Last Saturday, Manchester High School hosted the fourth staging of the Charlie Fuller Memorial field events meet. It was founded through the concept to relive the memory of a man who gave sterling support to track and field at the mid-island institution. The chief person who conceptualised the meet, still the engine that drives the event, is the former outstanding sprinter out of the neighbouring parish’s St Elizabeth Technical High School, Carlos Samuels. Issues of coaching leadership at the school have led Samuels elsewhere. Although he works assiduously to ensure otherwise, there is no doubt that the image of the event, could be tarnished. Fuller was a sporting personality, whose contribution to the upliftment and empowerment of the female track and field programme at Manchester High knew no limits. However, there were no geographic boundaries. This columnist recalls a trip to visit the Falmouth home of a girl from Vere Technical, who had been granted a track scholarship, just to offer congratulations and wish bon voyage. CLOUDS OF UNCERTAINTY With so many offers for Samuels’ talent as a coach and motivator of athletes, it is unlikely that his services will again be available to the Manchester team. What seems more likely is that with or without his invitation, some will want to take up residence within his new programme if logistically permissible. With all these clouds of uncertainty, where does this leave the event held to commemorate the excellence promoted and sustained by Fuller that was Manchester High School under his canopy of passionate support and stewardship? It must be remembered that even the inception of the event was contested by the organisers of the long-standing JAAA/Puma Invitational, held simultaneously crosstown at Kirkvine. They were not amused that competition would be coming from persons who once were aligned to their event. It is to the credit of the opposing parties and some fruitful dialogue following disruptive stand-offs that good sense triumphed and they can now coexist. An existing destructive culture may not allow this harmony to persist. Whatever happens, the CFMFEM should not suffer. The legacy of Charlie, his spirit of goodwill and malice to no one, need to be sustained. Foster’s Fairplay issues a fervent call for constant interaction with the parties to lift and sustain the positive direction in which the meet is now trending. It is incumbent on these stakeholders to ensure that this takes place. Do not allow the memory of this great man to be sullied in any way. – For Feedback, email: firstname.lastname@example.org MEMORABLE SUNDAY Then came the thought that her younger teammate, slightly errant at times, would benefit from the trip as a motivational tool. The fact that the latter miss lived in Kingston was no hurdle. The stout-hearted benefactor, as was Fuller, journeyed from his Manchester home to the city, collected the young athlete, drove to Trelawny for the visit, returned to Kingston for the drop-off, and made his way home all in one memorable Sunday. The incidents of selflessness, displaying single-minded dedication to the female athletes at “Chester” were numerous. The accompanying, domestic deprivation is best described by his devoted wife, Olive. With what Mr Fuller gave to Manchester High during the years he substantially funded the track and field programme the areas of controversy surrounding the introduction and subsequent staging of the meet are unfortunate. There is a threatening situation that needs to be set right if the memory of the peaceful and non-contentious individual is to be adequately maintained. As this column is being written, former head coach Samuels has taken up duties at a Kingston school. This as the Mandeville school administration ponders an altercation between his assistant, Rahnsomn Edwards, and him. Reports are that there was a physical confrontation and both were placed on suspension. Previous to that development, former head coach Jerry Holness returned from stints overseas and resumed his position, displacing Samuels, who, from all reports, had endeared himself to the athletes. Tales of a fallout in enthusiasm are rife a testimony to the influence Samuels had, and presumably, still has, even from a position external to the programme. Holness, now seemingly firmly in the saddle, has gone for another experienced coach as his assistant in Duane Jarrett. Jarrett was his deputy in the first overseas stint in Dubai.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) joined hands on Thursday to capture the Mayoral post in Ahmednagar.Earlier in the day, the BJP’s Babasaheb Wakde was elected Mayor of the 68-seat Ahmednagar Municipal Corporation (AMC), winning 37 votes with the backing of the NCP, despite the Shiv Sena having emerged as the largest party.The BJP could only secure 14 seats, while the NCP and the Congress had managed to win 18 seats and 5 seats respectively.In keeping with their stated aim of toppling the BJP government at the Centre and the State, the Congress and the NCP had jointly contested the recently concluded Dhule and Ahmednagar civic polls.Yet, the NCP’s politically expedient volte face in Ahmednagar reflected the fragility of the Congress- NCP coalition while bringing into sharp relief the mistrust between the traditional alliance partners.While the Congress leadership in Ahmednagar was incensed at the NCP’s ‘stab in the back’, NCP top brass denied any foreknowledge of a local alliance with the BJP.“We had given explicit instructions to our [NCP] corporators not to vote for the BJP or the Shiv Sena. We had allied with the Congress to contest the civic polls and defeat the BJP. I have issued show cause notices against the refractory party members who voted for the BJP’s candidate and we are considering disciplinary action against them,” said NCP State President Jayant Patil.Mr. Patil further dismissed speculation that the NCP was the BJP’s ‘B-team’ in Ahmednagar.High drama preceded the Mayoral election as senior BJP leader and State Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan, credited with engineering some of the party’s biggest civic poll wins, came to Ahmednagar to supervise the alliance with the NCP.“As no party had a clear majority in Ahmednagar, there were three contenders [Sena, BJP and NCP] for the mayoral post. Our objective, as that of other party corporators, is the development of Ahmednagar city. So, we immediately accepted the invitation from local NCP leaders to form an alliance,” said Mr. Mahajan, rejecting any notion of ‘political opportunism’ in the BJP-NCP alliance.He further remarked that despite the BJP’s “sincere wish” to ally with the Sena, the latter did not respond to their overtures.Mr. Mahajan further observed that there were numerous instances of political parties with rival ideologies forming alliances at the Zilla Parishad and the Panchayat levels.
