Andrews lands sweet deal for INSPORTS Swizzzle Primary Champs
The executive director of the Institute of Sports (INSPORTS), Ian Andrews, has expressed satisfaction after completing negotiations that have brought a $2 million increase in sponsorship from Seprod for its INSPORTS Swizzzle Primary Schools Athletics Championships, taking the total to $12 million.
"We've been able to negotiate an increase in the sponsorship from $10-$12 million this year," Andrews said.
The national sports agency's executive director pointed out that they had been working on a better deal with their "long-serving and loyal sponsors", to enhance the meet that caters to development at the grassroots stage.
"INSPORTS has been associated with Primary Champs for a good part of the last 10 years since my tenure," Andrews noted of the four-day championship that is set for the end of May.
"The final number of schools have not yet been confirmed, but I'm happy for the increased sponsorship, which is testament to the good work that we've been doing in developing and unearthing young athletes."
He listed some outstanding talent to have announced their presence at past Championships, including 15-year-old Calabar High athlete Christopher Taylor, who set an age group world record for running the 400 metres in 45.69 seconds at the Carifta Trials on March 14 at the National Stadium.
"Christopher Taylor is one of the athletes who participated at these championships; he comes readily to mind; he was our Champion Athlete," Andrews recalled. "Anthony Haslam, who is now at Jamaica College, he was one of our champion athletes as well, that has gone onto high-school greatness.
"So we're proud to say that INSPORTS is living up to its mandate of unearthing talent, track and field being no exception."
Taylor will make his first appearance at this year's GraceKennedy Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) Boys and Girls' Cham-pionships, at the National Stadium in the 400m heats this afternoon.
Andrews further highlighted that the additional money will facilitate what he considers an important part of the Primary Champs, a feeding programme for the athletes.
"Our championship is the only championship that provides a breakfast programme where we feed the youngsters every day of the championships, for four days.
"You have a lot of youngsters from homes that are not the best," he explained. "You'd find them falling down, and when you check it out, they've not eaten. We're going to give them a feeding programme, one that we started several years ago.
"We'll be feeding them hot porridge, sausages and beans, bread, that kind of stuff. So they can look forward to that," he said.
A total of 85 schools participated last year, with an estimated 4000 athletes.