Jeffrey Edmund actively participated in five field sports
Jeffrey Edmund actively participated in five field sports

It was Thursday, 25th May 2023, when Jeffrey Edmund and this columnist were sitting comfortably on a bench in the shade of the Bamboo House at the Botanic Gardens. We had rendezvoused so he could share some notes with me to prepare this article.

We had just about called it a wrap when Jeffrey suddenly remembered something and said, "Oh, by the way, I forgot to mention that in the early 1990s, I played four matches in four different sports on one day. Three were league championship matches, and the other a knockout game!"

Those four matches were, firstly, cricket with Saints versus Cavaliers. This was followed by a football match with Saints against Harlem Bombers. Next was a volleyball match with Hefty Spikers versus Bath Road Rovers. And last but not least, a basketball match with Hoyas in which they took on Cardinals. Furthermore, importantly his teams won all four encounters!

Jeffrey, a graduate of the Dominica Grammar School and now 57 years old, has since retired from competitive sports. However, he serves the Commonwealth of Dominica as a Prison Officer with 38 years of experience, making him the longest-serving officer at the Dominica State Prison.

So, let's flip through Jeffrey Edmund's sports pages and see his participation in the five sports he played. We shall tip off with basketball, then present athletics, cricket, football and volleyball in that order.

JEFFREY CRASHING BACK-BOARDS: In Part I of Jump Ball article No. 69, published on 23rd June 2020, Jeffrey Edmund was included as one of Dominica's multi-sports athletes. Jeffrey only began playing competitively in basketball after graduating from the Dominica Grammar School. At the time, he saw basketball more as a continuation of his football training in the off-season.

He played with only two teams in the national basketball league during his basketball career. Firstly, he debuted in DABA's Division II (Intermediates) with a Goodwill-based team, Northern Pacers, Val' Young Bull' Cuffy and others. Those Pacers were short-lived, remaining as a unit for only the 1986 and 1987 seasons.

Jeffrey did not play national league basketball in either 1988 or 1989, but come 1990, he became a founding member of the Hoyas Senior Division Team, with teammates such as Fletcher, Kurt, 'Menas', 'Guinea', 'Mad Rat' and others and coached by Marcellus' Ti-ling' Lee. In one match versus Pros, he sank a fair 14 Pts in Hoyas' 78-87 loss to their opponents.

Jeffrey, who mostly played in the Forwards and sometimes Centre positions, contributed to his teams more as a defender than a scorer. With his strength and jumping ability, he considers himself to have been Dominica's best rebounder and overall defensive player during his time on the court. And beaming with confidence, he was quick to exclaim boastfully, "I was easily the Dennis Rodman of Dominica's basketball!"

Although Edmund never got the opportunity to represent Dominica in basketball or even to get called on the training squad for selection of the national basketball team, Jeffrey is proud to have helped Hoyas capture the Senior Division League Championship in only the team's second year in the basketball arena, i.e. 1991.

JEFFREY THE RUNNER & JUMPER: While a student at the Dominica Grammar School (DGS), Jeffrey participated in the sport of athletics, representing Dupigny House in his school's annual Inter-House Meet and DGS in the Sports Division-organised Secondary Schools Athletics Meet.

Jeffrey, who aptly considers himself an all-rounder in athletics, represented his House and alma mater (DGS) in running events (100 metres, 200 metres and 400 metres), field events (high jump, long jump and triple jump) and throwing events (discus, shot put and javelin). Of course, he also added some 'pulling power' to Dupigny's Tug-of-War team. He competed in track and field and jumping events at DGS but only field events for DGS in the Schools Meet.

JEFFREY, BATSMAN & BOWLER: As a member of the once much acclaimed but now defunct Saints Sports Club, Jeffrey represented his club more as a bowler than with the bat in the First Division Cricket League of the Dominica Cricket Association.

JEFFREY - DEFENDER & MIDFIELDER: Most of Jeffrey's sporting energies went into the sport of football, both as a player and later as a coach. He first played in the Dominica Grammar School's Inter-House football competitions in all divisions for Dupigny House.

During his early years at the DGS, Jeffrey served as a ball boy in the Dominica Football Association (DFA) league matches. However, after leaving school, he entered "big league" football, i.e., the DFA's senior division league (called Division I then), where, for over 15 years, he played with three teams.

Concludes next edition.