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Historic book on Champs hits the market

Published:Saturday | March 20, 2010 | 12:00 AM
The Gleaner's Editor-in-Chief Garfield Grandison (right) and Managing Editor Jenni Campbell peruse the contents of 'Champs 100' as Michael Grant, CEO of Great House OmniMedia, takes them through the pages. Grant's company documented a century of Jamaican high school track and field. A copy of the book was presented to Grandison at the Gleaner yesterday. - Norman Grindley/Chief Photographer

Laura Redpath, Senior Reporter

WHILE JAMAICAN Olympians continue to make strides into the future, the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA), along with Great House OmniMedia publishing, documented track and field's past in great detail.

Champs 100: A Century of Jamaican High School Athletics 1910-2010 is a compilation of historical ISSA championship events and will be launched on March 22, the eve of Champs' opening ceremony.

"Champs is a cultural touchstone. Everybody has some memory of Champs and most of those moments are captured in here (Champs 100)," said Michael Grant, CEO of Great House OmniMedia.

tracking changes

The coffee table and history book shows the historic journey of Champs and Jamaican culture through sports. For example, readers and historians can track the changes in diversity in terms of race and gender.

"People interested in changes in Jamaican society will find this very helpful," Grant said.

ISSA approached Hubert Lawrence, a sports historian and statistician, about putting the book together, and discussions began in mid-2009.

"(The book) wasn't just thrown together," Grant, who edited and did layout for Champs 100, said. "Many persons brought in material and there are never-seen-before photos."

never-before-seen image

One image that has never been seen before is a portrait taken by Earle Spencer of young Donald Quarrie.

Other contributors include Lloyd 'Lindy' Delapenha, Jamaican footballer; Una Morris, track and field Olympian; and Brian Cummings, photojournalist. The Gleaner archives and library were also used as resources.

"A researcher of any kind will only have to read this and see Jamaica's success (in track and field)," Grant said.

The historical compilation, Champs 100, will be available after the launch in major book stores and eventually, overseas.