All set for JTA/Sagicor National Champs
The Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA), in association with the Sagicor Foundation, launched the 36th annual JTA/Sagicor National Athletic Championships at the JTA’s Head Office in Kingston on Tuesday.
The track and field meet, which has kick-started the career for many of Jamaica’s top track and field stars, will be held at the National Stadium, over two days, May 24 and 25, 2019.
Title sponsor, Sagicor Foundation, will be contributing $6.5 million towards the overall execution of the championship. In addition, Sagicor will be providing one-time educational grants to the champion male and female athletes from each parish, totalling $1.3 million. Sagicor will also continue its annual contribution of educational scholarships to the overall champion boy and girl from the meet to cover their secondary education for up to five years. Bringing the sponsor’s remarks, Willard Brown, executive vice president & actuary, employee benefits division, Sagicor Life, reiterated Sagicor’s commitment to the JTA Championships, noting that the event represents a great opportunity for the development of youth sports.
“The programme has undoubtedly impacted the lives of many of Jamaica’s finest and set them on a path to excellence. It has been one of the earliest platforms for exposing the talent of athletes who have gone on to bring recognition and glory to our small island on the global stage”, Brown said.
BENEFITS OF SPORTS
He also highlighted some of the benefits of sport and physical activities on the young stars.
“Sport remains one of the best opportunities to fortify our youths with critical life skills such as team-work, stress, tolerance, and discipline while sharpening their problem-solving skills and brain development,” Brown noted.
President of the JTA Dr Garth Anderson, underscored the importance of the meet to changing lives and impacting the upliftment of communities.
“The meet helps a number of our young people to realise their dreams and to fulfil their passion. Sports is a lucrative business, and our athletes are finding their lifelong careers in the field. So for us, it’s really a nurturing ground in helping our young people to find themselves and to uplift themselves from poverty and to uplift their family and communities,” Anderson said.
FOCUS ON GOALS
President of the Jamaica Olympic Association Christopher Samuda was guest speaker at the launch. He urged the youngsters to stay focused on their dreams and to work hard to achieve their academic and athletic goals.
Over 1,000 young student athletes, representing the 14 parishes will compete over the two-day meet at the National Stadium for the top prize, Parish Championship title. Last year, St Andrew was crowned Parish Champion, while Dushawn Grant of that parish and Ramoya Thompson of St Thomas were named Champion Boy and Champion Girl, respectively.
As in previous years, attendance on the first day of the championship remains free to the public while Saturday, the final day of the meet, will attract an entrance fee of $200 for adults and $100 for children under 12.