Tiger’s roar inspires us all

By Zaheer E. Clarke
Published April 29, 2019 in the Western Mirror

Tiger Woods’ victory at the 2019 Masters reminds us to never give up hope and to always believe that we can overcome all of life’s obstacles and succeed.

Tiger’s triumph inspires us all.
(Credit: Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)

Eight months ago in a column titled, “Both Golf and Tiger need each other,” I revisited that moment 22 years ago when Eldrick Tont Woods, better known as Tiger Woods, won his first major championship — the Masters — at just 21 years old. I also discussed my health at the time as I was diagnosed with varicella, more popularly called chickenpox.

Two weeks ago before Woods roared for his fifth Masters victory at Augusta, I was once again in lousy health and at the hospital. A respiratory infection limited my breathing, and while being nebulised thrice, my only concern was to get home and find out if Tiger Woods had won the Masters. I didn’t want to find out the score via my personal or work phones while wearing an oxygen mask. I wanted to hear the action, see the emotions, and feel the crowd’s roar, gasp and applause to whatever the outcome while I was in the comfort of my home. When I got home long after the tournament ended, the headline across ESPN’s website simply said, “Tiger Woods is back,” and so was I in many ways emotionally and mentally. Continue reading

When Sports Take a Backseat to Life

By Zaheer E. Clarke
Published November 12, 2018, in the Western Mirror

Sometimes even sports has to take a backseat to the meandering emotions of everyday life. 

In memory of Garfield and Jacqueline: Haggai 2 v 9

Sometimes you get a phone call that you dread.
(Getty Images)

Late Thursday nights or early Friday mornings are the time when I usually pen my Monday sports column for the Western Mirror. Years ago I would have started writing my columns earlier in the week, but with added challenges and responsibilities, I’ve had to make necessary adjustments to the headache of my editors. Last Thursday like so many other Thursdays, I sat to compose my weekly sports column; however, lately, I am finding it hard to write about sports.

It was a minute before midnight on Thursday night that I saw my phone light up. Typically, I don’t call individuals after 8 p.m. nor before 8 a.m., so I usually expect persons to observe similar etiquettes. However, this call was not an ordinary call. The name of my childhood friend of over 28 years appeared on the caller identification. Initially, I wondered if his phone dialled mine by mistake in his sleep at this late hour of the night. The proposition is not farfetched since I have been guilty of having my phone do the same to others. After answering the phone, the tone of my friend’s voice revealed my lingering fear; something was gravely amiss. Continue reading

One of the greatest athletic performances I’ve ever witnessed

By Zaheer E. Clarke

Published on May 21, 2018, in the Western Mirror

Surprisingly, while in my living room at 2 AM, I witnessed one of the greatest athletic performances by one of the smallest athletes of all-time.

The writing process.
(Source: Shutterstock/Thought Catalog)

Since of late, my Monday columns are often penned late Thursday nights to early Friday mornings. I write best in nature’s tranquillity when the crickets are chirping, and everyone in my household is fast asleep. I find that I am able to focus my thoughts and transform them to paper more poetically in those moments. Henceforth, this column like several others started at around 2 a.m. Friday morning.

While there are several burning issues in the sporting world that I’ve been dying to talk about, including the IAAF new testosterone laws for women, this week’s column will venture down a different track. This week I felt compelled to share with you, my loyal readers, one of the greatest athletic performances I’ve witnessed in my lifetime. Continue reading

Jamaica’s Top-25 Sporting Moments of the past 25 years

By Zaheer E. Clarke
Published March 14, 2018 in the Jamaica Observer’s 25th Anniversary Supplement

A chronological look at the top-25 sporting achievements during the 25 years of the Jamaica Observer.

Asafa Powell wins Olympic gold for Jamaica in men’s 4x100m relay at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
(Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Jamaican athletes have been outstanding performers across multiple sporting disciplines, including cricket, track and field, boxing, netball, football and swimming. Choosing Jamaica’s top-25 Sporting Moments of the past 25 years is no easy feat and ranking the top-25 moments is an even more impossible task. Henceforth, picking the easier of the two assignments, let’s have a look at Jamaica’s top-25 sporting moments — in chronological order — over the 25-year existence of the Jamaica Observer. Continue reading

Can you be successful at both Sports and Education?

By Zaheer Clarke

Published November 27, 2017

Sports and education are not diametrically opposing pathways to learning and success. They can be intertwined successfully by focusing on the bodily-kinesthetic intelligence of student-athletes.

Some individuals believe that Sports and Education are like oil and water, immiscible.
(Source: Wonderopolis.org)

The popular tenet of oil and water being immiscible has somehow trickled down to how we view sports and education. Whether it is locally or overseas, several believe that being successful at both is an unattainable dream. It is like Mathematics and English – for some individuals they believe you cannot be good at both.

Growing up, Mathematics and the Sciences have always been my strong point. English and its myriad of breakable rules have always annoyed me – even to this day. Compared to Mathematics, English has always been too fluid and bendable for me. For every rule in English, there are two, three or more exceptions. You must learn the rules and mind you, all the exceptions. One example involves the plurality of some nouns. For instance, the plural of moose is moose and the plural of goose is geese. English is the weirdest language I know and several individuals believe Spanish is easier to learn. Continue reading