HomeNetballA very interesting experience at the racetrack

A very interesting experience at the racetrack

According to Tricia Robinson, president of Netball Jamaica (NJ), the Jamaica senior netball team’s visit to Caymanas Park racetrack on Saturday was another groundbreaking moment.

Sharing the focus on the 10-race card honouring Winston “Fanna” Griffiths, the Caribbean’s winningest jockey, the Sunshine Girls were also honoured with a race named after them, the Sunshine Sprint.

The Sunshine Sprint, a three-year-old and upward Overnight Allowance contest over the five-furlong (1,000m) straight course, was won by the Peter-John Parsard-trained Rojorn Di Pilot, ridden by Omar Walker.

“We were invited to the racetrack by Gary Peart. Most of us are here for the first time, and it is an honour to be asked to celebrate Winston “Fanna” Griffiths’ milestone, so we are grateful. This is truly groundbreaking, and we are grateful. This is my first time at the track, and the experience has been very interesting,” Robinson told The Supreme Racing Guide of the Jamaica Observer.

This followed a collaboration between the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA), Supreme Ventures Lilimted (SVL), and Mayberry Investment Limited in donating $1 million each to members of the Sunshine Girls, who just won the bronze medal at the 2023 Vitality Netball World Cup in Cape Town, South Africa. Connie Francis, the head coach, will be paid $2 million. The money will be deposited into a Mayberry investing account and will remain there for three years, or until the player retires.

“We are so grateful, and these ladies have worked so hard and been so focused that they won silver at the Commonwealth Games and then bronze at the World Cup. Getting a medal after 16 years with the coach who won it the previous 16 years in 2007 is absolutely incredible, and we thank God for the blessing he has bestowed on us,” Robinson said.

Shanice Beckford, a Sunshine Girls goal attack, was also enjoying the experience at Caymanas Park.

“It is good. I like the fact that the sponsors invited us on this day as the girls got a different feel of other sporting events. I mean, it is a good day and I am loving it,” Beckford said.

Beckford expressed her disappointment in receiving a bronze medal at the World Cup, stating that she had hoped for a gold medal.

“I am a little bit heartbroken because we were really going for the gold, but bronze is better than coming home with nothing. I am really proud of the girls and what we have done.

“It was like eight matches in 10 days and so I am really proud of the effort that the girls gave and I am happy that the girls came away with the bronze medal,” Beckford added.

Goal defence Kadie-Ann Duhaney said that, for her, it was an amazing experience learning about the horse racing product.

“I think it’s amazing. A breath of fresh air. I think it’s definitely something that we’re not used to and it’s amazing, like it’s a different ball field. We haven’t seen Gezelle Allison for a while and so I think this is a good way to connect and learn a lot about horse racing and stuff like that, which it’s interesting.

“All the horses have very funny names. I probably expected like Harry, George and those kind of names, but it’s very interesting,” Duhaney said.

Sunshine Girl Adean Thomas (right) enjoying herself with champion jockey Dane Dawkins.

Sunshine Girl Rebekah Robinson (left) presents the Prince Consort/A King Is Born plaque to winning jockey Oneil Mullings.

Sunshine Girls Adean Thomas (left) and Latanya Wilson taking a picture.

The legendary Winston “Fanna” Griffths shares the spotlight with Sunshine Girl Shanice Beckford.

Sunshine Girl Amanda Pinkney (left) presents The Viceroy plaque to Garth Samuels representing Peniel, owner of Magical Mood, who won the race.

Sunshine Girls Tamera Jarrett (left) and Crystal Nicholson bring the sunshine to the winners’ enclosure.

ROBINSON…most of us are here for the first time, and it is an honour to be asked to celebrate Winston “Fanna” Griffiths’s milestone, so we are grateful.

Sunshine Girls Adean Thomas (fourth right), Latanya Wilson (second right), and Amanda Pinkney (right) share a photo opportunity with connections of Essential Quality (Raddesh Roman), winner of the Winston “Fanna” Griffiths OD Classic feature race on Saturday, September 2, 2023.

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