamaica’s first ever recognised bowls team to this year’s Commonwealth Games. Jamaica hit the headlines in 1988 when they entered a bobsleigh team in the Winter Olympics in Calgary.


That spawned the hit film and the athletes went onto become world stars. This weekend, Andrew Newell, of Battersea, is jetting off to Australia’s Gold Coast for the tournament with teammate Mervyn Edwards.

The opening ceremony is April 4 and the Jamaican pair’s first match is April 5.

It took Andrew, 44, five years to set up and get the Jamaican Lawn Bowls Association internationally recognised.


“I investigated playing for the Jamaica team with World Bowls, which is like the FIFA of bowls,” said Andrew, who has played bowls for 15 years.

“And they told me – ‘you can’t play for Jamaica because they aren’t a member’.

“From there, I did everything that I could to get there and set up a Bowling Association in Jamaica.”


The Kamballa Estate resident set-up the Kermit Newell Championship Cup (KNCC) in 2013 – named after his late father – so he could recruit an unofficial Jamaican team.

“I set up the KNCC to raise the profile of bowls in the Caribbean community. If I could do that then I could find players for the team.

“It was hard originally but after 2015 there was a regular influx of smaller international teams – from Sweden, Macaw, Belgium and the UAE – these guys are always down for the events.


“It was hard. But I kept going because I was told that I couldn’t do it. But I could see I was getting closer every year. It wasn’t as if we weren’t good enough. I knew we were close.”

Once the team – nicknamed the Reggae Rollers – had a solid membership core, Andrew flew to Jamaica to register the Jamaican Lawn Bowls Association.

They were recognised by World Bowls Ltd on January 22 on “development” terms which opens the door to enter major international tournaments.

“We opened Jamaica’s first bowling green in 2015 – hopefully we can see some home-grown talent there.

“The sport can do a lot for the country and for a lot of people. In KNCC matches we have a sound system playing, we aren’t worried about the noise. We’re recreating the game in Jamaica.”

Andrew, a behavioural support specialist for youngsters, trains at Crystal Palace Indoor Bowls Club in Anerley Road, Anerley. He is writing his second children’s book and has launched a Reggae Rollers clothing range.


He said: “I’m pretty excited about going to the Games but I’m trying to keep my head down and work and practice. I want to be in the best that I can be.”



Jamaica’s ‘Reggae Rollers’ set to bowl over Gold Coast

GOLD COAST, Australia (AFP) — Forget the Jamaican bobsleigh team — the Caribbean island is taking a bash at the genteel sport of lawn bowls for the first time at the Commonwealth Games.


A pair of wise-cracking best friends known as the “Reggae Rollers” are set to turn heads when they make their bow in Gold Coast this week.

Andrew Newell and team-mate Merv Edwards have created quite a stir since arriving in Australia, so much so that Jamaica’s former world champion sprinter Yohan Blake stopped them in an elevator.

“Yohan Blake was in the lift today and he actually said to me and Merv, ‘Are you guys the bowlers?’ It was very, very cool,” the London-born Newell told AFP in an interview.

“I’m in the (Jamaica) team now and I’ve got to pretend it wasn’t a big thing,” joked the 44-year-old, lamenting his failure to take a photo with Blake.


“I’m here for a couple of days so I might be able to photo-bomb selfie him or something.”

Newell caught the bowling bug when he was 30, attracted by the sport’s chilled vibe.

“I went to my local park in London and just stuck at it ever since,” he said. “It was sort of calming, like chess on grass.”

Newell, whose parents are Jamaican, was teased at first for taking up a quintessentially British pastime associated with cups of tea and cucumber sandwiches.

“My friends took the mickey — like ‘You’re playing an old people’s sport’ or whatever,” said Newell.

“But the more I got into it the more my friends and family appreciated what I was trying to do.”

– ‘Cool Runnings’ –
When Newell enquired about playing for Jamaica in 2013, he was told the country wasn’t a member of the sport’s ruling body — it didn’t even have a bowling green.

Undeterred, he organised his own competitions before eventually setting up the Jamaican Lawn Bowls Association.

Comparisons with the Jamaican bobsleigh team, who melted hearts at the 1988 Calgary Olympics and were immortalised in the movie “Cool Runnings”, are inevitable.

“I would have done this without ‘Cool Runnings’,” insisted Newell, who trains to reggae music. “But I do understand there’s going to be comparisons made and I’m cool with that.”

