Girlz captain Plummer recognised at St Mary FA awards

...Guest speaker Samuda calls on more professional approach to sport

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

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Konya Plummer, captain of Jamaica's senior Reggae Girlz created history recently for the Fifa Women's World Cup, was specially recognised at the awards ceremony of the St Mary Football Association at Gray' Inn Sports Complex in Annotto Bay on Saturday.

Central defender Plummer, who was born in St Mary, started playing at seven years old and represented the parish at age 13.

President of St Mary FA James Pearson, in his address, brought into focus the role of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) in the success of the Reggae Girlz, by highlighting the team's CAC Games participation in Colombia earlier this year as a key preparatory activity.

Pearson also used the stage to make a public appeal to Minister of Sports Olivia “Babsy” Grange for assistance in developing a proper facility, reiterating a plea that was made numerous times by his predeccesor Raymond Anderson. Still, nothing has happended.

“I stand here tonight as I did at the St Mary High School auditorium two years ago, making another appeal to the minister to take a serious look and assist the parish of St Mary with a proper facility — with perimeter fence, stands and lights.

“When I look around and see St Ann and Portland, our neighbours having proper facilities, its high time the football stakeholders of St Mary be able to sit comfortably when they attend a game at Gray's Inn,” said Pearson.

Meanwhile, guest speaker at the function, JOA president Christopher Samuda called for a change in how Jamaica approches the business of sport.

“Let us be clear. If we are to create a sport industry and transform it from a cap-in-hand walk-foot mendicancy to a viable self-sustaining mobile enterprise, then we've got to make the change. Let us be clear. If our infrastructure is to mirror international standards and give us a licence to host international games, we've got to make the change,” he said in his typical, eloquent style.

“Make no mistake, if we are to convert young aspiring talent into mature, athletic prowess, change is non-negotiable. We've got to change. If we are to capitalise on sport in a way that sees a level of return on the investment that allows for reinvestment, the current agenda has to change. We've got to change,” he pleaded.

At the prize-giving portion of the evening's activities, Albion Mountain FC received the champion trophy for being Major League champions, while Axum SC collected their runners-up award. Hardley Barnes, meantime, received the MVP and Leading Goalscorer awards; Andre McDugall walked away with the Top Goalkeeper Award, while, the award for Winning Coach was Lincoln Small.

—Bev Belbourne

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