Sandals hits winning run with Under-19 competition, academy

Thursday, June 27, 2019

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The Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) on Tuesday launched the third staging of the Sandals Resorts Under-19 cricket competition and academy at the Trelawny Multipurpose Stadium.

The programme, which started in 2017, has been funded by title sponsor Sandals who then inked a three-year, 10.5 million deal with the JCA along with support from Rainforest Seafoods and Wisynco.

Sandals Resorts Public Relations Manager–Sponsorships Crissano Dalley said: “this cricket competition and academy are among the avenues through which we enrich the lives of people in the countries where we have a footprint. We've done similar projects in other Caribbean countries. As sponsor for the West Indies cricket team it is important that we support the development of talents which will ultimately represent the region on the international stage. It is a proud moment to see Windies cricketers excelling who have benefited from programmes like this.”

Meanwhile, JCA CEO Courtney Francis says his organisation remains strong in its focus to develop the game at all levels.

“We are always excited as administrators for developmental programmes such as these and for sponsors like Sandals and Rainforest, but my biggest joy is for the young men who are the beneficiaries. The Under-19 level is that final stepping stone before representing a club or parish in Senior Cup cricket and Jamaica (regionally) at the senior level.

“This competition and academy do three main things — reinforce the proper playing techniques learned in the previous levels, teach the science of tactical game management concepts and fine-tune their personal development in areas such as nutrition, financial planning, conflict resolution, media engagement, public speaking, among others,” said Francis.

Corporate sales manager at Rainforest Seafoods Richard Coleman drew a parallel between the growth of Under-19 cricketers and his brand.

“Successful people and successful brands share at least one common characteristic — the ability to carefully plan. Great Jamaican cricketers never became so overnight, they had to start as young men with a plan. Young men who benefited from programmes similar to this competition and academy. It was the investment of time and expertise from others which helped them to grow and be able to so proudly represent Jamaica and the region,” he said.

The competition is used to select the national Under-19 team to participate in the regional tournament which commences on July 25 in Guyana. It sees over 60 of the country's best national Under-19 players being divided into four teams — Northern Lights, Western Heat, Southern Sparks and Eastern Flames — competing in a round-robin format from June 25 – July 12 at venues across the island.

Players will also participate in the Sandals Cricket Academy which will be held at Sabina Park after the tournament.

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