Sprint medley for 2018 Gibson McCook Relays
In an effort to bring a lot more excitement to this year's 42nd staging of the Gibson McCook Relays, the organisers have decided to introduce the boys and girls' sprint medley open to the meet, which will be held at the National Stadium on February 24.
Chairman of the organising committee, Professor Rainford Wilks says that they are also in negotiations with two overseas-based schools that have expressed an interest in competing at the meet.
"It's a very exciting event and we feel that both the boys and girls' races will generate a lot of interest," said Wilks after yesterday's launch, which was held at the Knutsford Court hHtel in Kingston.
"It has become very exciting worldwide, and as you know, it is one of the World Championships events, and we felt that it would enhance the meet," he said.
"We expect to have a good turnout. We expect to see a lot of the top high school athletes at this year's championships," Wilks said.
Wilks added that he was also expecting many of the country's senior athletes to participate.
"The two international events are early in March and April, and so we expect that our senior athletes would want to be in shape, and February is not too early, unlike last year when they seemed to be holding back and when they were focusing on the World Championships in August," Wilks said.
Main sponsors Digicel will be awarding $100,000 each to the top boys and girls' schools, and they will be presenting $150,000 and the Teddy McCook trophy to the overall winners.
Monique McLeod, marketing manager of Digicel, said that her company is committed to helping with the development of the nation's athletes.
"When we signed our four-year agreement with the Gibson McCook Relays, it was because we knew that our athletes are not made overnight," said McLeod. "We considered this partnership an investment in their future and a key providing ground towards making their dreams come through."
The next Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce are among them, and it's our collective duty to inspire and support them so that they can realise their full potential," she said.