The ISSA schoolboy football season for 2018 was launched on Wednesday, and already, there is a major buzz around the new sponsors and format. Kudos to telecoms giant Digicel, which has injected $75 million to secure title sponsorship of the Manning Cup and Walker Cup competitions over multiple seasons. Wisynco’s sponsorship also affords them title sponsorship of both the daCosta Cup and Ben Francis Cup competitions through their Wata brand, while KFC, Main Event and long-standing broadcasters SportsMax also join the sponsorship table. Congratulations to ISSA for securing these lucrative sponsorship deals, which will no doubt also provide support for other competitions on ISSA’s calendar. The huge injection of sponsorship also serves to make the upcoming season the biggest in schoolboy football history. Now there are some format changes that ISSA has made to the knockout competitions that were announced at the launch. The top eight teams from the Manning Cup and the daCosta Cup will now contest the all-island knockout, now titled the ISSA Champions Cup. The remaining quarter-finalists who do not advance in the Manning and daCosta Cup will now contest the Walker Cup and Ben Francis Cup, respectively. ISSA has made this experimental change in format with a view of limiting the instances of overwork that was present in former seasons, especially for the top teams that advanced in each competition. It is my belief that the overwork during the season was indeed worthy of analysis. I’ve noted in the past that some high-school football teams have played more matches in two weeks than most professional outfits play in a month. Some teams, particularly the rural ones that often have to travel long distances to fulfil their fixtures, have been known to make up to three trips for three matches in a week. The frequent travels and back-to-back matches may negatively impact the team’s preparation and account for match fatigue. Nobody wins in that scenario. FULLER’S POSITIVE IMPACT As it relates to the Walker and Ben Francis Cups, however, these are now a consolation prize that a non-advancing team may secure, tantamount, I suppose, to a Europa Cup win. Some schools that didn’t advance to the Champions Cup will now have a chance at another trophy. The wealth has been shared, so to speak. With that said, ISSA has indicated that this is an experimental change that they are open to tweaking if the outcome is not desirable. Quite an objective approach! Having sat at the sponsorship table in my role as head of marketing for SportsMax, I must say that I have been quite pleased with the creative ways in which each stakeholder/sponsor has pledged to contribute to the further development of Jamaica’s youth over this season. Digicel and SportsMax have retained a football ambassador in the form of former Reggae Boy Ricardo Fuller. Fuller will be on the island to engage in a series of mentorship sessions at a few institutions at the start of the season. CONSOLATION PRIZE With Fuller’s wealth of knowledge and expertise in coming through the ranks of the ISSA schoolboy competition from Camperdown to Tivoli Gardens FC to the Reggae Boyz to Stoke City in the English Premier League, he has made a positive impact and will no doubt be able to impart some of what he has learnt to our student-athletes. KFC’s Andrei Roper also announced that for each goal scored in the first round of the Manning Cup and daCosta Cup competitions, Restaurants of Jamaica will donate $500 to the school-feeding programme of the scoring school at the basic and primary levels. With an analysis of last season, Roper explained that there were some 2,000 goals scored, and thus, they’re looking at a possible contribution of over $1,000,000. Even the primary and basic schools are benefitting from the exploits of our schoolboy footballers! Great job, KFC! And so, our season kicks off on September 8, and we look forward to seeing who will be crowned champions this time around. There are some six trophies up for grabs. May the best schools win! One love.
Tigers play New Richmond on Saturday in sectional finalBy Paul LeckerSports ReporterASHWAUBENON — The Marshfield boys soccer team survived overtime and a shootout to upset No. 1 seed Ashwaubenon in a WIAA Division 2 sectional semifinal Thursday night at Cornerstone Athletic Complex.Hunter McManus scored Marshfield’s only goal as the game was tied 1-1 after regulation and two overtime periods before heading to a shootout.Ashwaubenon (16-5-3) missed high on its first attempt, and Alec Hinson connected for Marshfield (12-7-4). Ethan Leischow, Luke McCann, and Collin Nikolai added goals in the shootout for the Tigers, and goalkeeper Matt Pahl saved Ashwaubenon’s fourth attempt to clinch the win.“The guys showed a lot of heart after being down 1-0 and struggling early,” Marshfield coach Steve McCann said. “As the game went on, we got stronger and stronger. We had some tremendous opportunities to score late in the game.”Marshfield will take on New Richmond (18-4-1) in a Division 1 sectional final at 1 p.m. Saturday at Wausau East. The winner moves on to the 2016 WIAA State Boys Soccer Tournament at Uihlein Soccer Park in Milwaukee on Nov. 3-5. Marshfield’s only state tournament appearance came in 2013.Pahl replaced goalkeeper Jared Klein for the penalty kick round and came up with the game’s biggest save.“I’m really happy Matt Pahl could come in and make the winning save,” Steve McCann said. “He works so hard in practice and has been lights out in practice as we have been practicing PKs. That was our plan going in, and Matt delivered — couldn’t happen to a better kid.”(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com.)Tigers 1, Jaguars 1 (2 OT)Marshfield 0 1 0 0 – 1Ashwaubenon 1 0 0 0 – 1Marshfield won shootout 4-2.First half: 1. A, Santi Yrayzoz (Matt Durbin), 22:15.Second half: 2. M, Hunter McManus, 58:30.Shootout: Marshfield goals – Alec Hinson, Collin Nikolai, Luke McCann, Ethan Leischow.Total shots: Marshfield 22; Ashwaubenon 7.Shots on goal: Marshfield 10; Ashwaubenon 3.Corner kicks: Marshfield 9; Ashwaubenon 6.Saves: M, Jared Klein 2, Matthew Pahl 1. A, Anthony Perdue 9.Records: Ashwaubenon 16-5-3; Marshfield 12-7-4.
