Akeela Jones, Barbados’ ONLY world class athlete.
The decision to send a team to participate in the 2014 Commonwealth Games comprised of 104 athletes and officials has stuck in the BU throat like a fish bone. Barbados was represented in Athletics, Badminton, Boxing, Cycling Road, Cycling Track, Judo, Netball, Rugby Sevens, Shooting, Swimming, Table Tennis and Triathlon. Compared to Bahamas which sent 45 athletes to the same games reported to be the largest ever, a few questions need to be directed at decision makers of the national sports program in Barbados because we continue to make sport at sports. No need to mention that Jamaica sent a 114 member team to the same games.
BU appreciates that the Barbados Olympic Association (BOA) should not be involved in the management of the individual sports association but he who pays the piper calls the tune. The fogies who administer sports in Barbados must have known there was no justification to send netball, badminton, rugby, shooting and a few other teams to the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Affected by scarce financial resources, the result of prolonged depressed economic economies in many Caribbean countries, isn’t there a reasonable expectation that judicious decisions must be seen to be made by our leaders? If the average Barbadian were to have been asked if any of the teams sent to the 2014 Commonwealth Games had a chance to achieve fourth position the answer would probably have been a resounding no! The track and field team was the only team to reach the finals in their events.
Would it not have made more sense to carve out a significant slice of the 2014 Commonwealth Games budget to give high level exposure to athletes in dire need of exposure, instead of unrealistically expecting them to move from B standard to A standard performance expecting gold, silver and bronze performances ? Here is what Neil Murrell, Acting Director of Sports at the National Sports Council had to say when he greeted the team on their return from Glasgow.
The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) sacked Coach Otis Gibson tonight, a decision known 48 hours before it was announced. Hurray for transparency. The news that he was terminated by a telephone call after just renewing a contract for 2 years makes the Gibson sacking another saga to observe for the comedic relief it offers. It is no secret West Indies has become the laughing stock of the cricket world. The inability of the WIBC to stop the slide of performance by the regional cricket team for nearly 2 decades confirms the leadership vacuum which continues to choke success in almost every facet of enterprise in our region. The most recent ICC Rankings positions West Indies at #8 out of 10 teams with only the minnows Zimbabwe and Bangladesh at #9 and #10 bottoming out the rankings.
The WICB and the UWI represent two regional entities which have served the English Caribbean people well. In recent years these two entities have struggled to stay relevant in a world advancing at pace. It seems moronic that the WICB on the eve of an international ODI series against Bangladesh would become trapped into making such a significant management change. Based on the WIBC press release the team manager, Sir Richie Richardson, will perform a dual role in the current series. While the WICB saga continues to unfold Barbadians were informed of very low registration at UWI, Cave Hill. Connect the dots.
All taxpayers in the cricket English Caribbean have a vested interest in the efficient management of regional cricket. In the build up to the 2007 regional governments mobilized several projects, including the building of new stadia, to host CWC2007. Continue reading
Five years ago, I wanted to write this article giving an in depth analysis of the various sports programs on the island and my opinion on why I thought that we were being stagnated and not going forward, and this goes for most things in Barbados. Barbados sports has been going through a metamorphosis for more than thirty years now and there is clearly no evidence of it not been stymied.
I left the island in the late sixties and Barbados had a very strong sports program where they did well at the international level. I do not have to speak about the cricket, because that speaks for its self. A Barbados football team of the 50’s and 60’s was a power house against the likes of Trinidad, Jamaica, Air France team and visiting English clubs from England. None of the other islands in the Caribbean were capable of beating Barbados in any sport, whether it was Netball, Athletics, Football, Cricket or even pitching marbles. Continue reading
Barbadian Akela Jones wins gold at the World Junior Championship in Oregon
Submitted by Pachamama
FIFA World Cup 2014
As we leave the round of sixteen (16) and move to the final eight (8) it is fairly clear that the homogenization of soccer culture has left the leading teams nearly equal. There has been few results with margins of more than three (3) goals. Indeed most matches, even in the preliminaries, were closer than was expected by most commentators.
As we enter the final eight, France vs Germany; Brazil vs Colombia; Argentina vs Belgium; Netherlands vs Costa Rica; we may indeed have unexpected semi-finalists and finalists. Certainly, Belgium, Colombia and Costa Rica have not threatened to go all the way in recent years or even before. While the others have more pedigree, if you will. Brazil has only shown fleeting displays of the brilliance expected. Germany has been, as usual, workmanlike and strong in defense, but unconvincing so far. They have been in this position before. Lionel Messi has shown up at critical times to secure a top quarterfinals spot for Argentina but he has not been the magician we expected and the rest of his team are just above par.
We see Belgium and the Netherlands, on their day, on par with the average displays of France, Brazil, Germany and Argentina. This normalization of standards leaves this world cup of soccer 2014 opened to, maybe, a Cinderella team. Maybe Colombia or Costa Rica if they can continue to surprise us with ball play. Colombia has drawn their last four (4) games with Brazil. The display of Costa Rica should give inspiration to small island states everywhere and may alter the algebra of control of world soccer.
Submitted by Pachamama
… favelas that housed the poor were destroyed to make room for new construction …
As the World Cup of Soccer enters the knock out phase we are closer to a declared winner, on the field. But regardless of the nation state that will hoist the trophy, FIFA will always be the real winner. The Fédération Internationale de Football Association, as founded in 1904, has grown up to be a leading beneficiary of the generalized misguidance of the vast majority of human beings wanting to believe in something. For the structure of FIFA represents God-like powers which are not unlike those of the Holy See, in particular, and religion more generally.
That structure makes sure that any country hosting the games are guaranteed to do this on the backs of the poor, the dispossessed, the national treasury. These games have never, financially, benefited any country but FIFA has more than a billion dollars in the Bank and has an ability to tax nations without representation. While stadia all over the world remain underutilized, empty and decaying as a result of these very world games. Ask the South Africans! That bank balance will increase from the series of religious revivals now going on in Brazilian cities. And this business model under the rubric of a false social formation remains as persistent as ever, if not more so. Its simple, they privatize incomes and publicize the debt. This is corporate welfare.
Submitted by Pachamama
Soccer stars Messi, Neymar and Ronaldo
Every time world cup soccer (football) comes around a plurality of the peoples of the world recall the glorious Brazilian teams of 1950’s, 60’s and early 70’s. The Brazilian teams of Edson Arantes do Nascimento (Pele) and his band of magicians. Things are unlikely to be any different this year with the tournament being in what some consider the Holy See for soccer lovers with Pele as its eternal Pope. But this Brazilian team of 2014 is unlikely to repeat the dazzling brilliance of their forebears, even if they won the cup.To a large extent it was the Brazilians who led the transformation of soccer from a slow physical game to the faster, more technical, tactical, precise, flowing and the easier to watch marketing product it has become. This product is now more diffused and the sources of competition Pele’s Brazil had to counter are now more numerous, as the European leagues will show as they more and more rely on players from elsewhere.