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Increase sponsorship for St James/Burger King netball

Published:Thursday | April 28, 2016 | 12:00 AMOkoye Henry
Garth Sommerville (left), of Burger King, presenting the sponsorship cheque valued at $400,000 to the St James Netball Foundation's First Vice- President Deon Tingling (centre) and President Gina Haughton.

Nineteen (19) teams, divided into three zones, have been confirmed for the 2016 staging of the St. James/Burger King Under-12 Netball Competition, which recently had its official launch with a one-day rally and opening ceremony at the Montego Bay Cricket Club all-purpose courts.

Much to the delight of the Gina Haughton-led St. James Netball Association (StJNA), which is coordinating the competition, Burger King, which is in their second year of sponsorship, has increased their cash input from $150,000 to $400,000.

"No praise is too much for our sponsors Burger King, because this is the kind of support we need to drive the development of netball in St. James, especially at the youth level," said Haughton. "It is our intention to give value for money so you can expect and exciting season of netball from these youngsters."

The list of participating schools includes defending champions Corinaldi Avenue Primary and perennial contenders Chetwood Memorial Primary, Howard Cooke Primary and Anchovy Primary Schools. The competition will also feature three new teams in Hosanna Preparatory School, St. Mary's Preparatory School and John Rollins Success Primary Schools.

In addition to the chance to show-off their budding skills, the young netballers will be vying for a range of awards including the coveted Burger King Trophy, which will go to the champions alongside a $30,000 winners purse. The breakdown of the prizes read as follows:

* First Place - The Burger King Trophy and J$30,000

* Second place - $20,000

* Third place - $10,000

There will also be special prizes for the competition's Most Valuable Player (MVP), leading Goalscorers, Best All-Round Player and Top Coach. A $10,000 bursary will go to ten players, who emerge as high-achievers in the 2016 Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT).

"We are looking at the all-round development of these students so while we want them to give their all on the netball court, we also want them to be top performers in the classroom," said Haughton, an educator at Sam Sharpe Teachers College.

Speaking at the launch, Maliki McKenzie-Dixon, the Child Development Agency (CDA) acting team leader for St. James and Trelawny, called on young netballers to represent their school well in both performance and discipline.

"You are out here to represent your schools with pride, and I hope you are ready and anxious to take on that challenge," said McKenzie-Dixon. "Netball will help you in your day to day life ... it will help you to stay physically and mentally fit in a positive way. "