Coach Browne Sports Person of 2006
Coach Browne is The Daily Herald’s Sports Person of the Year for 2006.
Taken from the Daily Herald, Dec 30th 2006
Browne is an athlete, umpire, member of the St. Maarten Sports Federation and coach.
She must be credited as the driving force that revitalized softball on St. Maarten. In 2006, she helped start the school’s softball competition and two to three times a week, she is on the John Cooper/Jose Lake Sr. Ballpark training young female softball players.
“I’ve been in sports all my life,” said Browne. “I started softball at age 15. That was some, wow a long time ago.”
Browne has been an athlete for years. Before taking up softball, she played volleyball and even a little basketball. She preferred softball.
However, she has also sailed competitively on her office team sailboat, Island Water World Express. Browne, along with several other employees of the ship chandlery has raced in numerous St. Maarten Heineken Regattas.
Browne’s first love is softball. She usually plays first base with the Falcons.
Known as ‘Juice’, Browne was the president of the St. Maarten Softball Association, who brought the game back to the diamond.
Softball, like so many other sports, stopped after hurricanes ravaged the island’s sports facilities. Several attempts to revive the sport did not pan out.
It was the ‘Juice’, some three years ago, who had the energy and drive to get the annual competition back up and running. She revitalized both the male and female divisions.
When she is not playing, it is not unusual to see Browne on the field as an umpire.
As a certified official, Browne can call balls and strikes at home plate or make a call at any one of the bases.
This year Browne started the school competition. Not only did she organize games, score or umpire as needed, she also coached and held regular Saturday morning training sessions. Some Saturdays, after dawn showers, only one or two athletes would show up to train. Other days Browne had her hands full with as many as 40 teenagers on the field, ready to play. It did not matter if the group was large or small, Browne conducted the training.
This year Browne was elected to the board of the St. Maarten Sports Federation. She will be helping the federation devise a sports policy for St. Maarten, as well as help guide the islands sports future as St. Maarten separates from the Netherlands Antilles.
Yet, Browne’s first love is softball and training of the next generation that will keep the game alive for years to come. “My goal is to see a youth softball league,” said Browne.
Currently, most of her time is devoted to the 13 to 17 age division. She hopes to work with the 12 and under in 2007. Browne can be found on the ball field at Cul-de-Sac Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, working with teenage girls from 5:30 to 7:00 pm.
She teaches the group the basics of fielding and throwing. She works with the pitchers and catchers.
She dreams of the day when there will be as many youth softball teams on St. Maarten as the 14 male division and 5 female division squads that will compete in the 2007 season that starts January 6.
“I think 2007 will be a good year for youth sports on St. Maarten,” said Browne. “A lot of associations and federations are putting a lot of emphasis on youth activities.”
For her service to the sports community and her dedication to the ideal that girl scan play sports too,
Jackie Browne is the Daily Herald’s Sports Person of the Year.