Barcelona’s signing of Malcom has caused controversy. The winger arrived last week in a €41 million deal , despite the fact that both Bordeaux and Roma had announced the player would be moving to the Stadio Olimpico this summer.The Catalans’ late interest in the 21-year-old Brazilian even sparked some suggestions that the club had been unaware of him until Roma’s sporting director Monchi made his move, while the nature of the deal also raises serious doubts over Barca’s strategy in the transfer market.Coach Ernesto Valverde had wanted to sign Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid and everyone at Barca was sure the France forward would arrive at Camp Nou this summer. There were even indications from the player that he would be joining. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! But Griezmann accepted a huge offer to stay at Atleti that will see him bring in around €23m after tax every year and his decision, announced in a documentary at the start of the World Cup, meant Barca had to think again.So after signing midfielder Arthur from Gremio earlier in the summer and then bringing in centre-back Clement Lenglet from Sevilla , they swooped to recruit Malcom to bolster their forward line for 2018-19. The Brazilian is undoubtedly an exciting player who was wanted by a number of clubs across Europe, although not seemingly by Barca until right at the last minute (although they were aware of him), and not by Valverde. Asked about his new winger in his first press conference of the pre-season, Valverde gave a somewhat awkward response. “He is a player the club has known for some time and in the end they have decided to sign him,” he said. “He is a young player, with future projection, and the club decided to sign him.” It was not a very convincing statement and one which did not suggest harmony between the technical team, now led by former left-back Eric Abidal after Robert Fernandez left in June, and the coaching staff. Malcom, who hit the winning penalty against Tottenham after a 2-2 draw in the teams’ International Champions Cup clash on Saturday night , will now line up against Roma, the side he snubbed to join Barca, in Texas on Tuesday .Roma were also the team that knocked Barcelona out of the Champions League last season and Valverde surprisingly left out Ousmane Dembele of his line-up in both legs of that away-goals loss, only throwing on the France forward for the final few minutes as the Blaugrana sought a late goal in the Italian capital.That was despite the fact that Philippe Coutinho, signed in January from Liverpool, was cup-tied and unable to feature in the Champions League after playing in the group stages of the competition with the Reds earlier in the season.Certainly there was a sense that Valverde did not trust Dembele when it mattered most and there were even reports that he could leave the Catalan club after an injury-interrupted first season at Camp Nou. An unremarkable World Cup – despite France winning the tournament – where Dembele barely featured in the knockouts after a poor group stage did little to repair his reputation.The signing of Malcom has only intensified speculation surrounding his future, but Abidal said last week: “Dembele is important. We absolutely count on him. [He and Malcom] are players who play in the same position, but the seasons are long and we are thinking of the club. Dembele can be relaxed, he is important.”One of the concerns over the former Borussia Dortmund attacker last season was a perceived lack of defensive discipline, but the club are sure he will benefit from a full pre-season and believe he can continue to adapt in this coming campaign.”We hope it’s his season,” Valverde said on Friday. “He has to give us a lot of things, he is an extraordinary player. Last year was unfortunate because of the injury he had, but even then he gave us a lot.”Having paid an initial €105m for Dembele a year ago, Barca are definitely not ready to give up on the France forward, now a World Cup winner and still only 21, but it is likely that he and Malcom will be in direct competition for a starting spot for the Catalan club in 2018-19.