Leighton Levy, Gleaner Writer
Supreme Ventures Limited (SVL) has given the Jamaica Athletics Administra-tive Association (JAAA) high marks for the way the recently concluded SVL National Track and Field Championships were organised.
The championships, held between June 23 and 26 to select Jamaica's team to the CAC Games, the Pan American Games and the IAAF World Athletics Championships, have been widely hailed a success.
Thousands attended the National Stadium over the four days to witness Jamaica's best athletes vie for spots on the team.
They witnessed exhilarating 100-metre races that involved former world record holder Asafa Powell, rising star Steve Mullings, Yohan Blake and Nesta Carter - four of the fastest men in history - as well as Veronica Campbell-Brown, arguably one of Jamaica's best-ever female sprinters, and Olympic silver medallists Kerron Stewart and Sherone Simpson.
They also saw the coming of age of a new generation of athletes, including former Vere Technical standout Jura Levy, emerging hurdles talent André Riley, as well as Nickel Ashmeade and Ristananna Tracey. There was a buzz around every day.
"We are very happy," said Sonia Davidson, vice-president of corporate communications at SVL. "The JAAA is very organised. There were a few glitches but they were ironed out. We are also happy with the preparation of the athletes. It has allowed the JAAA to have a pool from which to select a strong team of athletes to represent the country."
Davidson, who has over 14 years' experience in the marketing industry and uses her knowledge of the Jamaican market, coupled with market research, to develop innovative and exciting public relations and promotional programmes for SVL, says while it is still too early to say what will be the financial returns on the millions invested into the championships, the company has certainly benefited from the goodwill.
She was heartened by the response to the company and its pitchman Reggae Rogers, who gave away paraphernalia and kept the audience energised between events.
JAAA President Howard Aris was equally pleased about the outcome and the fact that their long-time partner, SVL, was happy with the results.
"The partnership between the JAAA and SVL has been a long-standing one, and we are very pleased that they are happy with these championships. Their endorsement gives further credence to our efforts to continue to produce the very best world-class athletes."
Senior corporate communications officer, Carlene Edwards, described the national cham-pionships as excellent, and said that "such was the excitement, personally speaking, I can't wait for next year".