A DAY of exciting doubles culminated last evening with the Guyanese pair of Jody-Ann Blake and Trenace Lowe battling to a second-place finish in the final of the Women’s doubles, a part of the 61st Senior Caribbean Table Tennis Championships, which is currently being played at Cliff Anderson Sports Hall.Along with silver from Lowe and Blake, the host nation recorded two more medals yesterday. Lowe and Christopher Franklin finished with a Mixed doubles bronze after making it to the semi-final of that competition. Joel Alleyne and Nigel Bryan finished with a bronze in the Men’s doubles.Both bronze medal games were close battles. The two Guyanese captains, Lowe and Franklin, had the best chance of advancing to another final.The pair were actually ahead at 10-8 in the fifth set, but the Dominicans, Esmerlyn Castro and Isaac Vila, rallied back to close the game at 12-10. Incidentally, the same pair won the finals of the competition later in the night against Cubans Livan Martinez and Carrazana Fonseca.Jody-Ann Blake (right) goes for the kill during the women’s final last night.In the quarter-final, Franklin and Lowe had defeated the Barbados pair of Mark Dowell and Anthonette Riley (11-5, 11-6, 11-6).Guyana’s other strong teams in the competition were knocked out in the quarterfinals. Dominicans Santos Emil and Eva Brito defeated Bryan and Blake 3-1, while Joel Alleyne and Nathalie Cummings lost to Martinez and Fonseca by a similar margin.Meanwhile the pair of Bryan and Alleyne lost to Emil Santos and Samuel Galvez 3-1 in the Men’s semi-finals last night.The visitors stormed to an 11-6 win in the opener, but then the Guyanese pair, led by a pumped-up Alleyne rallied back to score six unanswered points.They closed that game at 11-6 after leading 9-3. In the third game, the home team led briefly before the Dominicans stormed back to an 11-7 win. The visitors looked set to finish the match with the score at 10-6 in the fourth game, but the local pair rallied back and scored three unanswered points before an unforced serving error by Bryan ended the battle.In the final, Dominicans Brito and Castro (who had just finished the Mixed doubles final) were able to muscle past Lowe and Blake 3-0 (11-6, 11-7, 11-8).Today the competition continues with the U-21 and Masters competitions.
MANCHESTER — Around 20 Iowa communities are hosting local employers and state leaders this fall for what are known as Future Ready Iowa summits.Iowa Workforce Development director Beth Townsend says it’s an ideal opportunity to discuss Governor Kim Reynolds’ goal of continuing to build a skilled workforce in Iowa. Townsend says, “Future Ready Iowa is the initiative to align our workforce and education program so we can get 70% of Iowans between 25 and 64 upscaled and trained to have post-secondary credentials by 2025.”Townsend says one goal of the summits is to get business leaders to sit down with their counterparts from within the same community in order to discuss what’s working. “You had local employers coming in to talk to other local employers about the benefits of work-based learning programs in their facilities, or working with the disabled, or recruiting from communities you may not have otherwise thought about recruiting from,” Townsend says. “It’s been a great way to share those success stories.”The most recent Future Ready Iowa summit was held this past Friday in Manchester. Townsend says all of the attendees were encouraged to keep moving forward. “I am hoping that we’ll have employers who want to access and leverage the Employer Innovation Fund and put in an application to get some assistance or a match to help them address a barrier to training here in the community,” Townsend says. “It’s a program that’s going to keep going. We’re going to meet our goal by 2025 so we’re going to stay engaged.”The summits began in September and will run into November. Upcoming summits are planned in: Cedar Falls on Tuesday, Indianola on Wednesday, Spencer on Thursday, Davenport on Friday, and in the coming weeks in: Jefferson, Conrad, Carter Lake, Cedar Rapids, Garner, Orange City, Ida Grove, Farley, Chariton, Cherokee and Ames.