Fri | Aug 18, 2017

Queen's-Grace Jackson organisers expect bigger, better meet

Published:Friday | January 22, 2016 | 1:00 AMShayne Fairman
From left: Meet manager Olive McNaughton, principal Jennifer Williams and patron Grace Jackson at the official launch of the 2016 Queen's Grace Jackson meet at the school yesterday.

With The Queen's School still Jamaica's only all-female institution to host an annual development meet, the organisers are hoping this year's 15th staging of the Queen's-Grace Jackson meet will be their biggest, most memorable and most spectacular to date.

The event, slated to begin at 8:30 a.m. next Saturday inside the National Stadium, was launched at the Queen's School board room on Central Avenue, St Andrew, yesterday.

The event, a qualifier for the ISSA-GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Championships in March, is expected to attract as many as 2,400 athletes. It will cost $500 for adults to enter while children with school identification and under 12 will pay $200.

Honorees at this year's meet will be recent graduate Danielle Williams, who won the 100m hurdles gold at last year's IAAF World Championships and Wayne Long and Winston Harvey for their long-term contributions as track and field officials.

five scholarships

Meet patron, Olympian and past student Grace Jackson, highlighted the fact that five scholarships worth $15,000 each will be given to qualified Queen's student athletes.

"I would like everybody to come out to the stadium and watch the show. We are going to have excellent performances," Jackson said.

Meanwhile, telecommunications provider Digicel are on board for the first time, courtesy of their Digicel Grand Prix series, which sponsors a number of development meets.

Main sponsor, Lucozade, has pumped in $650,000 in cash, products and special prizes for athletes and supporters.

Meet manager Olive McNaughton stressed that the meet is about the development of athletes.

"This meet is not just for the stars. This meet is for development, I think the Queen's-Grace Jackson Meet has done its part in terms of development in Jamaica," McNaughton said.

Competitors will come from some of the major track and field clubs including MVP/UTech, Racers Track Club and G.C. Foster, as well as from high schools across Jamaica. Teams from Cayman Islands, The Bahamas and St Lucia are expected to compete for the first time.

The events down to be contested include 200m for all classes, 400m hurdles, the 400m for clubs and institutions, field events including triple jump and discus while the organisers are also hoping to have the shot put and a special 60m event.

The 4x400m relays are scheduled to bring the curtains down at 6 p.m.