“You learn that you have to plan. In life, you have to be strategic. In the first 15 minutes you go hard and then you have to rest. You have to pace yourself, and you learn that and you take it over into life. You learn how to deal with people. It teaches you about hierarchy. It’s a lot of social skills you’re learning from the sport,” she said. Forrester, whose mother Olive is a teacher of physical education at Vere Technical High School, Clarendon, said even while at Mineral Heights Primary School she participated in football and netball and learnt to play basketball. While the primary years can be intense with the GSAT curriculum placing pressure on youngsters, Forrester said her parents were supportive. In fact, she said her parents moved her from a kindergarten at which there were no extra-curricular activities to a school where she could participate in activities which were not centred solely on academics. “I was singing and dancing as well,” the 24-year-old said. “My father played cricket and my mom played basketball and hockey. They were always supportive.” BEING STRATEGIC SPORTS, academics, or both – the debate rages on with student-athletes trapped in the middle. Many proponents on either side of the argument have battled over whether students who are good at sport should turn their focus to their specialisation at the expense of academics, or whether school should be the focus with sport participation a pastime. In comes this year’s Rhodes Scholar, Sherona Forrester. Her participation in high-school sport helped fund her tertiary education as she earned full scholarships to the University of the West Indies, Mona, to complete her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics. The former national female Under-17 football captain and member of the national senior team – until a cruciate ligament injury put her career on hold – said that the arguments for being unable to balance the two are “lazy”. “I believe that hard work, dedication and determination are what you need, and a lot of them (student-athletes), they’re not willing to put in the work that they need to be good,” Forrester told The Gleaner yesterday. “Their attitude hinders even their potential in the sport as well,” she added, pointing out that participation in sports provides skills that aid in other areas of life. “What you learn in sport is transferable; you learn discipline, you learn stamina, your body is healthier, you’re taking care of yourself. TIME MANAGEMENT It was while at primary school that Forrester learnt the importance of preparation and time management. “We did a lot of practice in class and we had a lot of homework. When it got to the day before (GSAT), we were playing. I think the preparation was really good in that regard.” After moving to Glenmuir High, Forrester’s involvement in sport intensified to include dance, speech, choir, table tennis and chess. “At Glenmuir, I had a few other persons, just like me, participating in sports and doing extremely well,” she said, adding that one of the members of the football team topped his class and earned a football scholarship to a United States-based university. “It wasn’t really strange,” she said. Forrester, who also represented the University of the West Indies in football, netball and basketball regionally and internationally, reiterated that sports participation helps the brain improve. “The brain and body are getting fit and a lot fitter than the average person. I place value on doing well at everything I do. When I’m in class, I’m actively listening; then I practice when I can, and then sleep. Sleep is very important, when you sleep you absorb memories. “Opportunity cost is very real. Time is limited, but it is the value that you put in the time that you spend. So, if you’re going to spend five hours training and goofing off, the two hours you put into study you have to maximise that. You make time for it because there is time,” said Forrester.
