Sun | Sep 23, 2018

GraceKennedy Supports Ja Penn Relays Team

Published:Tuesday | April 21, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Michael Ranglin

This year, GraceKennedy will again throw its support behind the prestigious Penn Relays, with a number of initiatives directed at benefiting both athletes and spectators, who are expected to descend on the April 23-25 meet.

Now in its 121st year, the Penn Relays, hosted by the University of Pennsylvania, has long been a prominent exhibition for Jamaican high-school teams against a rich backdrop of Jamaican supporters. The company's involvement at Penn Relays is part of a larger commitment that Grace Foods has undertaken to foster and promote the development of Jamaica's track and field programme.

Only a few weeks ago, GraceKennedy was again the title sponsor of the ISSA Boys and Girls' Championship, familiarly called Champs, at the National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica.

GraceKennedy has been title sponsor for Champs since 2007. The company's support of Jamaican athletes will continue in Pennsylvania this year with Grace Foods providing food and beverages through its sponsorship of Team Jamaica Bickle (TJB) which, along with Caribbean Food Delights, will host hundreds of Caribbean high school athletes.

"Grace is pleased to continue its support to TJB and the Penn Relays annual event. The relays serve as a wonderful opportunity to showcase the prowess of a number of our top athletes from Jamaica and the wider Caribbean," said Michael Ranglin, president and chief executive officer of GraceKennedy USA LLC. "Our participation at the Penn Relays is also a great way to build awareness of our food brand, interact with our consumers and to be exposed to a wider audience."


spirit of engagement


TJB has been a shining example of what the spirit of engagement can yield. The organisation dons its host-cap to welcome athletes, coaches and volunteers from Jamaica and across the region. They have hosted athletes from Barbados, the US Virgin Islands, and Guyana in past years and continue to embrace the requests as they come in.

"As we prepare for our 21st year of hosting our athletes, Team Jamaica Bickle recommits and eagerly awaits to serve. Thanks to sponsors such as GraceKennedy, whom we have partnered with and now are a major presence at the relays" Irwine Clare, founder and chief executive officer of TJB said.

Dave Johnson, The Frank Dolson Director of Penn Relays, says patrons attending this year's Penn Relays can expect three exciting days of top-flight competition on the track.

"I expect the level of competition to be as great as ever, particularly after seeing the results of Boys and Girls' Champs. And with this being a World Championships year, as well as a World Relays Championships year, the level of competition could make this one of the greatest years ever."

Johnson noted that having GraceKennedy on board as a major sponsor helps strengthen the bonds between Jamaica and the Penn Relays.

"Anything GraceKennedy does to make the visiting Jamaicans feel a bit more at home must help their comfort level," he said.