Aneita Robinson, a netball giant passes
The St James netball fraternity is in mourning as death recently claimed one of the parish's most respected coaches, Aneita Robinson, who lost a protracted battle with cancer last Wednesday.
"St James' netball has lost a true stalwart, one who has given much to the sport," said St James Netball Association (StJNA) President Gina Haughton.
"The sport will be much poorer for her passing. She will surely be missed."
Robinson, a prominent member of the Rastafarian community, was a member of the Rastafari Coral Garden's Committee, which has been battling relentlessly to get justice for the victims of the 1963 incident in which Rastafarians were unjustly brutalized by state agents.
IMMERSED IN NETBALL
Robinson was born in Jamaica but grew up in Derby County in England. She returned to Jamaica in the 1980s and quickly immersed herself in both netball and the Rastafarian movement. Her entry in netball started with the Kings netball team, which was founded by Pastor Knollis King of the Rose Heights Full Gospel Church. She subsequently created a junior team, which she named the Queens.
"She was our queen of Kings," said Pastor King, with whom she had a great friendship.
In addition to the Kings and Queens netball teams, Robinson, whose distinct English accent was one of her defining features, also coached at Catherine Hall Primary School, St James High School and the Montego Bay Cricket Club.
"She was my daughter's first coach," said fellow netball coach Deonne Tingling, the mother of national player Carla-Lee Tingling.
Winsome Barnes, a former executive member of the StJNA, who developed an admiration for Robinson's devotion to netball, said she only recently spoke to her and was quite moved by her death.
"Netball has lost someone very special," said Barnes. "She has touched so many lifes ... we are all going to miss her."