Thu | Sep 21, 2017

JTA/Sagicor National Primary Athletics Champs starts today

Published:Friday | May 20, 2016 | 5:00 AM
Dishaun Lamb (right) of St Catherine Parish capturing the Under-13 boys 100 metres final at last year's JTA/Sagicor National Primary Schools Athletics Championships ahead of Lennox Barrett of St Andrew.

The 2016 staging of the Jamaica Teachers' Association (JTA)/Sagicor National Primary Schools Athletics Championships gets under way today at the National Stadium, starting at 10 a.m.

All 14 parishes will be represented at the two-day meet, which ends tomorrow. St Andrew are the defending champions.

Leaon Nash, JTA's communications and public relation officer, said that the meet would bring together the best from the parishes and it should be highly competitive.

"Well, plans are going ahead pretty fine. All parishes are wrapping up preparations. We are expecting a very competitive meet. Defending champions St Andrew could be dethroned as St Catherine and Portland are among the teams coming all out," Nash told The Gleaner yesterday.

The Sagicor Foundation has pumped $6 million into the staging of this year's meet and will also provide two five-year academic scholarships at the secondary-school level to the Champion Boy and Champion Girl of the meet.

 

INVESTING IN YOUTH

 

"The Sagicor Foundation as a partner of this event is not by accident as at Sagicor, we see this as an investment in sports, in our youth, recognising what this event has and continues to advance the development of sports in Jamaica. This formed part of the reason why the Sagicor Foundation is delighted to be partnering with the JTA to present this very illustrious and necessary meet," Nadene Newsome, Sagicor's public relations and corporate social responsibility manager, said at the recent launch of this year's meet.

The meet is expected to attract approximately 1,200 athletes between ages six and 17 from as many as 800 schools across the island. They will compete for the coveted parish champion title.

Some of the biggest names in Jamaica's Olympic history have been nurtured by the championships over the years. They include Usain Bolt, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Kerron Stewart, Veronica Campbell-Brown, Germaine Mason, Nesta Carter, Sherone Simpson, Aleen Bailey, and Brigitte Foster-Hylton.

Sagicor apart, additional sponsorship has come from the Jamaica Co-Operative Credit Union and the National Baking Company.

There is no cost to enter the National Stadium today, but tomorrow, entrance fees are: adults $200 and children $100.

- M.S.