JIS News

Kingston Cricket Club finally opening its doors to women after 145 years, is a decision that is more than welcome, says Sports Minister Olivia “Babsy” Grange during the Jamaica Cricket Association 2008 Annual Awards Ceremony at Courtleigh Auditorium on Wednesday night.
Presenting her greetings to the awards ceremony on behalf of the Minster, Granville Newell, Director of Media Relations in the Ministry, said the landmark move was long overdue, but was “surprised” that the margin was so close to remove an outdated club rule existing for almost a century and a half.
Minister Grange, whose Ministry also has responsibility for Gender Affairs, said: “I knew that it would not have been long before Kingston Cricket Club followed the trend set by Melbourne, Kensington, Lucas and St. Catherine in allowing women members, and I commend President Alva Anderson for promoting this idea at Sabina Park.”
“The truth is that, I was surprised that the decision was only by the tiniest of margins, 22 votes for and 21 against but, as they say in sports – an ugly win is better than the prettiest loss,” she noted in additionMinister Grange said the closeness of the vote suggests that at popular club there were many men who had every intention of keeping women out.
She however berated those with that notion, while questioning the logic behind such thinking.
“I have only one question for those who insist that the doors should have been kept closed, “If we are going to encourage women’s cricket, then how can the doors of the most famous club in the city remain closed to women?”
“And furthermore, how can we ignore women’s cricket, when every other sport, including football and boxing, is opening the doors to women and when the whole world is moving towards gender neutrality in sports,” the minister said, before paying tribute to national female players Chadean Nation and Stefanie Taylor, who returned from West Indies duties recently.
The Sports Minister Grange offered the government’s strong commitment to newly elected president of the JCA, Mr. Paul Campbell. She also hailed the service of outgoing president Mr. Jackie Hendricks, while offering encouraging words for losing presidential candidate Ambassador Courtney Walsh, the legendary West Indies and Jamaica fast bowler.
About Mr. Campbell, Grange said: “I know that Jamaica’s cricket remains in capable hands and as the minister responsible for sports, I look forward to working with you for the growth and development of cricket throughout Jamaica.”
“Like the JCA, I believe that there are opportunities for cricket to make a greater contribution to national development and the economy.
“However, there is a serious challenge facing cricket in the region and the new administration will have to redouble its efforts to ensure that the game remains viable and attractive in the region,” she added.