Fire on Ice! … Mayhew looks forward to historic bobsled competition

first_imgMeet 17-year-old Daniel Mayhew.He cannot drive a car, but he is quite competent, and on evidence, very comfortable guiding a bobsleigh downhill at 110km/h.The Charlemont High school student will head off to a training camp next week before taking his place as Jamaica’s first representative at the Winter Youth Olympic Games where he will feature in the Monobob competition.Remember that movie Cool Runnings?Well this is yet another version of Jamaicans defying logic and excelling on ice.Mayhew’s case becomes even more outstanding when the fact that he only stepped in a bobsleigh for the first time a mere 11 months ago at a Swiss training camp is taken into consideration.”I can’t recall exactly what I was feeling, but I know I was very nervous at first. They started me at the middle of the track, so that I didn’t get as much speed as I would if I started at the top,” Mayhew recollected during a recent chat with The Gleaner.HEARD HORROR STORIESHe heard many horror stories before that maiden voyage, but his first few runs were incident free, and as his confidence grew, so did his popularity among the other young athletes at the camp.The Jamaican, who lives in the St Catherine community Orange Field, which was also home to former 100m world record holder Asafa Powell, went on to win two ‘B’ finals and book his place among the qualifiers for the February 12 – 21 Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway.”I am a little bit surprised. I was the underdog and coming out on top in the B finals shows that I am going somewhere and I can see that I am improving my driving skills and my overall performance,” Mayhew added.”Going to the Olympic Games is a really extraordinary feeling. When I finished my qualifying run and knew that I qualified, it was an overwhelming feeling. I am hoping to get a medal possibly even the gold. The potential is there for me to do it, all I have to do is listen to my coach and I know I can come out on top,” he said.It was that well-rounded coach Harry Nelson, his eighth grade physical education teacher, who took the academic enthusiast out of a class one day and greeted him with the words: “I am have mission for you. You are going to compete in the bobsled.”Hard words to process for a teenager, who had little interest in actually competing in sports. But Nelson, who was impressed with the form shown during eight grade PE, was convinced he had the potential.”At first I was not attracted to the sport, it all happened really suddenly … I really wasn’t that interested at first; who wants to do that (bobsled)?” he laughed. “It’s a very different experience, but it has been extraordinary.”Mayhew, who has passed eight subjects all with ones and twos has hopes to become a commercial pilot in the future but is, however, happy that he decided to take the leap in the bobsleigh and is looking to do his best in Norway.But has he seen the movie Cool Runnings?”I saw that movie before. It was really just like any other movie to me. It really wasn’t that interesting to me at first, but before I left I watched it again because I had a feeling people were going to ask me about it,” he laughed.Maybe his story will play a part in a sequel.last_img read more

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Gov’t has Zika plan for athletes

first_imgWhen it comes to the Zika virus, pregnant women are not the only persons the government is concerned about.    This summer Jamaica will send a strong contingent to the Olympic Games in Brazil where in 2015 there were just under 3000 cases of the virus that manifests in symptoms similar to yellow fever and dengue.  The virus is spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. The outbreak hit mostly the Brazilian northeast region, but cases have been reported as far south as Rio de Janeiro, where the Olympic Games will be held this coming August. Working on the assumption that Jamaica’s athletes do not contract the virus while training here in Jamaica, they would run the risk of contracting it while preparing to compete while in Brazil. This has become a concern for the government that is expecting another outstanding performance from its elite athletes in what will be Usain Bolt’s final Olympic campaign. As such they are taking steps to minimise the possibilities of the virus affecting the nation’s athletes. “We have been looking at it. It has occurred to us, we have been having discussions with the Ministry of Health,” said Minister Natalie Neita-Headley, who has responsibility for sport. “They (officials at the ministry of health) have been having planning sessions looking at sensitising our athletes.” “As much as can be done, we will seek to do it,” the sports minister said. About one in five people infected with the Zika virus become ill. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis. Other common symptoms include muscle pain and headache. The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week. If an athlete contracts the virus and it develops into full blown Zika just prior to competition, it will affect the athlete’s performance. In the meantime, track clubs here are doing what they can to protect the athletes but there are limitations. President of MVP Bruce James revealed that several athletes from his club contracted the Chikungunya virus last year as they prepared for the IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China. Like then, James said, the club had put protocols in place to minimise the impact of the virus but as was the case then, there is only so much they can do.last_img read more

