Unity Primary School wins title in Jamaica


KINGSTON, Jamaica, April 15, 2012 - Unity Primary School are the new champions of the JaVA Primary/Prep School Volleyball Competition.


After emerging from dogged preliminary, quarterfinal and semifinal matches, Unity, out of Westmoreland, walked away with the National Title and the accompanying spoils by overcoming the challenge of St James flag bearers, Irwin Primary 15-10, 15-10 in the finals of the JaVA organized competition.


In the preliminary round,Unity emerged atop their group and played Lyssons Primary from St Thomas in the quarterfinal. They won the match in 3 sets 15-2, 14-15, 11-2. Then, they then came up against parish-mates Little London and came away victors 15-12, 15-10.


On the other side of the draw Irwin also emerged from the preliminary round atop their group and played Port Morant in the quarterfinals. They came away 15-11, 15-10 winners and moved on to play defending champions Greater Portmore Primary in the semifinals. In what was the most intense match of the day, Irwin took the first set 15-8 and had 5 match points with the score on 14-9 in their favour. However Greater Portmore's coach, Dwight "Baatpan" Steadford, performed his second "Houdini" act of the day to lead his charges to take the set 15-14. The magic didn't last for much longer as Irwin ran away with the deciding set 11-4 to secure their birth in the finals. Greater Portmore quickly pulled themselves together and showed the heart of a champion to take the third place match against Little London 25-16.


Kaldane Channer of Unity Primary took the President's Madd Skills award, while Jahaina "Ras" Rose of Irwin Primary was selected the National Finals MVP for displaying good leadership.


The top 3 teams were rewarded with medals, trophies and balls, with the winning team also earning a net. The other 9 teams that competed in the National Final were given balls courtesy of NORCECA Volleyball Confederation. Hi-lyte Sport Drink, Seprod, and Juici Patties have provided part sponsorship of the event.


Major Warrenton Dixon, President of the Jamaica Volleyball Association, in his address to the children, said that he desired to see Jamaican children wearing the National colours in competition at the regional and international levels. "This is not far fetched. It is being done by other countries. You are no worse than they are; you just lack opportunity. JaVA will do what we can to prepare you until we can get some substancial funding support to do more. Jamaica will be a major force in volleyball," Major Dixon asserted.


Dixon also acknowledged Haile Mikael, the coach who inspired him to organize the Primary-level schools competition. In 2009 Mikael had organized a competition between 5 Westmoreland-based schools, all of which he coached.


"After seeing that competition I was convinced that if one little-known man could organize such a competition nothing should stop a National Association from improving on the effort," Dixon stated.