Laurie Foster: Good job Calabar High

first_img Add Russell ‘Midnight’ Thompson and his vivid story-telling – fiction with a sprinkling of fact – the five- or six-strong Wynter clan, all representing the black and green, and the call was like that following a Sir Garfield Sobers extra-cover drive – “not a man moved”. They all craved their ‘I was there’ status and had to be seen in the place – talk about distraction as the distant sound of a gunshot, piercing the air at intervals, indicating the start of yet another, seemingly irrelevant race. There was a cost for all this. Those highly anticipated races went by without the visual input of some of the most ardent followers of the sport. Thank you, ‘Stewie’ Spencer for passing by and bringing the group to attention as to what had been missed. It was a good day, and the hospitality of the homesters was first-class. It only needs a little fine-tuning to get the event in more spectator-friendly mode. Calabar has a tradition of excellence in the sport to uphold. Wint and McKenley started the trend, and those now in the limelight are carrying the baton, protected by a host of well-wishers. There can be no better way to concretise the tradition of the ‘Utmost for the Highest’. They were summoned to perform last Saturday, and the response was tumultuous. “Here, Sir.” Good job, Calabar! Saturday, January 23, 2016, was a significant day in the already richly endowed history of Jamaica’s track and field. It signalled the dawn of a new day in which Calabar High School hosted a track meet on a home-based, synthetic surface. The event was in honour of two of its athletic products who have etched their names in the annals of the sport around which the country has received its most global acclaim. That such prominence, privilege, and prestige should have gone to Red Hills Road was indeed fitting, given that school’s meaningful contribution to the process. The celebrants, Herb McKenley and Dr Arthur Wint, stand as the first two Jamaicans to record medals at the highest echelon of the sport. These came at the 1948 London Olympics when the country, not then an independent nation, huddled under the Union Jack, singing God Save the King, took gold (400m) and silver (800m) from Wint’s efforts, and silver (400m) from the McKenley performance. As if by a divine mandate, with the demands of history not to be denied, Saturday last was to feature a spectacle that could not have been accorded a more appropriate stage. On display, opening the year of the XXXI Olympiad, were two home-grown athletes of a more recent generation, both given to top world ranking at their age levels in the 400m, similar to Wint and McKenley. Javon Francis and Christopher Taylor have made their announcement that they would be factors to be considered when up against their global competitors. Francis took the spotlight at the 2013 Moscow World Championships after a spine-tingling anchor run in the 4x400m relay that plucked a silver medal out of nothing. His 44.00 split called to mind the gold medal, world record-breaking leg of 44.6 at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics by the undisputed great, Herb McKenley. Taylor ran to Jamaica’s only gold at the World Youth Championships in Cali, Colombia, last year, registering 45.27, not only a national youth (Under-18) record, but the second-best ever for a 15-year-old. If ever the healthy tradition was on the doorstep of repeat greatness, the time must be now – the prospect of it being cemented, mouth-watering. That the raison d’Ítre for being present was sidelined is testimony to the atmosphere and ambiance that was the Red Hills facility on the day. The presence of old stagers in local scholastic sport, representing the administrative, supporter or on-the-field cohort, detracted somewhat from the competition, however enticing. This columnist, in several aborted attempts to take up trackside viewing advantage, was thwarted by absorbing conversation with such sporting stalwarts as Bernie Panton of a former local governing body fame and a Calabar old-timer; ‘Bowla’ Morant of mid-60’s Fortis football glory; and Devon ‘Stone Age’ Smith, who they all acknowledged to have been a fierce middle-order batsman at the host school. NOT A MAN MOVEDlast_img read more

Brisbane to host Routes Asia in 2018

first_imgBrisbane is set to welcome more than 1000 airline, airport and tourism delegates from 100 countries when it plays host to Routes Asia 2018, the leading aviation route development forum for Asia.A consortium of tourism advocates, including Brisbane Airport Corporation, Brisbane Marketing, Tourism Australia, Tourism and Events Queensland, Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre and Trade and Investment Queensland, combined forces to bring this fiercely sought after conference to Queensland.Bringing together a range of airlines, including some of the largest carriers from the Asian region, as well as airports and tourism authorities, Routes Asia 2018 promises to deliver significant opportunities for aviation and travel industries.The event will run over three days from 18- 20 March 2018 at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre.Julieanne Alroe, Brisbane Airport Corporation CEO and managing director, said it was an honour for Brisbane to be chosen to host the largest and most important route development event for aviation based companies who wish to conduct business to, from, and within Asia.“Dozens of influential cities from across Asia bid for the chance to host delegates for the Routes Asia conference and it is a reflection of Brisbane and Queensland’s growing importance and profile that it has been chosen for this event,” Ms Alroe said.“With Brisbane Airport’s new runway opening in 2020, we are confident this gathering of the region’s key decision makers will strengthen Brisbane’s role as a major gateway into Queensland and the rest of Australia.”Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said securing Routes Asia 2018 is a great coup for Brisbane, giving the City an unprecedented opportunity to showcase our aviation, tourism and business credentials to key decision makers from Asia.“Brisbane is an emerging New World City and this event is further recognition of our status as a leader in the Asia Pacific. This is also a key outcome of our Brisbane 2022 New World City Action Plan, which acknowledges our visitor economy as a key growth sector and highlights air route development as a priority.”Tourism and Events Queensland CEO Leanne Coddington said the event reinforced Queensland’s reputation as a destination of choice for significant business events.“Brisbane, and Queensland, is positioned on the doorstep of the world’s fastest growing region, Asia, and there are immense opportunities for future growth associated with that,” Ms Coddington said.“Hosting this prominent international forum and some of the region’s most influential airlines brings immediate benefit in these delegates coming to Brisbane, offering the chance to showcasing the inspiring experiences Queensland has to offer.“Securing new international routes to Queensland offers significant flow-on benefits for the State boosting the visitor economy and supporting jobs.” Learn more about RoutesSource = Brisbane Airport Corporationlast_img read more