LIME runs with Carifta
Telecoms company announces $36m, two-year deal for regional champs
Leighton Levy, Gleaner Writer
Telecommunications provider LIME yesterday announced a two-year $36-million sponsorship of the CARIFTA Games, which is set to be staged at the Catherine Hall Stadium in Montego Bay over the Easter weekend.
During a brief ceremony held at Cuddy'z Sports Bar on Dominica Drive, LIME's regional vice-president of marketing and corporate communications, Grace Silvera, described by multimillion-dollar sponsorship agreement as an investment in the development of track and field.
"Sport is dear to the hearts of the Caribbean and our athletic prowess greatly defines who we are as a people," she said. "This is more than a sponsorship, it's an investment. LIME is therefore, very proud to be sponsors of the Games and to facilitate the regional broadcast of this exciting event to athletic fans and supporters across the region."
She said LIME was proud to continue its investment with the North America Central America & Caribbean Athletics Association (NACAC) in sponsoring the annual CARIFTA Games, that has spawned the likes of Veronica Campbell-Brown, Kim Collins and other great champions from the Caribbean.
For some time the Games were in jeopardy as St Kitts/Nevis, the originally selected hosts, were forced to withdraw because of economic issues affecting that island nation.
Had the Games not been held, it would have marked the first time in its 40-year history that CARIFTA would not have been staged.
As such Neville 'Teddy' McCook, president of NACAC, said he was thankful that western Jamaica was able to accommodate the Caribbean's premier junior track and field event and even more grateful to LIME for their support.
"CARIFTA is a breeding ground for the world stage and from these Games many stars are born and world recognition is given to Caribbean nations, so LIME's investment will help to develop young athletic talent across the region," he said.
Highlighting the importance of the CARIFTA Games and the role they play in the development of the sport McCook noted that at the last World Championships held in Berlin in 2009, of the 32 athletes who took their marks for the 200 metres, 28 were from the Caribbean.
"It all started with the CARIFTA Games," he said.
Given that Jamaica will have less than two months to prepare for the Games and describing the impending effort as a 'massive logistical undertaking', Minister of Youth Sports and Culture, Olivia 'Babsy' Grange, was confident that all would be ready in time to host more than 800 athletes, coaches and supporters between April 22 and 24.
"Jamaica welcomes the opportunity to stage the prestigious championships as we continue to position the island as a premier location for major sporting events," she declared. "I am confident we can do it."
She lauded LIME saying that their sponsorship will be a great help with regards to the execution of the meet being held in Jamaica for the first time in more than a decade.