Champs matchups to savour

first_imgAbsorbing match-ups are sprinkled liberally across the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships this week. Yet, despite the collective allure, one has captured the nation’s imagination. That special one pits Nigel Ellis of St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) against Jhevaughn Matherson of Kingston College (KC) and Raheem Chambers of St Jago High School. In a world where the Olympic or World 100m champion has long been dubbed the world’s fastest human, that extra interest is understandable. Chambers and Matherson are precocious talents who each have won the Class Three 100m in record time. Two years ago, Chambers out-started his friendly KC rival to win in a Class Two record time of 10.29 seconds, with Matherson next in 10.37 seconds. By contrast, Ellis has never won a Champs medal before. This late bloomer moved from Cambridge High and has blossomed at STETHS. He was fourth in both the Class One 100 and 200m last year, with Chambers behind him in the shorter race. All of those ahead of him, including former Calabar standout Michael O’Hara, are gone. So is his 2015 personal best of 10.45. Some didn’t believe his fast-winning Western Champs times of 10.20 and 20.40 seconds until his measured 10.26-second dash to beat Chambers in the Under-20 100m at the recent Carifta Trials. Even though that was Chambers’ first 100m of the season, and even though Matherson smoothly released a 10.25 to win the under-18, everyone believes in Ellis now. His mission is to become the first boy from STETHS to win the Class One 100m. For all that, there are some other big matchups. Ellis’ schoolmate, Junelle Bromfield, and Ashley Williams of Holmwood Technical are heading for a highly anticipated meeting in the Class One 400m. Bromfield is strong and Williams is quick, but the STETHS girl is just about 0.3 faster on the clock this year. Despite all that and the lofty expectations for the clashes between Jauavney James, Shevon Parkes, and Leon Clarke in the Class One 800m and between the JC pair of O’Brien Wasome and Clayton Brown in the Class One triple jump, the girls’ Class Two 100m hurdles will share the spotlight. Two former Class Three and Four winners, Sidney Marshall of Manchester High and Holmwood’s Shanette Allison, demand attention in the Class Two 100 metres hurdles. Allison edged her elder rival at Central Champs and looked great on Tuesday in the Champs heats. Her time of 13.60 seconds led all qualifiers in the preliminary round. Perhaps next year, when she will again be in Class Two, she will knock on the door of the record, set at 13.38 seconds by Peta-Gaye Williams. As in the boys’ Class One 100m, there is another worthy contender. That’s Marshall’s teammate, Daszay Freeman. This leggy lass has sprint credentials, having beaten St Jago’s outstanding Kimone Shaw. Marshall is slick. Allison is quick and Freeman has the look of someone who will keep improving. One of them could become really, really good. That’s the great thing about Champs. Whether the athlete is as unheralded as Ellis or as established as bright prospects like Chambers and Matherson, those who watch Champs keenly could see a gem. So here’s a word of advice. Don’t lose focus after the big 100-metre final. The girls’ Class Two 100-metre hurdles could be the race of the meet. HIGHLY ANTICIPATEDlast_img read more

More Help for MSMEs

first_img Vice President of Sales and Promotions at JAMPRO, Claude Duncan, says it is necessary to bring on board the JEA and the JBDC to strengthen the Export Max Programme, which is designed to improve the export business performance and competitiveness of the participating companies. Three entities have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that will facilitate capacity building among micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and provide them with institutionalised support. Story Highlights Commenting on the Export Max II programme, Mr. Duncan noted that the three-year project, which began in 2014 and ended on September 30, 2017, was successful, as there was a 213.4 per cent average growth for the 19 participating companies. Three entities have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that will facilitate capacity building among micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and provide them with institutionalised support.Led by Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), the other signatories to the MOU are the Jamaica Exporters’ Association (JEA) and the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC).The signing of the MOU forms the basis of JAMPRO’s third export development programme, Export Max III, which aims to attract approximately 40 MSMEs for participation.Vice President of Sales and Promotions at JAMPRO, Claude Duncan, says it is necessary to bring on board the JEA and the JBDC to strengthen the Export Max Programme, which is designed to improve the export business performance and competitiveness of the participating companies.Mr. Duncan was speaking to JIS News following the close-out ceremony of Export Max II and the MOU signing at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel in Kingston on November 14.“If you think about it, the JBDC does capacity building all the time. The JEA (on the other hand) provides that mentorship that supports getting companies to export. It makes sense to incorporate all three companies to scale (up) the programme,” he said.Commenting on the Export Max II programme, Mr. Duncan noted that the three-year project, which began in 2014 and ended on September 30, 2017, was successful, as there was a 213.4 per cent average growth for the 19 participating companies.Some of these companies include Carita Jamaica Limited, Boss Furniture, Ettenio, Crimson Dawn Manufacturing, Country House Products and Free Form Factory, among others.All of them are now exporting, and the enterprises have acquired at least one new export market throughout the programme. The new markets spanned the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States and the Caribbean.As part of market penetration efforts, the companies also participated in inward and outward trade missions to promote their products to international buyers. A reported 173 new jobs have also been created due to the companies’ success.JAMPRO’s Deputy Chairman, Metry Seaga, assured the 19 companies that it is not the end of his organisation’s relationship with them, but “the start of a new season to the next level”.“You can count on us at JAMPRO to journey with you on this leg; we are here to serve you,” he said.Mr. Seaga informed that the Export Max Programme has achieved international recognition, having received accolades for the Best Trade Promotion Organisation under the Small Island Developing State category by the World Trade Promotion Organisation.He noted that the 2017 clients of the Export Max Programme recorded approximately $1.7 billion in export sales, compared to $536 million that was captured in the first instalment of the programme.“This is great news for Jamaica’s export industry, and I am sure this is even more exciting news for ambassadors of Brand Jamaica,” added.In a client testimonial, Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Boss Furniture, Omar Azan, noted that since participating in JAMPRO’s Export Max, exports for his company have doubled.“In October, we got orders for 21 containers. Two days before the end of that month, we got three more containers; two more to Suriname and one more to Cayman (Islands),” he said.During the close-out ceremony, companies were presented with certificates of participation, and special awards went to Boss Furniture, Jamaica Macaroni Factory and Best Dressed Foods for new markets accessed.The New Exporter Award went to Island Products Manufacturing Limited and Tripple C Manufacturing Limited while the Export Sales Growth award went to Grace Agro Processor and Ansel Development Limited.last_img read more

