From tourist to national coach
New national netball coach Jermaine Allison-McCracken feels privileged to be able to coach a sport which she has loved since she was growing up.
"I've always been a netball developer as well as a coach/player, and I feel very privileged and blessed to be in this position now in Jamaica when I was brought to Jamaica to look after my parents. It's like a double blessing, really," the England-born coach, who got the Sunshine Girls job at the start of the month, said.
She visited Jamaica on seven occasions prior, but likened much of that experience to "a tourist".
"I've really enjoyed going to the market, just talking to people on the street and buying my breadfruit and bananas, coconut. I'm beginning to get a feel of this country and how lovely and warm the people are, which was not the impression I got from my mom."
The timing of her permanent move is perfect. Her children are all grown up. The youngest, her 20-year-old daughter, is at Leeds University doing music; her son, now a master's engineer, graduated from Aberdeen University; and her eldest daughter, who graduated from Cambridge University, lives in New York.
Allison-McCracken started playing at age eight while growing up in England and later moved to Scotland, where she developed netball in the Highlands area, where the sport was not played at the time. Now they have a vibrant 12-team league.
That introduction and her father's role has now become part of Allison-McCracken's belief system.
"I believe in education, and if you can nurture a passion in somebody, then everything else follows. If passion is denied, then the academics, the relationships that somebody might get, are inhibited. So I was nurtured and thrived."