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Simmons pulls out of T20 squad

first_imgDUBAI, UAE, CMC – Batsman Lendl Simmons has become the latest player to withdraw from the West Indies squad for next week’s Twenty20 World Cup in India.The 31-year-old has failed to recover from a back injury and missed the ongoing preparation camp here. He will remain in Trinidad and Tobago to recuperate.Simmons, one of the leading Twenty20 openers, joins Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine and Darren Bravo, who have all pulled out of the squad.Pollard withdrew because of injury, Narine requested more time to work on his action while Bravo opted to play for Trinidad and Tobago Red Force in the Regional four-day championship.last_img

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Jennifer Ellison Brown: Indentifying and treatment principles for sport injuries

first_imgThe following injuries are considered as dangerous conditions: – Concussions: Injury to the brain after a knock on the head. Sometimes there is a delay between the injury and losing consciousness. The casualty may be unconscious, sick or drowsy, get confused, stare and suffer memory loss. These signs may not appear until hours after the injury. – Shock: When enough blood is not circulating around the body due to fluid loss from severe bleeding or burns, vomiting, diarrhoea, or heavy sweating. The signs and symptoms are cold clammy skin, blue lips, rapid weak pulse, rapid shallow breathing, thirst, dizziness, nausea. The casualty may become restless, anxious and aggressive, may yawn and gasp for air and may even become unconscious and dies. – Hypothermia (freezing): The internal body temperature becomes dangerously low (below 350C). This happens when the body is being exposed to cold and wind or in very cold water for too long. The signs and symptoms are shivering, cold, pale dry skin, slow shallow breathing, slow weakening pulse, feeling confused and lacking energy. The casualty may collapse, become unconscious and die if not treated. – Hyperthermia (overheating): The body temperature has risen above 390C and can lead to several different conditions such as: • Heat exhaustion: the body temperature rises and water and salt is lost through excessive sweating. Signs of heat exhaustion includes headaches, lightheadedness, pale grey skin, weak rapid pulse, dizziness, muscle cramps. Shock may develop if water loss is severe. • Dehydration: this is like heat exhaustion, but less severe. The individual feels weak and dizzy through the loss of water and salts from the body. – Heat stroke: this is when the body suddenly stops sweating and the temperature rises out of control. This usually happens during long, vigorous physical activity in a hot and humid environment. The signs and symptoms are sudden lapses into confusion or delirium, rapid strong pulse and hot dry skin. He or she may become unconscious and die if not treated quickly. This routine is used in the case of most soft tissue injuries. Such injuries must be treated as soon as possible after they occur to prevent them from getting worse. The purpose of RICE is to reduce pain, swelling and bruising around an injured area and speed up the healing process. Rest: Stop activity and support the injury in a comfortable position to prevent further injury. Ice: Put an ice pack on the injury for 10-15 minutes every hour. Remove the ice pack after every 15 minutes. This reduces blood flow and swelling. Compression: Wrap a bandage firmly around the injured area. This reduces internal bleeding. Elevation: Raise the injury above the level of the heart. This reduces internal bleeding, swelling and throbbing. We also need to continue to treat the injury properly throughout the recovery. First 48 hours: Ice 10-15 minutes every hour. Avoid using heat because it increases blood flow, avoid drinking alcohol, it increase swelling, avoid activity and do not massage. 48-72 hours: Apply ice and heat alternate for 5 minutes periods to increase blood flow to and from injured area. This encourage healing. 72 hours and after: Heat baths, hot water bottles etc, start rehabilitation activities. (Active movement, passive stretching and active strengthening). Rice should not be used for fractures and dislocations. These should be moved as little as possible and professional medical assistance sought. Treatment principles for common sport-related injuries The R.I.C.E Principle The immediate action to be taken when an individual suffers an injury during physical activity is to get the person from the pitch or playing area and seek appropriate help. We can reduce the time before we return to sport by acting quickly when we are first injured. The following procedures are used: DRABC Principle This routine is used when a person has collapsed and may be unconscious. The aim is to keep the casualty breathing until an ambulance arrives. Lack of oxygen very quickly leads to brain damage. D: Danger – check for danger, this could mean stopping the game. R: Response – shake the casualty gentle to get a response. If the casualty is conscious and can speak find out where the pain is. Stop any bleeding and support broken bones. Send for an ambulance. If the casualty is unconscious move on to resuscitation (A, B, C) A: Airways make sure the tongue is not blocking the airways. Loosen tight clothing, raise the chin and tilt the head backwards, remove obvious obstructions such as gum, or vomit. B: Breathing – look for signs of breathing. If the casualty is breathing, stop any bleeding and support broken bones. Place in the recovery position while you get help. If no sign of breathing move to C. C: Circulation – feel for the carotid pulse in the neck. A pulse will show that the heart is beating. If there is a pulse, give mouth-to-mouth ventilation to restore breathing. If there is no breathing, phone for an ambulance as quickly as possible. Give cardiac massage and mouth-to-mouth ventilation to restore circulation and breathing. Next week: Emergency Procedureslast_img read more