The LAPD officer who fatally shot an African-American teen who rammed a stolen vehicle into a patrol car will not be prosecuted, authorities said Monday. In reviewing the Feb. 6 shooting that became a flash point for community activists in South Los Angeles, the county District Attorney’s Office said there was insufficient evidence to prove that Officer Steven Garcia broke the law when he fired 10 shots at Devin Brown at the end of a nighttime car chase. “Officer Garcia was faced with imminent deadly force and he responded to that force by firing his weapon and defending himself,” Deputy District Attorney Christian Gullon said. Through an attorney, Brown’s family said they are “upset, but not surprised” by the decision. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals While Monday’s announcement ends the possibility that Garcia will be prosecuted criminally, the Los Angeles Police Department is carrying out an internal review and authorities have until February 2006 to impose discipline on any of the officers involved. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa issued a statement calling the shooting “a tragedy for our city.” He said the District Attorney’s Office’s decision “clears the way” for the city’s own disciplinary probes. “I have urged them to move swiftly,” the mayor said. The city also faces a wrongful-death lawsuit filed by Brown’s family. Trial is set for late April. “I think that there definitely was enough evidence for them to do a criminal prosecution,” said the family’s attorney, Brian Dunn. “What I saw in the report that I reviewed was really a reluctance to question the police officers’ versions of how the shooting happened.” Following the incident, the LAPD changed its policy so that officers are now directed to move away from cars that might be backing toward their cruisers rather than opening fire. The case has increased tensions between the black community and the LAPD. Najee Ali of Project Islamic Hope said the decision “sends a troubling message” that there are differing standards of justice in the city. “The District Attorney’s Office has always been reluctant to prosecute cops,” he said. Kerry White, the chief prosecutor at the District Attorney’s Justice System Integrity Division, said the decision was based solely on the facts of the incident. “Rest assured, if we find a case where there is sufficient evidence of wrongdoing we will file those charges,” he said. Brown was at the wheel of a stolen Toyota Camry with a 14-year-old passenger when police encountered him, according to the prosecution’s report. Garcia and his partner, Officer Dana Grant, tried to stop the Camry after watching it travel erratically and run a red light. The report says that Brown, who had marijuana in his system, asked his passenger: “What are we gonna do? What are we gonna do, man? This car is stolen.” The Camry took off, leading police on a 3-mile chase through South Los Angeles. The pursuit ended at 83rd Street and Western Avenue just before 4 a.m., when the Camry went up on a sidewalk as it turned to avoid a parked police cruiser. Brown’s passenger ran while Garcia and Grant parked behind the Camry and to its left. They got out, drew their guns and stood behind their open car doors. The Camry went into reverse and smashed into the police car as Garcia fired 10 rounds, six of which struck Devin. Two of them were “rapidly fatal,” the report said. A witness on his way to work told police the driver of the Camry appeared to “smash the gas” while Officer Garcia looked “like he was sandwiched in,” the report said. In declining to press charges, prosecutors focused on the speed of the event and the officers’ perceptions of danger. “Whether Devin B. intended to strike Officers Grant and Garcia or was merely attempting to flee from them will never be known but we cannot, as the United States Supreme Court cautioned, use 20/20 hindsight to second guess Officer Garcia’s decision to fire his weapon,” Gullon wrote in the report. “We cannot disprove that Officer Garcia was acting under an actual and reasonable belief in the need for self-defense and the defense of others.” Dunn, the Brown family lawyer, said the report is very detailed when it comes to how fast the car was moving but “intentionally vague” about where Garcia was when he fired. Prosecutors were unable to determine exactly where Garcia was because he and the cars were in motion, Gullon said. Numerous officers have been killed by vehicles used as weapons and Garcia made a “split-second decision” to protect himself, said Bob Baker, president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, the union that represents the LAPD’s rank-and-file officers. “This event was a tragedy for both the family of Devin Brown and for the officer involved,” Baker said in a statement. “But we are gratified that the district attorney’s office resisted making a case that wasn’t there.” Garcia, a 10-year department veteran, was assigned to desk duty after the incident pending the outcome of the investigations. The Community Call to Action and Accountability, a South Los Angeles activist group formed after the shooting, planned to meet Monday night to consider a response. Joe Hicks, a former head of the city Human Relations Commission, said he expects the decision to cause resentment, but said officials could calm the waters by fully explaining their actions. The D.A.’s decision comes at a sensitive time because some of the same people who have been concerned about the Devin Brown case have been anxiously awaiting a decision on whether Death Row inmate Stanley “Tookie” Williams will be granted clemency, Hicks said. “Depending on how that community chooses to link those it could be potentially problematic,” he said. “But I don’t expect there to be any riotous behavior about Devin Brown.” Dan Laidman, (213) 978-0390 email@example.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! read more