As Jamaica’s track superstars prepare for life without Usain Bolt, Edwards, meanwhile, waits for Hollywood to call.

“People are asking if they’ll make a film about us,” laughed the 68-year-old, who was born in Jamaica but lives in the English city of Birmingham.

“We’re the Reggae Rollers and we’re rolling well.

“I’m a leg-puller but we’ve got a job to do,” he added. “I don’t want to go home not winning a game. We’re good enough to get to the final.”

Newell got the idea for the Reggae Rollers name from the Jamaican football team.

“All the Jamaican national teams have got a nickname,” he said. “You’ve got the ‘Reggae Boyz’, and the ‘Sunshine Girls’ do netball. It just works I think.”

Newell has even launched a Reggae Rollers clothing range and appears at ease with his new-found fame.

Reminded he had a photo to take with Blake before the Games start Thursday, Newell shot back: “Maybe he’ll want to get a selfie with me!”



Jamaica hockey team wins Bobsled to Blades battle in Dartmouth

Former Boston Bruin player Graeme Towsnhead is hoping to coach Jamaica’s national hockey team all the way to the Winter Olympics.

“I remember saying many times the only chance I’d ever have of playing the Olympics is if Jamaica had a team,” Townshead told CTV News Channel.
Now Townshead is the head coach, assistant coach, trainer, water boy, and a stand-in during a power play for the Jamaican Under 20 National Ice Hockey Team.
While the thought of the Jamaican hockey team brings to mind the 1988 “Cool Runnings” bobsled team who competed in the Calgary Games, this team has a bit more experience.
The players are from Canada and the U.S., but they all share Jamaican heritage. Unlike the iconic bobsledders, these guys have been playing hockey their whole lives, many of them playing in the OHL.
This weekend the team is in Dartmouth, N.S. for a training camp and pair of exhibition games.
“We want to wear the jersey with pride and, you know, show we can play with anyone at the highest level,” said player Jaden Lindo.
But even though they have a hockey team, they are missing a few crucial elements to get full membership and start competing in the world championships.
For example, they still need some home ice.
“Currently an arena in Jamaica does not exist. That is our job, to make that a reality so that’s what we’re working towards,” said Townshead.
The road to the Olympics may be long for this underdog team but as Townshead said: “You’ve got to start somewhere.”

Retired Jamaica-Born British High Jumper Germaine Mason Dies In Bike Crash

Retired Jamaica-born high jumper Germaine Mason has died in an early morning motorcycle crash along the Palisadoes main road in Kingston.

Mason was heading to Kingston when he lost control of the motor bike, crashed, and died on the spot.

Immediately after, several athletes arrived on the scene.

Among them were World and Olympic champion Usain Bolt, and multiple international medallist Michael Frater.

Mason is Jamaica’s national record holder in the high jump event.

Before migrating to the UK, he trained with the Stephen Francis-coached MVP Track Club but in 2006, switched allegiance to represent Great Britain.

Two years later, Mason, competed at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and won a silver medal for Great Britain in the high jump.

As the news emerged, Prime Minister Andrew Holness tweeted: “Our sincere condolences to the entire sporting fraternity.”

As news of the crash broke, several athletes traveled to the scene, including track star Usain Bolt. The two men, pictured together in 2016, were close friends   As news of the crash broke, several athletes traveled to the scene, including track star Usain Bolt. The two men, pictured together in 2016, were close friends

Top 10 Apps of 2016

2016 was quite an app-filled year. From the introduction of new apps to the vast improvement of existing ones, mobiles app have truly taken form. Of all the apps we used this past year, the digitally led team at Trend Media Group managed to compile a list of the 10 most impressive applications – whether it be solely for the purposes of socializing, news/ information sources, utility or relevant to education.



1.Loop News– Loop is the Caribbean’s #1 news app with well over 900,000 downloads. This year, the Loop app instituted some updates, which included: customized notifications for each reader, a more stable version of the app that crashes less, and access to the app’s content directly from Facebook, which made the user experience much easier. A complete bonus to the app is that we can access it free, i.e. without using our mobile data or needing to access Wi-Fi!

2.Stay Alert– The Ministry of National Security debuted a useful app earlier this year and should be recognized for their efforts in not only keeping citizens safe, but informed. The Android app comes with Jamaica’s full database of laws for users to peruse for quick fact-checking. In addition, the app’s iReport feature allows users to anonymously upload suspicious activity via phone, video or text message. Finally, the app comes with a panic button which uses GPS to contact the nearest police station in the case of an emergency.


