Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 21st 2015 Contents A48
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Monday, December 21, 2015
GEELONG---Middle order bats-
man Jermaine Blackwood said he
almost lost concentration as he
was forced to battle extreme heat
on his way to a polished half cen-
tury for West Indies against Vic-
toria X1 on the first day of their
two-day tour match on Saturday.
Blackwood compiled a well-
played 69 to bolster his confidence
after scoring a couple of ducks in
the first Test as West Indies
amassed 303 for eight at Simonds
The diminutive Jamaican bats-
man who scored seven fours and
a six said it was the first time he
experienced such extreme heat as
temperatures soared to 43 degrees,
one of the hottest days on record
in the history of Australia.
"It was extremely hot out
there...dry heat...even when the
wind came across the ground it
was a kind of hot wind...I ve never
experienced anything like it," said
"We ve played in hot, sticky
conditions, but never quite like
Blackwood added 99 runs for
the third wicket with Kraigg Brath-
waite who top scored with 78 from
175 deliveries in the first two ses-
sions before retiring out to give
the rest of his team mates a chance
at the wicket.
Marlon Samuels struck an
aggressive 45 from 39 balls includ-
ing seven fours, Denesh Ramdin
scored 38 while opener Rajindra
Chandrika chipped in with 28.
"I was quite tired after running
some threes, it s a big ground so
we had to run a few threes. At one
point I felt like I was losing con-
centration so you had to dig deep
for every ball," said Blackwood.
"I had to put that behind me
and just focus on each ball. We
got some starts... we just need to
convert those starts now."
Blackwood added: "This is
international cricket and we will
face different conditions. It was
cold (in Tasmania) for the first
Test and now it s hot here. It s all
West Indies are using the match
as part of their preparation for the
second Test match at the iconic
Melbourne Cricket Ground, start-
ing Boxing Day.
"We ll just have to go back into
the nets and continue to work
hard," he said.
"We re just putting in the work
and hopefully it will pay off in the
next Test match."
Sports and Youth Affairs Minister
Darryl Smith has given residents of
St James and Cocorite the assurance
that the St James Youth Facility will
be made available by April.
The minister made the announce-
ment during a tour of the facility last
He said the facility was demolished
back in 1995. Fifteen years on, the
multi-purpose complex was chal-
lenged to reclaim its pride of place in
Before its closure, the facility was
a major centre for the harnessing of
athlete development towards achieving
Former minister of sports and youth
affairs Gary Hunt in the Patrick Man-
ning-led PNM government cut the
ribbon to open the facility in 2010,
as did the ex-UNC Minister of Gender,
Youth and Child Development Clifton
De Coteau, ahead of this year s general
But except for the playing of football
and basketball in the outer court, the
interior of the facility was not in use
and new fittings had become worn.
"Whatever were the reasons before,
whether it was political, we (are) mov-
ing forward. Tax-payers money has
been invested here since 2006. We
are now going into 2016. Enough is
enough. We are going full speed ahead.
We have to do the final touches on
the building. It is one of the marquee
youth facilities in the country. It s
fantastic facility," he said.
Smith added, "As you can see, it s
huge. Youth is very important to
development. It is a top priority with
regards to resources of the country.
A number of training courses and
classes in terms of computer literacy,
homework centre and different trades
is how it will be utilised. Also there
is the outdoor facility with regards to
playing basketball, football and so on.
It s just a fantastic hub for the young
people from the St James, Cocorite
area to utilise. We have some chal-
lenges with the youth right now, so
we really want to invest and push for-
ward to get this going so they could
Councillor Wendell Stephens, local
government representative for St
James said while the youth had the
opportunity to use the outdoor facility
since then, the interior of building
was not being used.
"We used to have karate classes
here, arts and craft, computer literacy
classes. Those are the kinds of things
that the community would want. All
we are asking the ministry to do for
us at this time is to get the things
that we could run with quickly, with-
out too much expense, to get the
building in use. There was an issue
over the completion certificate with
the Port-of-Spain City Corporation.
That has been sorted out for more
than two years. So it is just to get the
building in use," he said.
Stephens added, "We really have
no where in the area the young people
could access those skills. For sports,
we have the grounds at the St James
Infirmary, but that is at a hospital.
So there is a challenge there. We are
devoid of anything in the area for the
last 15 years or more in terms of sports.
Extreme heat threatened
my focus says Blackwood
Jermaine Blackwood....hit a solid half century.
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