21 November 2014Sixty-one public buildings in the City of Cape Town will have free Wi-Fi by the end of June 2015, the executive mayor of the city, Patricia de Lille has announced.Wi-Fi will be provided inside public buildings via the City’s 102 SmartCape computer facilities and externally via 61 public access hotspots in places where the public usually queue for services, according to De Lille.The external public amenities include clinics, administration buildings, traffic departments, fire stations and public transport interchanges in areas such as Langa, Nyanga, Uitsig, Valhalla Park, Athlone and Atlantis.In a statement De Lille said each access point will cost the City between R60 000 and R100 000 to install. “Our 102 internal public access facilities are situated inside the City’s libraries, where we currently have 679 729 registered users,’ she said.The public will be able to access free Wi-Fi at the Bellville, Robbie Nurocklinic and Khayelitsha Site B Youth clinics by the end of December this year. Members of the public visiting the Hillstar and Plumstead administrative buildings and the Mitchells Plain and Nyanga switching centres will also be able to enjoy free Wi-Fi by the end of this year as well.De Lille said the city of Cape Town is partnering with three commercial service providers – MWEB, Internet Solutions and Orange – to expand internet connectivity to previously disadvantaged communities across the city.“The partnership with Orange is a first for the Paris-based international telecommunications giant in South Africa; they will offer a free 200 MB data bundle per day. Internet Solutions will offer a free data bundle of 50 MB per day, while MWEB will provide an uncapped data bundle for the trial period,’ said De Lille.This digital inclusion project forms is part of the City’s R1.3-billion seven-year broadband network strategy. The City has a vision to become “the first truly digital city in Africa’, according to De Lille.“Our brand new Wi-Fi provision has been made possible by the City’s investment in broadband fibre optic networks in line with its City’s Universal Broadband Network strategy, which is geared towards rolling out broadband infrastructure throughout the metro,’ said De Lille, adding that by expanding broadband infrastructure, the City is well on the way to realising its vision of facilitating access to high-speed internet in order to support economic development and expand opportunities to residents.In addition, the City is mulling providing Wi-Fi on MyCiTi buses and, already, the City is in the process of conducting a pilot project with an external service provider. “We will also be accelerating the digital inclusion project by providing broadband access through the Bandwidth Barn at Lookout Hill,’ added De Lille.The public Wi-Fi project demonstrates the City’s commitment to provide broadband connectivity to all citizens, opening up opportunities in the process, according to De Lille.“Broadband connectivity and digital inclusion are fundamental to creating an enabling environment for business development, economic growth and social cohesion. Our new public Wi-Fi provision is a prime example of how the private sector, government and the public can make progress possible, together,’ said De Lille.SAinfo reporter
Left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha’s seven-wicket haul against the West Indies in the Mumbai Test has helped him break into the top 15 of the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for Test bowlers.Ojha engineered a dramatic Caribbean batting collapse on the final morning at the Wankhede Stadium, taking 6-47 in the second innings.As a result, he jumped 11 places on the charts and now sits in 15th place, just ahead of Australia’s Peter Siddle.It is the first time in his career that the 25-year-old from Hyderabad has been ranked so high.However, Ojha’s India teammate Ishant Sharma fell three places to 20th spot after taking just one wicket in Mumbai.Zaheer Khan remains the highestranked Indian bowler at sixth place. South African Dale Steyn leads the rankings, followed by James Anderson and Morne Morkel.Sachin Tendulkar has dropped one place to sixth spot in the Test batting rankings after failing to notch his 100 international ton in the series against the West Indies. Rahul Dravid is ranked eighth, while VVS Laxman and Virender Sehwag are 14th and 19th respectively.Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara is the top- ranked batsman ahead of South African Jacques Kallis and England’s Alastair Cook.West Indies’ Darren Bravo has climbed 14 places to 21st position, after knocks of 166 and 48 in the Mumbai Test, which ended in a thrilling draw with scores level.India’s 2-0 series victory has allowed them to close the gap on England at the top of the ICC Test Championship table to seven points.India gained a ratings point and moves up to 118 after beating the West Indies, who are ranked six places below them.advertisementEngland sit on top with 125 points. South Africa are third on 116 points with Australia fourth (105).West Indies remain on 88 points despite the series defeat.