President of the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) Wilford ‘Billy’ Heaven is hopeful that the opening of the state-of-the-art fitness and wellness centre at Sabina Park will result in an improvement of the national cricket teams.The fitness centre, which was officially opened on Thursday at Sabina Park by Minister of Sports Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange cost an estimated US$70,000 and was co-funded by the National Health Fund (NHF).”This is an initiative that was contained in this administration’s manifesto over two years ago, and this is a realisation of that commitment,” said Heaven.”It is an achievement of the JCA, and the hope is that it will contribute to the fitness level of our players, which, at the moment, is nowhere near where it should be.”The facility, which will also be open to members of other national associations, as well as sports clubs and schools, consists of a range of equipment and exercise machines.It can hold a capacity of 20 persons at any given time.”The fact that the JCA has chosen to take the matter of health seriously is most worthy of commendation, and, indeed, adulation,” stated Grange, who cut a ribbon to signify the opening.”I must commend the NHF and the CHASE Fund for buying into the vision and providing the funding for this initiative.”Added Grange: “What pleases me most, as well, is that this vision fits into my wider vision for the support of infrastructure, which we, as a Government, must put in place to support our athletes.”ENDORSED BY MINISTRYPermanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health Dr Kevin Harvey, who spoke on behalf of Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton, also hailed the venture.”The ministry has been on a drive to take health to another level, and last year, we launched our workplace policy,” Harvey outlined.This is because, he said, the ministry recognised that several Jamaicans spent a significant portion of their time at work.”We have subsequently been encouraging persons to set up at their workplace wellness centres and areas of opportunity for physical activity,” he said.Meanwhile, Everton Anderson, chief executive officer of the NHF, who presented the JCA with several pamphlets and healthy lifestyle charts for the centre, said that he welcomed the partnership.”We believe that a healthier nation leads to a more productive nation, and when Mr Heaven approached us, we were excited,” said Anderson.”I commend Mr Heaven, and on behalf of the board and management of the NHF, we really are pleased that we were able to contribute to this wellness centre US$50,000.”He added: “We really hope that it will lead to positive outcomes.”
Argentina lost the 2014 World Cup final to Germany 1-0 after extra time and then finished runners-up at successive Copa America tournaments, losing to Chile on penalties in both 2015 and 2016.“We always take each World Cup as a big opportunity, and now more than ever because an important generation will move on, several players will change,” Messi said, ahead of Tuesday’s friendly against Spain in Madrid.Vice-captain Javier Mascherano has already announced he will retire from international duty after the World Cup, while Sergio Aguero, Angel Di Maria and Gonzalo Higuain will all be 30 come the finals.Messi will turn 31 during the competition. He has yet to make a decision on his Argentina future but would be 35 by the time of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.“(In Russia) it will be a good opportunity. Argentina is always a candidate for the title because of its image, its history. But this year, we are not favourites,” Messi added. “Spain, Brazil, Germany and France are above us.”Argentina, who beat Italy 2-0 in Manchester last Friday, will play Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria in Group D at the World Cup.The country last lifted the trophy in 1986 when Diego Maradona was named player of the tournament.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Lionel Messi is expected to line up against Spain after missing the friendly win over Italy © AFP/File / GABRIEL BOUYSBUENOS AIRES, Argentina, Mar 27 – Argentina captain Lionel Messi admitted Monday that his generation has a score to settle at the World Cup in Russia after a series of agonising near misses in major tournaments.“The debt we owe is to ourselves, not to the people. We always give our all, we reached three finals. We haven’t been far off,” Messi said in an interview with Fox Sports.