Double all-island netball champions Gaynstead High walked away with the main trophies at yesterday’s Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) netball presentation ceremony at the Terra Nova Hotel. Gaynstead picked up six team and two individual awards at the ceremony. The team awards were Urban Junior and Senior Zone C winners, Urban Junior and Senior winners, and All-Island Junior and Senior winners. Goal shooter Gabrielle Phillips and goal keeper Latanya Wilson were voted junior and senior All-Island MVPs, respectively. In addition, Coach Dalton Hinds picked up two plaques for his team’s showing in the all island competition. Yesterday’s function was also attended by ISSA executives led by president Dr Walton Small; vice-president Keith Wellington; competitions director George Forbes; chairman of Netball Erica Ewbanks; Marva Bernard, president of the Americas Federation of Netball Associations (AFNA); and Netball Jamaica president, Paula Daley-Morris. Dr Small, now in his final term as president of ISSA, praised the players, coaches, and managers of the respective teams. “I must first say, big up to all the players who participated in the competition along with their coaches and managers as only one word, ‘excellent’ can describe the competition this year. You, the players, must be praised for the sacrifices you have made all season. I must also thank sponsors SportsMax, who came on board for the first time as we were without a sponsor, and their presence made it much easier for all who were involved,” Dr Small said. Daley Morris said that the national programme was benefiting from the ISSA competition as 40 players from the school league were selected for a development programme. “We need continuity straight to the senior programme as all members of the Jamaica senior team passed through this system,” she said. Bernard stated that she was happy to be at the function to celebrate with the winners. “I like to be among champions, and you all are champions. ISSA must be commended for their efforts in running a smooth competition, and because of their input, they have ensured the continuity of Jamaica’s netball from the grass-roots level to the national senior programme. Gaynstead, a very small school, must be commended and also goalkeeper Wilson, who is now a member of the senior team.” Bernard also spoke about the AFNA schoolgirls’ competition, which was held for the first time last year. “ISSA should also be congratulated for making the AFNA schoolgirls netball competition a success. This year’s competition, which will involve Denbigh High and Gaynstead, will be held in July in St Maarten, and I am confident they will make us proud,” she said. Ewbanks, the principal of Garvey Maceo High, was very pleased after a successful season. “This season was excellent. It was a good one for us as we started out getting sponsorship for the first time in years. One champion institution ISSA merged with SportsMax, and we were grateful for the sponsorship as it gave us some amount of exposure and just to know that somebody out there is looking on and realising the importance of netball,” said Ewbanks.