3.Facebook– Can we talk about the constantly innovative team at Facebook? The app underwent so many changes this year alone, to talk about them all we would need an entire article solely dedicated to that! However, to give the summary- the app updates included: Facebook reactions, changes to the News feed algorithm allowing users to see more of what interests them, rather than what brands want them to see, and the most noteworthy (in our humble opinion) Live streaming. Facebook Live was introduced to general Facebook users back in April and has been a great tool for marketers so far and will be interesting to see its growth in 2017.

4.Instagram– While we are on the topic of Facebook, let’s just talk about Instagram- as it seems Facebook gave all its owned-apps a facelift in 2016. With all the updates to Instagram this year, we believe it has positioned itself as much more than a photo/ video sharing platform. Here’s a timeline of its most noteworthy updates: In February, the app started allowing users to log in with multiple accounts; in April the new app icon and design were released…admittedly this took some getting used to but we vaguely remember what the old app icon and design looked like. In August the platform released “Stories”, a feature with some very blatant Snapchat-like qualities, which quickly caught on and has become very popular. In November the app announced Instagram LIVE! Instagram will definitely be one to watch in 2017.

5.Snapchat-Facebook and Instagram really gave Snapchat some competition this year, with many thinking that Snapchat would be dead by December upon the introduction of Instagram Stories in August.  But alas, Snapchat refuses to go down without a fight. The app has had its fair share of updates this year and we think Snapchat has matured quite nicely this year into a post- pubescence powerhouse. The new additions to the app allow it to be more ad-friendly with sponsored geo-filters, new discovery features, and snap ads. In case these improved features did not prove themselves in the early parts of 2016- the US elections in November gave them credibility with reports of both presidential candidates using Snap ads on Election Day.

6.Facebook Messenger– Yes, Facebook has emancipated its messenger…in some ways. The Facebook messenger app is still very much tied to the main Facebook platform, but we love that you can easily chat without getting distracted by your news feed (don’t you just hate that?). From a business standpoint, one thing we really loved about messenger this year was the introduction of messenger bots- our little virtual assistant that responds to messages on our behalf. How convenient!

7.WhatsApp – Now a staple on most phones, Whatsapp also underwent updates this year that makes our communications that much easier. In addition to the already popular voice note feature, WhatsApp started allowing users to voice call, and later this year they added video calling capabilities. 


8.My Digicel– When it comes to utility apps, convenience is of utmost importance and that is not lost on the My Digicel app. The app allows you to check your account balance, activate data plans, send credit to friends and family. Postpaid customers now have the convenience of paying their phone bills directly from the app. Best of all, you aren’t charged credit, or data to access the app! Did we already state how convenient this is?
9. My JPS Mobile– Electricity…we all use it, and we all know how essential it is to our daily lives, but somehow some of us just can’t remember to pay those bills, or find it very inconvenient to stand in long lines making bill payments. JPS realized this frustration and moved to texting and emailing bills to their customers, while also facilitating online bill payments. This year the energy company took it further and introduced a mobile app (thank you!). The convenience that this app offers is why we love it so much- we can view our electricity bill, pay our bills, and even see where a power outage is. Nicely done JPS!


10.Duo lingo– Apps have been helping us to do a lot this year- connect with friends, pay bills, and keep up on current affairs- so it was only natural that we would turn to an app to learn a new language. Duo lingo is a language learning app that has the capability of teaching over 10 languages including, French, Spanish, and Russian, all while playing a game. In addition to the theoretic concepts of grasping a language, the app allows you to listen to and also practice speaking the language.



11.Scotiabank– The newly redesigned app stands out from the other local banking apps with a one-click design making banking even easier. Customers can complete common tasks like bill payments and transferring funds in less steps, complete with easy onboarding instructions. The app also offers a new calendar of transactions for financial planning right in the palm of your hands. The app gets you in an out of the ‘bank’ quickly so you can get on with what matters most.


12.Netflix– The newly redesigned app stands out from the other local banking apps with a one-click design making banking even easier. Customers can complete common tasks like bill payments and transferring funds in less steps, complete with easy onboarding instructions. The app also offers a new calendar of transactions for financial planning right in the palm of your hands. The app gets you in an out of the ‘bank’ quickly so you can get on with what matters most.

2016 was a great year for apps, which is tied to the increase in demand and usage of mobile phones. We are excited to see the updates to these apps on our list as well as the new ones that will come in 2017. Merry Christmas and a very ‘Appy’ New Year from Trend Media!|P|