Blake: Williams’ success fast-tracked hurdles progress

first_imgPresident of the Jamaica Athletic Administrative Association (JAAA) believes that Danielle Williams’ success in Beijing has fast-tracked Jamaica’s progress in the women’s sprint hurdles and could lead to a more rapid transition from the last era of sprint hurdlers.In 2009, Brigitte Foster-Hylton won Jamaica’s first ever gold medal in the 100-metre hurdles at the IAAF World Athletic Championships in Berlin, Germany, while countrywoman Deloreen Ennis-London was third as Jamaica reaped one of its richest medal hauls ever at a global championships. However, three years later, both athletes had retired, leaving behind an enormous gap to be filled. According to Dr Blake, Williams’ success may have just filled that gap.more medals per capita”Three years ago when Foster-Hylton retired, we wondered where the next crop of hurdlers were coming from, but a number of camps have been developing hurdlers and we were developing a critical mass of hurdlers so it was going to come, but it came a little quicker than anyone expected,” said the JAAA president who spoke with The Gleaner on Monday shortly after The Queen’s School honoured Williams for her exploits at the World Championships in Beijing, China.Williams unexpectedly won gold in a personal best 12.57 seconds to help Jamaica win seven gold medals and finish second overall at the championships behind Kenya. Per capita, Jamaica won more medals than any of the other leading nations, Dr Blake had earlier told the gathering of more than 1,000 students and teachers and dignitaries, including Ministers Lisa Hanna, Natalie Neita-Headley, and chairman of the school board Dr Vin Lawrence.Blake revealed that while many did not expect Williams to win a medal, he believed she could have.”I was saying to people that Jamaica stood a good chance of getting a gold medal, and when I said it people looked at me quite strangely as if I was crazy, but I have to believe and have faith in my athletes and her win shows my faith was well placed,” he said.He said Williams’ win will be an inspiration for the other female hurdlers currently emerging on to the world stage for Jamaica.”I think this will give them the boost to work harder, train harder to prepare themselves. A lot of what goes into making a successful hurdler is the preparation that goes in, and seeing that success breeds success and people are going to want to train harder and I think that at the Olympics we could end up getting more than one medal in the event.”last_img read more

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Attorney predicts additional abuse of State resources for elections

first_imgCampaign financing…says GECOM needs to “get up” and workBy Samuel SukhnandanImmediately after the No-confidence Motion was passed in the National Assembly and following the High Court’s ruling in the matter, the coalition Government has upped its political campaigning, although President David Granger is yet to announce a date for the constitutionally mandated General and Regional Elections.Local political analysts and commentators have also taken note of the frequent travel of Government Ministers to various parts of the country, including the hinterland region.This point to the fact that Guyana is still in need of a modern piece of legislation that will cater for campaign finance for each political party, whether that party is inActivist and accountant, Christopher RamGovernment or not.Outspoken attorney and chartered accountant, Christopher Ram told Guyana Times on Monday that it is clear that the current Administration is utilising State resources to fund their political campaign.“That is a misuse of public State funds and there is a law on campaign financing – the Representation of the Peoples Act has provisions on it. The Government is abusing the law and State resources,” he added.In Chapter 1:03 Part XIII of the Act titled “Election Expenses”, a limit is placed on personal campaign expenses to GY$25,000 per candidate and a maximum sum of GY$50,000 multiplied by a maximum number of 53 from a total number of 65 candidates for each contesting political party. The Guyana exchange rate in 1990 was GY$45:US$1. It is presently GY$200: US$1.And according to Section 120 (1) of the amended Act, following elections, political parties’ election agents have 35 days in which to submit financial returns to the Chief Elections Officer, disclosing on behalf of candidates and their parties, all payments made by the party’s election agent, amounts of personal expenses paid by each candidate, all disputed and unpaid claims, all monies, securities, and those received for the conduct of the elections, the names of donors and contributors, among others.However, since the enactment of these regulations (Act 24 of 1990) they have neither been observed by contesting political parties nor enforced by the Chief Elections Officer. Ram said therefore this could lead to social, political and economic instabilities in society.“GECOM should be drawing it to their attention. They need to get up and do some work. GECOM is the elections regulator in this country… I am not sure that the Chief Executive Officer (Keith Lowenfield) or the Chairman (retired Justice James Patterson) is aware of that, but there are provisions,” he opined.LegislationAsked whether he thinks there is need for a more modern legislation to guide campaign financing in Guyana, the commentator told Guyana Times that there is always need for a more modern legislation but “they first have to comply with what exists within the Representation of the Peoples Act.”The Carter Centre had recommended the implementation of campaign financing laws and even prior to that, the Alliance For Change (AFC) was pushing for the implementation of the laws; however, after years in Government, the party and its coalition partner are yet to make a step in that direction.In its final report on the 2011 General Election, the Carter Centre said the need to create legislation to cater for campaign financing was important and even reiterated that in its 2015 report.“To ensure realisation of the right and opportunity to be elected, legal reform is necessary to improve campaign finance laws. Legislation should be strengthened to routinely require disclosure of contributions and expenditures. Consideration also should be given to establishing reasonable limits on donations and expenditures to ensure that the free choice of voters is not undermined or the democratic process distorted by disproportionate expenditures on behalf of any candidate or party. A monitoring and enforcement body with oversight authority of compliance with campaign finance regulations would also be a positive contribution to Guyanese politics,” the report stated.Additionally, the report stated that Guyana’s legal framework for elections was silent in the area of registration and operation of political parties; hence, the reason why legislation is needed to establish clear requirements for the registration and operation of political parties that would support the freedom of association and promote broad multiethnic parties that could represent citizen interests in governance.One of the co-founders of the AFC, Sheila Holder, who wrote a report on ‘Political parties and campaign financing in Guyana’ was passionate about getting the issue addressed through the drafting of legislation. In that report she revealed that incumbent Governments in Guyana have an unfair advantage over opponents when it comes to them having access to finance for their political campaigns.last_img read more

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