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

Over 28,000 Jamaican men missing

By Zaheer E Clarke

Sunday, August 27, 2017

The experts point to emigration and premature deaths – associated with assault, transportation accidents, and preventable lifestyle diseases – as the main causes for Jamaican men going missing from everyday life.

© Zaheer Clarke

Women aged 25 to 54 outnumber men in the same age group by over 28,000 in 2016, according to end-of-year data published by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN).

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development defines persons aged 25 to 54 as those in the prime of their working lives. From the STATIN data, more than 28,000 men considered to be in the “prime-age” group have seemingly vanished from everyday life. The number is potentially higher with incarcerated men not factored in the initial calculations. Continue reading