1,200 athletes for JTA/Sagicor meet
As many as 1,200 of the best athletes from the 7-15 age group will be on show at the National Stadium on June 2 and 3 for the 34th staging of the Jamaica Teachers' Association (JTA)-Sagicor National Athletics Championships.
Title sponsors Sagicor will pump $6 million into the meet. The sponsorship includes two five-year secondary level scholarships for the champion boy and girl. The scholarships will be provided through the Sagicor Foundation.
Mark Chisholm, executive vice-president, Sagicor Life, Individual Life Insurance division, said his company remains committed to the meet.
"We recognise and see the value it adds to the life of all who are involved - the student athletes, coaches, organisers, sponsors, teachers, parents and peers," Chisholm said at Thursday's launch at the JTA office on Church Street in Kingston.
He added: "This championship has been the platform for exposing the talent of so many of our athletes who have gone on to have long and successful careers as track superstars. To name a few - the fastest man in the world Usain Bolt, our pocket rocket Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and the great Yohan Blake."
Guest speaker, Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information Floyd Green, commended JTA and Sagicor for their commitment to the meet.
"Jamaica is well known for athletics and we continue to produce stars because companies like Sagicor invest from this level. We realise that development starts early," the junior minister said.
Chairman of the National Sports Committee, Colin Spence, said the meet for students from Primary, All-Age and Junior High schools is "special".
"The meet is special as the only national meet of its kind in the world, where students age 7-15 qualify to run at the National Stadium. We will showcase 1,200 of the best students from the parishes. We are about exposing athletes," Spence explained.
St Andrew are the defending champions. Last year they scored 359.5 points to emerge as overall winners.
The meet's associate sponsors include JTA Co-op Credit Union, National Baking Company, LASCO IDrade, JP Tropical Foods, JTA Publishing House, Lithographic Printery, TIP Friendly Society, Art and Fabric and Brawta Sports.