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Oral Tracey: RSPL format works

first_imgIt has been a constant going around in circles in recent years as it relates to the format for the top local football league, now the Red Strip Premier League (RSPL). Four seasons ago, the semi-final and final playoff knockout format was restored after yet another cycle of having the traditional league format, where the champion was the team that accumulated most points at the end of the season. The conventional league format was always the most just and credible way to go. It smacked of injustice and lacking total integrity to have a team accumulating the best record and most points at the end of the regular season, then having one bad game in a concocted semi-final and final knockout game against a team that finished in fourth spot 10 or 15 points adrift the top team, then that fourthplace team could go on to be crowned league champions. There still remains a certain level of innate unfairness in that kind of scenario. This is one of those occasions on which I have been convinced by the unfolding reality to reconsider my previous position. It is a matter of the good of the situation outweighing the bad of the situation. The dynamics of the local football reality make it an unfair comparison to make between our top-flight football in Jamaica and what obtains in the elite leagues of England, Spain and Italy. These leagues have the advantage of huge television deals, more vibrant and richer economies and better infrastructure, which all contribute to better general spectator attendance and a more viable product to market throughout the season. IRRELEVANT, BORING AND USELESS The current format of the RSPL, with the top four teams pooled into a post regular season knockout phase, has worked and continues to work. The level of interest and buzz generated by the approach to the ‘playoffs’, as well as during the current phase, has increased exponentially. There was no disputing the fact that the four top teams in the league, on merit, all made it to the knockout round Montego Bay United, Portmore United, Arnett Gardens and Humble Lion were all rewarded for their consistency and that, of course, helped in the selling of the playoff intrigue and drama. There is also a particular spectacle and almost guaranteed excitement associated with a knockout series that does not exist in the straight league format, where there is always the possibility of one team running from the pack leading by 10 or 15 points, which would render the last three or four games of the season irrelevant, boring and useless. There is no possibility of that happening in a knockout play-to-win scenario. It is also quite instructive that in other regional football jurisdictions such as Mexico, the USA and Costa Rica, and in the majority of the South America countries, it is the post-season knockout format that is used to determine the national league champions. While there can be no real value placed on the unfortunate scenario of the best and most consistent team throughout the season losing a knockout semi-final or final, thus losing the league title, there is some credence to the decision to offer the top performing team at the end of the regular season $1m incentive. All things considered, the format of the RSPL working and is working well. The intensity and interest at this point in the season, as they have been ever since the re introduction of this format, are at an all-time high and I suspect that most, if not all, the previous dissenting voices against this format, have been duly silenced by its success.last_img read more

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