JIS News

The ICC Cricket World Cup (CWC) 2007 frenzy has gripped the campus of Sam Sharpe Teachers’ College in St. James, where some 150 students and lecturers have signed up to participate in the Volunteer Programme for Jamaica’s leg of the event.
“Who better than those who shape the minds of the next generation to participate in the programme,” Manager of the Programme, Vilma McDonald tells JIS News.
Mrs. McDonald is thrilled with the support from the students and lecturers at the institution, as they have exceeded the shortfall in the 400 volunteers required for the Trelawny multi-purpose stadium.
Initially, only 200 persons from the western parishes had applied to the programme before the original deadline in August, therefore the deadline was extended by two weeks to drum up more support.
“We were able to pass the mark that we needed because of the response from them during the extension,” she notes, adding that in the end some 500 persons applied to participate in the programme.
Principal of the College, Cecile Walden is pleased with the response from her staff and students. “I am very proud of them because this is exactly what we are all about and plus, to me, that experience can never be replicated for many years,” she explains.
“What they learn from participating, I am sure is probably more than what any person can tell them out of any book,” Mrs. Walden adds.
She says there is a strong emphasis on community involvement and development at the College. As a matter of fact, it was the Principal who told the students about the programme. “I offered it to them when I realised there was the need,” she discloses.
However, there is a problem, that of missing classes. “At first, they did not know what to do regarding school time, so we got the staff involved,” she recalls.
“I told them that the students were interested in joining the programme and asked them how would they go about accommodating this and they asked why would they not want to be included too,” the Principal recounts.
“I am still amazed that so many members of staff signed up,” Mrs. Walden says.
Consensus on the way forward, she says, was reached democratically. “For the week that activities will be held at the stadium, the College will be closed because we are giving them the time. They agreed that they would make up those classes in early January and during the Easter break,” the Principal explains.
The College, Mrs. Walden says, has a grand history in volunteerism and students have always been involved in a number of conferences in the parish. “A number of our students have been liaison officers, so it is almost a tradition here,” she informs.
Currently, all applications for the programme are undergoing security screening by the ICC. By the end of November, persons selected will be contacted and training will commence in December.
Under the Yellow Package, Jamaica will host four warm up matches, which will be held at the newly constructed Trelawny multi-purpose stadium from March 5 to 9 next year. The opening ceremony for the tournament, scheduled for March 11, will also be held at this venue.