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Richards proud to have led U-16s to title
Robert Bailey, Gleaner Writer
National Under-16 captain Shereesha Richards feels proud to have led Jamaica to championship honours in the Jean Pierre Caribbean Championships, which ended at Leila Robinson Courts last night.
Jamaica went unbeaten in their first five matches and were heavily favoured to notch their sixth consecutive win in their late match against Trinidad and Tobago last night.
"It feels great knowing that I'll be leading my team to victory in this championships," said Richards.
The 16-year-old Richards, who attends Vauxhall High School, began her sporting career at the age of eight while attending Franklin Town Primary.
She also represented Vauxhall at last year's Boys and Girls' Championships in the 400m and 800m events.
The Jamaicans guaranteed themselves the title on Tuesday when they thrashed Guyana 74-9 for the fifth win. The same evening, Trinidad and Tobago, the only other unbeaten team besides Jamaica until then, went down to Barbados.
Richards now has set her sights on making Jamaica's Under-21 team, which is currently preparing for the World Youth Netball Championship in August, to be held in the Cook Islands.
"I will be going to train with the team (U-21) as soon as this (Caribbean Championships) is over," said Richards, whose role model is senior netball team captain Simone Forbes. "I hope to make the Under-21 team this year, and if not, next year because I think I have all the necessary skills required to be on that team," added Richards, who said she has been invited to train with the team on a number of occasions.
She plays both the goal defence and goalkeeper positions.
Mineth Reynolds, assistant coach of Jamaica's Under-16 team, said Richards has all the requisite skills to gain a place on the Under-21 team.
"I think that she can make the present Under-21 squad once she puts her mind to it," said Reynolds. "She is a very good player because she trains hard and she has a lot of confidence in herself and ability."
Richards said that she enjoys being the captain of Jamaica's Under-16s, especially as she was playing in front of her home crowd.
They gained their third consecutive hold on the title and eighth overall in nine Caribbean Championships. Barbados were the other winners.