The Package Company, Jamaica's largest delivery company and parent to Mailpac Express and Airpak Express, has announced its commitment to extend its sponsorship support in the amount of $500,000 to Boys' Town Football Club, one of the front-running teams of the Red Stripe Premier League.
The announcement was made by the company's managing director and former Boys' Town player, Khary Robinson.
According to Robinson, the company is happy to have the opportunity to contribute to development of sports in the inner city.
"We have always supported the development of sports because we view it as an outlet for inner-city youth to participate in wholesome activities and eventually develop talent.
"Football clubs create a structured environment for thousands of youth with coaches playing a 'father figure' role in keeping the players focused on activities that are positive in nature," he added. "It is also an outlet for the broader community as they unify towards a goal of supporting their local teams."
Former Club member
Robinson pointed out that he was a member of the Boys' Town Football Club for three years, at a time when the celebrated team won the Super League, granting them a position back into the Premier League.
"My time spent in the communities of Rema and Trench Town, home communities of Boys' Town, gave me the opportunity to see first-hand how football can enhance the culture and relations of inner-city communities in the midst of severe challenges," he said.
"Our exciting bid to return to the Premier League not only saw opposing factions within the community bond together in support of the team, but there were probably 100 players in the various age pools that, without football, may have succumbed to the various negative elements that plague the youth of these communities."Robinson went on to detail the scope of change that occurred as football became the central positive focus of the community.
"My first year at Boys' Town in 2003 was one of the most violent for the community of Rema as warring factions challenged each other. However, the team's growing success encouraged unification in the community as they rallied behind the team at every practice and game," he pointed out.
"A year later, Boys' Town brought home the Super League trophy to thousands within the community cheering and celebrating together as one. The community today is still bonded by football and nothing gives me greater pleasure than to support the continuation of such an effort."
Robinson added that football clubs in Jamaica were significantly underfunded, despite their positive impact on communities, their residents, and enabling youth to transcend the significant challenges within the inner city.
"Many of the players from Boys' Town and other such clubs have gone on to earn scholarships to study and play football abroad, have found employment from the club or its supporters, and many others have successfully represented the country or international football clubs. That said, almost all clubs remain underfunded, limiting their potential impact."
Robinson also complimented Andrew Price, technical director of Boys' Town.
"Andrew Price is a true contributor to Jamaica. After years of playing for BT, he sacrificed his personal time and resources to coach the team. He has been instrumental in the team's success in regaining its position as one of Jamaica's premier clubs, but more importantly, he has been a mentor to so many in the community and has been responsible for the success of the many lives he has personally impacted," explained Robinson.
Price responded, saying: "The return of Boys' Town to the Premier League was a historic time for the players and everyone else affiliated with the club. Boys' Town is a club that is filled with a rich history, and so we are happy that today the team can remain a shining example of what can be achieved if you work hard enough despite facing numerous challenges."
Price added: "We are pleased with the outpouring of support from The Package Company, and hope the company's participation would encourage other organisations to follow suit."