CaribZone Commentary: Aubrey Campbell –Monday, March 28th

Greetings and salutations. ‘Just another manic Monday!’ March is done and you will be the wiser for it, promise?

It is no coincidence that Irwine Clare, Sr, sought my opinion last evening while presenting the anniversary edition of THE FACT OF THE MATTER, WVIP’s number one, adult contemporary talk segment, presented by IRIE JAM MEDIA, going six years!

With such positive feedback to the program, I cannot fault the host for having lost count of the numbers since the program debuted! Kudos to Irie Jam Media, the station’s primary, independent content provider targeting the Caribbean community.

With the national scholastics championship in track & field athletics – CHAMPS – out the way and with the regional junior championship, the CARIFTA Games, entering its final day today in Grenada, it was in order for Irwine, Lester Hinds and Sharon ‘Lady B’ Richards to spend a few minutes, time constraints notwithstanding, to look back and look ahead.

April is the Penn Relays Carnival (PRC) in Philadelphia, and with the absence of the Icahn Stadium (AGP) event, there is Jamaica national team trials on June 11, and then the big Samba party in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, starting on August 5!

No doubt about it, the ‘Road to Rio’ will wind thru’ ‘Philly’ on Saturday, April 30, and you might as well gloat over the idea of ‘saving the best for last’. Weather-wise and otherwise, the PRC will provide the ‘real deal’ test for our up and coming World and Olympic champions from the region but more importantly, it will be the perfect dress rehearsal for a number of national teams from around the world.

The ‘USA v The World’ Olympic development segment on Saturday between noon and 3.00 pm, promises a ‘super duper’ showdown, just judging by past encounters in an ‘Olympic off-year’! World ranked number three team Jamaica, may not pair its best quartets, no surprise there.

The Donald, Quarrie that is, likes to have the last laugh and so will save the best for last, in Rio! After all, that’s where it matters. ‘Philly’ with all its century old show of brotherly love and sisterly affection, is just practice, practice, practice and developmental, red, white and blue and all that hype, be damned!

For the ambassador that he is, he will not us the Irie Jam platform in ways that can be characterized as self serving and rightly so, and so, Clare, Sr., was very careful in presenting the fact of the matter, that our community is disingenuous at best in its support for the development and welfare of our sporting ambassadors, at this end of the spectrum.

We make such lofty preparations to attend the ‘carnival’ while taking it all for granted that our juniors and seniors will do well, they will just come out and blow away the competition. And then, when the chants of U-S-A, U-S-A, drowns out the JAH-MEK-YA, JAH-MAK-YA, we leave with disappointment, not asking introspectively, how did I ‘contribute’ to that scenario?

Gentle folks, it takes cash to care. The alumni associations separately and/or collectively, are making an effort, doing their part, so we must ask, when will we see corporate America, like Royal Caribbean Bakery/Caribbean Food Delights, Tower Isle Frozen Foods, Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill, Trans-Continental Express Shippers, Drummond & Squillace, PA, among others, stepping up to partner with Team Jamaica Bickle (TJB)?

When..? When you ask your boss or the CEO of your company!

Across the huge political divide, our athletes are the best thing bearing the black, gold and green standard, barring none. If we are serious about ‘Jamaica First’, it does not get any better. Any contribution here, is well spent.

Let’s stop circumventing and covertly trying to re-invent. If we can’t use our ‘finger’ from this distance, then let’s use our finance here, for the sake of our athletes. Last week, I was privy to a correspondence from one of the schools in Jamaica, asking the alumni association here to see how best they can accommodate the athletes attending the PRC with winter gear  (warm clothing), because, let’s face it, Philly in April, is nothing, nowhere like Jamaica even when there is a ‘cold front’!

Food, accommodation and ground transport, TJB have that locked but what of the other incidentals and miscellaneous items that contribute so much to the overall care and comfort of the athletes, most of whom are traveling overseas for the very first time? Have you ever given that some thought?

Now is the time to make your contribution count!

Oh, and by the way, our athletes are fashionable and fast even going down the up escalator, but they do not wear Gucci, and they drink D&G!

To God be the glory, always!



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