JAMAICA’S former Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) star, Simone Edwards, says the future of her Simone4Children Foun-dation’s homework programme and study centre, based in Hermitage, August Town, currently hangs in the balance.The centre, which opened in 2010 and offered homework programmes to inner-city children, along with a host of other community activities, was vandalised by criminal elements and is presently not in use.However, the Escarpment Road Church saw the Foun-dation’s plight, and the pastor – at the time – gave the former national player and coach his blessings to continue the programme at the place of worship.However, a change of pastor at the church recently has seen a new plan and Edwards’ search for a new base for the programme.”In Hermitage, I got a building put up there for the homework programme. It was running and everyone was working. It’s a place where we had our homework programme, fed families, gave back-to-school supplies, tried to create scholarships and focused on self-esteem building. But what we do is mostly focus on education, but now it (building) is damaged,” said Edwards.”Last year, I went down there, and some of the bad men broke the lock off the door, stole furniture, the stove and damaged the windows. The homework programme is continuing in the church, but the last I heard is that the new pastor wanted it off the property,” she told The Gleaner.Edwards, who described cutting the ribbons to open the study centre as ‘one of the proudest moments in my life’, said since the migration of the programme’s overseer, Dean Rhoden, a few years ago, things just went downhill.PARKING LOTShe revealed that the reason for their eviction is related to plans to convert the building which housed the study centre into a parking lot, but admitted she is still seeking a meeting with the pastor.”I am hoping they have a change of heart, so we are waiting to see if they are really going to do that. I don’t know where else to move it to, as the pastor before told us it was OK for it to be there,” Edwards lamented.”But I haven’t spoken to anybody as yet, so I don’t know what we are going to do. I was trying to have a meeting with the pastor. So I am going to see the pastor, but if he tells me I have to move, then I will try to find a good place to do my programme and have it permanent instead of running up and down,” she insisted, noting that the original building would be ideal.”I like where it is because it’s easier access. At the top (of community) was convenient, so I guess I will have to talk to the people in the community to get guarantees that no one can touch it,” she added.The Simone4children Foun-dation was formed in 2006 to assist the less fortunate, build worthwhile citizens and help others achieve their goals. Her Foundation established the computerised study centre in December 2010. It held treats, fed hundreds of persons and gave gifts to children.She also copped the 2010 AD Astra Award, delivered by the Immaculate Conception High School’s New York Chapter to Jamaicans who have excelled in their field over a period of time.
Jamaica Scorpions captain Paul Palmer Jr does not believe the loss against the Leeward Islands Hurricanes should been seen as a huge defeat given that the Eastern Caribbean outfit has a number of good players in their line-up.The Leewards, bottom of the six-team tournament, defeated Jamaica – who sat in third position heading into the contest – by 85 runs at the Sir Viv Richards Stadium in Antigua at the weekend, in the sixth round of the WICB Regional First-Class Championship.”I wouldn’t say it’s a big loss,” said Palmer Jr, shortly after the team’s return yesterday.”The team is in transition, so it will never be easy to win games continuously or to come out on top in every game.”Likewise, the teams playing in this competition are good teams with quality players.”I just think Leeward Islands played better on the day than us. That is all.”Asked to bat first, the Hurricanes were bundled out for 155 in their first innings, to which the Scorpions replied with 158.368 FOR EIGHTSpearheaded by an unbeaten knock of 130 by wicketkeeper Jahmar Hamilton and 72 from opener Montcin Hodge, the Nkrumah Bonner-captained Leewards went on to post 368 for eight in their second time at bat.Set a victory target of 365, Jamaica were dismissed for 280, despite a defiant knock of 93 by Kirk Edwards.Top Jamaican batsmen Jermaine Blackwood, Devon Thomas, Andre McCarthy and John Campbell, made 21, 15, 22 and eight, respectively, in the victory chase.The defeat represented revenge for the Leewards, who lost at Sabina Park in the first half of the tournament.It was also the second time in as many matches the Scorpions were losing away to the Hurricanes, having suffered defeated in St Kitts and Nevis last season.”We know what we did wrong,” highlighted Paul Palmer Jr, whose wretched run of form continued in the match with scores of one and 15.”We know the mistakes we made. We identified them, (primarily) in the second innings where we dropped catches.”Hamilton, who made a hundred, he was dropped twice, on 30-odd (off Nikita Miller) and 40-odd (off Sheldon Cottrell), and we paid the price dearly.”The other guy (Hodge), who made 70-odd, he was also dropped on 40-odd.”If we had taken those chances, more than likely they would not have got up to such a huge total.”Jamaica, with the loss, is all but out of the title race with four rounds of matches remaining. They will play Trinidad and Tobago Red Force at Sabina Park, starting on Friday.
JOHANNESBURG (AP): Australia chased down 204 in a thrilling last-ball victory over South Africa in the second Twenty20 international yesterday to level the three-game series at 1-1. Australia’s chase was powered by a brilliant partnership of 161 between David Warner, who made 77 off 40 balls, and Glenn Maxwell, who got 75 off 43. The pair took Australia from 32-3 to 193-4. Maxwell fell in the penultimate over and Warner was out first ball of the last over, leaving new batsmen Mitchell Marsh and James Faulkner to get 11 off the final five balls to win. Helped by two wides in that last over from Kagiso Rabada, the Australians scrambled home to 205-5, running two off the last delivery to clinch a victory that appeared way out of their reach at 32-3 in the sixth over.
West Indies fast bowler Jerome Taylor said though he only played in one of six matches in the just-concluded ICC World Twenty20 World Cup in India, he is more than elated that the team was able to recapture the crown.”It’s a team effort, and a win is a win,” he said, shortly after the arrival of the Jamaican members of the team on Tuesday in Kingston.”We knew when we left here (the Caribbean) that all 15 of us could not play at the same time.”The nature of the wickets called for adjustments to be made, and the selectors chose horses for courses,” he added.Taylor, who claimed none for 30 off three overs in the team’s tournament-opening six-wicket win over England, also explained that the decisions taken were supported by team members.”It (to leave him out) was a team decision, as both players, management and everyone, we took unto ourselves to say that if that’s the best case, then go with whatever decisions are made.”The 31-year-old, who said his focus would now turn to the upcoming Caribbean Tri-Nation series, involving Australia and South Africa, as well as the planned Test tour by India, also gave insight as to what the feeling was like in the players’ dressing room in the last over of the final.Needing a challenging 19 runs off the over with the previously unheralded all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite, who made 34 not out off just 10 balls, smashed four sixes off the first four deliveries to seal the win at 161 for six.England had earlier made 155 for nine.”For me, it was never over until the fat lady sings,” Taylor said.”We had some guys, who were feeling down and out by the moment. But we had guys, like myself, who was still pretty optimistic, this knowing the power hitters that we had at the wicket in Carlos Brathwaite and Marlon Samuels, who were set at the time and striking the ball pretty well.”He said he was happy to have played a part in making the Caribbean proud.”The way the guys turned up and put the team and the people of the Caribbean in front was brilliant,” he said.- J. L.