Robert Bailey, Gleaner Writer
Marva Bernard, president of the Jamaica Netball Association (JNA), said her administration's feeding programme has taken a major hit due to increases in the cost of food.
Bernard said for the months of January and February this year, the association's bill to feed players in the Under-16, Under-21, and senior squads was just over $550,000.
That cost included over $150,000 on ground provisions; $250,000 at the wholesale and supermarket, and $155,000 on meat.
Bernard told The Gleaner that her association is struggling to cope with this bill, and they are now desperately in need of a major food sponsor for the various national teams.
SEEKING FOOD SPONSOR
"We are seeking a food sponsor for the girls because this has been affecting our cash flow," said Bernard.
"We recognise the link between food and performance, so we had consultations with a nutritionist and developed a meal plan," Bernard said. "We have to ensure they get a balanced meal after a rigorous training."
The programme feeds between 35 and 40 girls during the week and as many as 75 get breakfast on Saturday mornings.
Malysha Kelly, a senior member of the Sunshine Girls team, who is in the final year of a bachelor of science degree programme in international relations at the University of the West Indies, says eating a balanced meal after training is very essential to their performance on the court.
"I think the meal programme is helpful," said Kelly. "As an athlete, it helps to guide your nutrition and makes sure you eat properly."