Minister Grange was speaking at the welcome home reception for West Indies female cricketer, Stefanie Taylor at the Norman Manley International Airport on Wednesday, April 6, 2016. She used the opportunity to bring to the forefront, an ongoing issue affecting a young female cricketer who is being denied the privilege to represent her school, Eltham High, the alma mater of Taylor.
“I wish to use this opportunity to raise an issue which has been a concern for some time,” she said, adding, “I mention it because it impacts almost all the portfolio areas under my responsibility, particularly gender affairs.”
The Minister stated that the female at Eltham High is an outstanding cricketer and should not be denied the opportunity to represent her school. Minister Grange also pointed out that Taylor, who is a past student from the institution is a role model for the young cricketer, noting that she is the first person to captain the West Indies women’s team to their first ever World T20 title.
“Had that opportunity been denied Stefanie, we would not be here today celebrating this outstanding Jamaican woman,” said the Minister. She then urged stakeholders present to think about the situation and join her in the quest to ensure that there is a change.
“I want everyone here to just think about it and I am going to ask you all to lobby with us to ensure that such position changes. We must correct this,” she urged. “In fact, this young lady should not have been denied playing with the boys,” she added.
Making reference to Billy Heaven, President of the Jamaica Cricket Association, the Minister said, “I am going to charge him to assist us in breaking this barrier, it is very discriminating against women.”
In congratulating Stefanie, Minister Grange reiterated the plans to establish the Stefanie Taylor Oval. “If you haven’t heard it before, I am resuscitating plans to establish the Stefanie Taylor Oval at your alma mater, because we want to give every young talent at Eltham High, an opportunity to excel the way you have done.”