Other than the fact that Jamaica’s only sports college was named after him, not much is known about Gerald Claude Eugene Foster. For many, Jamaica’s track and field history began in 1948 at the London Olympic Games, where Jamaicans like Arthur Wint, Herb McKinley, and George Rhoden began to write their own significant legacies, but in reality, it could easily be argued that G. C. Foster was actually the man who started it all, first as an athlete in the early 1900s; later, as a coach who played a key part in Jamaica’s schoolboy sports; and even later, as coach and physiotherapist at the British Empire Games in 1934 and the Olympic Games in 1948. In comparison to others, history has been unkind to Foster, whose work has gone relatively unrecognised. “In some ways, I don’t think he was valued enough at that time, and when we look back now at his role in coaching schoolboy athletes – whichever school he coached had a very good chance at winning Champs that year – maybe he wasn’t valued enough,” said Diane Shaw, Foster’s granddaughter, who, on Wednesday, launched a book on her grandfather’s life at the Football Factory on Olivier Road in Kingston. The book is called Remembering G. C. Foster and was edited by Arnold Bertram, who has written several books on Jamaica’s rich track and field history. Shaw is the last grandchild of Foster, who unsuccessfully bid to represent Jamaica at the 1908 Olympic Games because Jamaica was not yet a member of the Olympic charter. She began research for the book decades ago, interviewing persons like the late Barclay Ewart, who benefitted from Foster’s tutelage while he was a student at Jamaica College back in the 1950s. She also interviewed the late Keith Gardner, another of Foster’s early protegÈs, as well as Mauricio Ventura. Shaw also spent time discussing her grandfather’s contributions with coaches Glen Mills and Freddie Green, as well as modern stars like Yohan Blake. She said she did not get the opportunity to speak with Usain Bolt. She recalls that each of the persons she interviewed for the book had nothing but glowing recollections of Foster, who died in 1966 at the age of 80. “Most of the people that I interviewed just loved him because he was such a positive influence,” she said. Shaw admitted that while she knew her grandfather well while growing up, she discovered new things about him during her years of research. “He had a passion for excellence, and he was a very endearing man. He also had a great sense of humour. There was a lot of laughter. After the athletes had their sessions, there was a lot of laughter after. He never tired. He could go on into the night massaging people until sweat poured down his face,” she said. “He had endless energy for coaching, massaging, and prompting them to be the very best they could be.” All this work, he did for free. The book is available at the Football Factory as distribution deals are still being worked out.
England in control DURBAN, South Africa (AP): England had reduced South Africa 136-4 at stumps on the fourth day of the first Test at Kingsmead yesterday and need six more wickets on the final day to win. Scores: England 1st innings: 303 all out in 100.1 overs (Nick Compton 85, James Taylor 70; Dale Steyn 4-70, Morne Morkel 4-76). South Africa 1st innings: 214 all out in 81.4 overs (Dean Elgar 118 not out, AB de Villiers 49; Stuart Broad 4-25, Moeen Ali 4-69). England 2nd innings: 326 all out in 102.1 overs (Jonny Bairstow 79, Joe Root 73, Nick Compton 49; Dane Piedt 5-153). South Africa 2nd innings (target: 416): 136-4 after 47 overs (Dean Elgar 40, AB de Villiers 37 not out, Steven Finn 3-27). PCB chairman turns down Ali’s resignation ISLAMABAD (AP): Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Shaharyar Khan has refused to accept Azhar Ali’s resignation as ODI captain over the inclusion of former spot-fixer Mohammad Amir in the training camp. Khan met with Ali in Lahore yesterday and after the meeting the PCB said in a statement that “the chairman didn’t accept” Ali’s resignation, who agreed to continue as captain. Last week, Ali and opening batsman Mohammad Hafeez stayed away from the camp after Amir was included, but after meeting with Khan both agreed to join the camp. Amir’s five-year ban for spot-fixing during a Test match in 2010 ended in September and the 23-year-old left-arm fast bowler is in contention for next month’s limited-overs tour of New Zealand. Former Newcastle goalkeeper dies at 47 PRAGUE (AP): Pavel Srnicek, a former Czech Republic goalkeeper who also played for Newcastle, died yesterday, nine days after collapsing while running. He was 47. Sparta Prague, where Srnicek had been goalkeeper coach since 2011, said the former Premier League player died at a university clinic in the eastern city of Ostrava. Srnicek made 150 appearances for the Magpies from 1991-98 and was part of the Newcastle squad that finished runner-up in the Premier League in 1996. He recently published a book, Pavel Is a Geordie, about his years with Newcastle. Srnicek played for his country 49 times between 1994 and 2001 and was a backup goalkeeper at the 1996 European Championship, where the Czechs reached the final. Srnicek also played for English clubs Sheffield Wednesday, Portsmouth and West Ham. Gasquet withdraws from Australian Open MELBOURNE, Australia (AP): World No. 9 Richard Gasquet has withdrawn from the Australian Open because of a back injury. Tournament organisers tweeted news of Gasquet’s withdrawal late yesterday, adding “we wish him a speedy recovery”. France’s Gasquet is the third withdrawal from the Grand Slam tournament which starts on January 18 at Melbourne Park, after Juan Monaco and Thanasi Kokkinakis. Britain’s Kyle Edmund will take his place in the main draw. Gasquet aggravated the injury while playing in exhibitions this month, and he has also withdrawn from the Qatar Open, due to start on Monday.
Nigel Ellis of St Elizabeth Technical stole the spotlight at yesterday’s JAAA-Puma Development meet at Kirkvine with a fast 21.37 seconds to win his heat of the Class One 200 metres.Running against a negative wind of 0.3 metres per second, Ellis ran away from his rivals for an easy win in the fastest time of the day among high school athletes.Herbert Morrison High’s Bonanza Cunningham (21.42) was second overall, with Green Pond High’s Orlando Fisher taking third overall in 21.49.Kingston College’s Roshaun Rowe was best in Class Two as he won in 21.70 ahead of Kevin Stone of Petersfield (21.86) and his Kingston College teammate Yashawn Hamilton, 22.13.best timeIn Class Three, Antonio Watson of Petersfield High led the way with 22.73. Andre Bent of William Knibb, 22.89, was second overall ahead of Papine High’s Shemar Willis, 23.12.Among the girls, Edwin Allen High’s Patrice Moody won the Class One 200m in 23.93 for the best time overall, getting the better of Holmwood Technical’s Shante Deer, 24.42.Manchester High’s Daszay Freean topped Class Two with 23.78, beating Edwin Allen’s Shellece Clarke (24.76) and Christine Irving of Holmwood, 24.77.Last year’s Class Four double sprint champion Joanna Reid of St. Jago High impressed in Class Three with a leading time of 24.10. Holmwood’s Dyandra Gray was second overall in 24,54 with third going to Kevona Davis of Edwin Allen, 24.55.GC Foster College’s Samantha Curtis was best among the women in the open half lap event after stopping the clock at 24.05. She got the better of Donya Ewars of the University of Technology, 24.33. Curtis’ teammate, Natasha Russell was third with 24.71.University of Technology’s Travene Morrison stole the spotlight in the men s 200m as he won his heat in 21.14 ahead of G.C. Foster College’s Javon Gray, 21.42 and Emmanuel Dawlson of Sweden, 21.49.