Since joining the national netball Under 21 squad in 1997, Simone Forbes has proved to be a highly motivated and dedicated player and has worked very hard to develop and hone her netball skills. This has ensured her a continuous place first on the national Under 21 team, and then the Sunshine Girls. Simone holds the remarkable distinction of having represented Jamaica in four sports -netball, football, softball and volleyball and often captaining these teams or played a pivotal role on them – and in so doing, cemented her name in the museum of Jamaican sports. 

This, of course, is owing to not only her athletic skills but also to her leadership abilities. Excelsior High School has played a pivotal role in Simone’s development. It was where her incredible journey all started, and where she first forged her reputation as a netball player of some note. She later went on to captain the Sunshine Girls. Yet she was equally good at a variety of other sports, which she gradually added during her school career. 

From very early, Simone was determined to use sports as a passport to a better life, and was focused on succeeding in her quest. Since then, she has converted her sporting prowess into numerous scholarships– Having completed Excelsior High School, she then went on to sit for a Certificate in Physical Education at G.C. Foster College, she earned a scholarship to New York’s Mercy College from which she graduated with a BSc in Management with honors. She has since gone on to earn a Master of Business Administration from the Mona School of Business at the UWI. Simone has acquired many awards through her years of representing Jamaica. In 2000, she was a member of the Silver Medal Team at the World Youth Netball Championship in Wales. 

In 2005, she was awarded first place in the category of Sports from the Kiwanis Club of Kingston “Youth in Excellence “awards, in recognition of her sporting achievements. Also, in 2005 Simone was awarded the Prime Minister’s National Youth Award for Excellence in the field of Sports, the highest for youth in Jamaica.  In 2006 Simone was appointed Vice Captain of the Sunshine Girls and awarded the first Kenneth Hall Scholarship tenable at the Mona School of Business to pursue her master’s degree in marketing. 

In 2007, Simone was appointed captain of the Sunshine Girls Team and served in that capacity until her retirement in 2011. In 2007, she was a member of the bronze medal team at the World Netball Championship in New Zealand.  In 2009, she was awarded a silver medal and voted player of the series at the World Netball Series in England. Simone completed her MBA in 2010, the same year she carried the Jamaican flag at the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India. In 2017 Simone felt it was her responsibility to give back to her community as someone who would have benefitted from many organized community programmes. It was with this drive that bear fruit to Project GOLD, “Athletes Against Crime.” This project uses sport to foster behavioural change in at risk youths. She has garnered the support of many athletes and partnered with Shelly Ann Frazer Pryce, Chris Gayle and Ricardo Bibi Gardner. 

In 2019 & 2020, the PG team lead by Simone executed the 2nd and 3rd staging of her project in partnership with UWI, CSJP and others in the August Town community. In 2019 Simone became a member of the Board of Directors of Netball Jamaica. Quickly after, her passion for the sport was on full display as well as her leadership abilities. In 2021, She was elected the 1st Vice President and is currently transferring those same teamwork and leadership attributes she possessed on the court to the board room. Simone is the only Jamaican Female to have represented the country in four Senior Sports and did so successfully; one of the greatest sportswoman ever produced by Jamaica. Simone Forbes, sports woman par excellence, has a journey which has been a long and winding one and is living proof sporting prowess is not incompatible with academic competence.

Resilient, dedicated, professional and personable are all words used to describe the phenomenal Simone Forbes. Growing up in a poor family, she began her sporting journey at six years old because of the guarantee of lunch for athletes. Playing four sports throughout her school life, volleyball, netball, football and softball then being awarded the opportunity to play all for her country, a hobby quickly became a passion for Forbes.

Although failing her CXC examinations on her first try and only getting one subject on her second, she remained dedicated to the only thing she truly loved, sports. Her incomparable performances subsequently gained her a scholarship to the G.C. Foster College and from there a scholarship to Mercy College in New York then she was awarded the Kenneth Hall Scholarship to the Mona School of Business at the University of the West Indies (UWI).

This Kenneth Hall Scholarship was specifically created for her in 2006 to grant her the opportunity to be a part of the World Championship for Jamaica, which she wouldn’t have been able to do if she stayed on her scholarship in the United States. Becoming Jamaica’s most gifted sports personality especially in Netball, Forbes was tasked with leading the Sunshine Girls as their captain. With her life being intertwined solely with sports, she enjoyed all her social activities with others who were also sports fanatics. “I’m always training, I am always playing or always traveling so you really don’t have the time to hang out too much with anyone who is not involved with what you are doing, I tried but I failed miserably,” she revealed.

After retiring, Forbes acted on her lifelong dream of forming a youth development program starting in August Town, Kingston where her mother still resides. She enrolled other athletes such as Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Chris Gayle among others to help the inner-city youths. Not wanting to stop there because of her love for sports, Forbes considered between becoming a coach, an administrator or a volunteer for Netball. She then decided the best place to give back to the sport which has given her a vast amount of opportunities, was to be on the Board of Directors for Netball in Jamaica.

“I ran for a position on the board last year and I lost, however I already decided I was going to run a position until I got on the board which meant if I lost I was going to run again. For me the focus is not about me, it’s about the sport and what I believe I can contribute to the sport,” she expressed. Forbes is now the director on the Board of Directors for Netball. According to her, if you want to achieve something, stay dedicated to it. Through all of this, she still maintains a ‘day job’ at the KLAS sports radio station as a marketing executive and broadcaster as well as volunteering at the National Youth Service. Although always swamped with work, she cannot imagine a life without it.