Toronto Film Festival Preview 25 Movies That Could Dominate Awards Season

first_imgNow that Telluride is over and Venice is winding down, it’s time to turn our attention to a huge film festival that re-screens films from other festivals while also premiering a host of interesting fare. It’s time for the Toronto International Film Festival, where much of the fall movie season is unveiled, where awards campaigns take flight and sputter out, and where, at least once, Blake Lively played a blind person. What awaits us at this year’s festival? Let’s take a look.The New StuffT.I.F.F. screens something like 400 films (and this is after an initiative to reduce the size of its slate), so this is by no means a comprehensive list of what’s on offer; some things are bound to get missed or overlooked. The first Thursday of the festival sees the premiere of On Chesil Beach, an adaptation of a slim, devastating little Ian McEwan novel, starring Saoirse Ronan, who will also have Telluride hit Lady Bird at the festival. Chesil Beach has a pretty small profile at the moment, but as Brooklyn proved two years ago, you should never underestimate a small period literary adaptation starring Saoirse Ronan.Charlie Hunnam stars in a remake of prison escape drama Papillon, co-starring Rami Malek. The director is a Danish guy who has mostly done documentaries, so who knows what to expect. But that cast has me intrigued. I’m similarly curious about Outside In, starring Edie Falco and Jay Duplass and directed by Lynn Shelton, whose Your Sister’s Sister and Laggies I love. Also, any chance to see Falco on the big screen is one we should all take. Advertisement Facebook Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Advertisement There’s no way I’m missing Molly’s Game, because why wouldn’t I be curious about a movie written and directed by Aaron Sorkin (making his directorial debut, no less) and starring Jessica Chastain as a woman running a high-class underground gambling ring? Could be a mess, could be brilliant. I’m hoping for the latter.I feel the same way about I, Tonya, the Tonya Harding biopic starring Margot Robbie as the scandal-plagued Olympic figure skater. The film is directed by Craig Gillespie, who’s had an erratic career, veering from twee indie (Lars and the Real Girl) to horror remake (the actually pretty good Fright Night), from a Disney sports dud (Million Dollar Arm) to a Disney rescue dud (The Finest Hours). So who knows what I, Tonya will be. Though, when I interviewed Allison Janney, who plays Harding’s mom in the film, earlier this year, she told me, “I get to do some of the cruelest, darkest comedy I’ve ever been a part of. I have high hopes for it.” That sounds promising, right?You know what else sounds promising? Kate Winslet and Idris Elba bonding, and possibly doing it, on top of a mountain. Which is just what happens in The Mountain Between Us, a plane-crash survival thriller that is such a weird choice for both actors, but what the hell. I must find out what this movie is all about—meaning, whether or not they do it on top of that mountain—so I will be first in line in Toronto.I’m a bit more reserved about Brie Larson’s directorial debut, Unicorn Store, a comedy about a wacky young artist who has to prove she’s worthy of taking care of an actual unicorn when a mysterious store owner played by Samuel L. Jackson offers her one. That sounds like . . . a lot. But a lot isn’t necessarily bad! Twitterlast_img read more