A senior manager at the Jamaica Energy Partners Company has praised the Jamaica Cricket Association for its efforts at managing talent, as the country continues to do well in all but one regional cricket championship.
Echoing the sentiments shared by her company's CEO Wayne McKenzie, the human resources director for JEP, Odeth Reynolds, in addressing a function for the handing over of a sponsorship cheque worth just over a half a million dollars to the St Catherine Cricket Association, said she was proud of the investment her company was putting into the sport.
"We are investing in the future, and it is a good investment that we are proud of. We hope it continues to grow and that the talent that exists will multiply. To this we agree that the Jamaica Cricket Association has done really well in the management of talent. There is Chris Gayle, Stephanie Taylor, Marlon Samuels, Nkrumah Bonner, and so on, who have done well under your leadership. Talent management, I believe, is your strength," Reynolds told a small group, including JCA President Lyndel Wright and his secretary Fitz Harris, who gathered at the Jamaica Energy Partners' New Kingston offices for the presentation on Wednesday morning.
With the low levels of sponsorship offered to cricket, Reynolds noted that there was great need for more companies to get on board, since professional players not only earn money for themselves but for their clubs as well.
Turning to the new and popular Twenty20 version of cricket, Reynolds said that the strong support, especially amongst the young, was good for nation-building, and "part of nation-building is the investment one puts into sporting activities", she said.
She added too that sporting administrators should look to new ways to get a new generation of young people to play, so the talent may be identified and grow in the game.
Wright, in lauding the company for its 13th year of sponsorship of St Catherine cricket, noted that the game of cricket was not just about playing, but that it was a 'life game' that comes with certain values and discipline.
And new president of the St Catherine CA Milholland Barker, in accepting the cheque from Melissa Newman, public & community relations officer at the Jamaica Energy Partners, expressed thanks for the sponsorship and told his audience that the parish was indeed grateful for the continued relationship that exists between the company and the St Catherine Parish Cricket Association. The financial contribution enabled the parish to grow, he said.
Barker added that the association has been able to attract 13 teams this season; despite losing four, including defending champions Church Pen, who opted not to participate at this time. The newcomers this year are Unions Estate CC and NHT Sports Club.
The full list of teams participating in this Jamaica Energy Partners/St Catherine Cricket Association competition are: Zone One -- Correctional Services CC, Ewarton CC, Old Harbour Bay CC, Lakes Pen CC, National Housing Trust Sports Club and De La Vega City CC. Zone Two -- Old Harbour CC, Basement CC, JUTC Sports Club, GC Foster College, Angels CC and Unions Estate Sports Club.
The Opening round will kick off today. Zone One matches -- Lakes Pen vs Correctional Services at Jose Marti; Ewarton CC vs De La-Vega City at Prison Oval, and NHT vs Old Harbour Bay at De La-Vega City Community Centre. Zone Two matches -- Old Harbour vs Unions Estate at Lennonville, Basement vs JUTC at Tru-Juice Oval, and Angels vs Unions Estate at Lime Tree Oval.