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LIME pumps $21m into JAAA

Published:Thursday | April 1, 2010 | 12:00 AM
President of the Jamaica Amateur Athletic Association (JAAA), Howard Aris (second right), is joined by LIME Chief Marketing Officer Chris Dehring (right), Errol K. Miller (second left), LIME's regional vice-president, corporate communications, and JAAA treasurer Ludlow Watts, as the telecommunications company announced a $21-million sponsorship of the JAAA's youth programmes. The announcement was made during a press conference at the Hilton hotel, New Kingston, yesterday. - Ian Allen/Photographer

André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter

Telecommunications company LIME yesterday announced a $21-million three-year sponsorship of the Jamaica Amateur Athletic Association (JAAA) youth programmes during, a press conference at the Hilton hotel in Kingston.

The sponsorship will be used towards the staging of local meets geared at selecting Jamaica's teams to youth championships such as the Carifta Games, Junior Pan American Games, CAC Games and IAAF Junior and Youth Championships.

The funds will also go towards supporting the selected teams and will also be used for the fitting of the JAAA's new office space at Tremaine Avenue.

LIME's Chief Marketing Officer, Chris Dehring, welcomed the partnership and described it as an honour to be paired with one of the island's best managed sporting administrations.

"It's excellent for us at LIME to be associated with the JAAA, which is an incredibly well-run association," said Dehring, a former sports administrator himself with his role in Cricket World Cup 2007. "We are honoured at LIME to be part of this, particularly the youth development programme which is so important to all of us.

"It's really intended to make sure that they can plan ahead with some certainty in terms of thefunding that will be available to them and that is very important to any administration," he added.

Dehring went on to explain how the funds will be put to use over the three-year period.

"The sponsorship is $21 million over three years and we basically sponsor all the youth development meets that take place, including all the national trials, whether it be for the Carifta Games, Junior Pan Am Games, CAC Games, IAAF meets as well as sponsorship of the teams that get selected out of these trials."

LIME is also hoping to help towards the improved efficiency of the JAAA's operations and is already planning to improve the association's communication facilities as part of its support.

Modernised approach

"The JAAA can benefit from a modernised approach to how they communicate and in terms of how office management is controlled, so we will be working very closely with them to modernise those facilities with proper internet services, broadband services and mobile communication services on a closed-user group, so that they can communicate more efficiently with the athletes and everyone else," Dehring said.

JAAA president, Howard Aris, was grateful for the support and added that it will help to address issues where sending teams away to international youth meets are concerned.

"Let me thank LIME for joining with us in trying to develop the programme for our young athletes," said Aris. "We have from time to time serious challenges in terms of funding for our teams and therefore this partnership will go a long way in assisting us in furthering the cause of track and field for our young athletes."

"We look forward not only to the partnership in terms of the actual cash value, but more so to the various elements that were described in terms of their help towards us being a far more efficient organisation when we occupy our new premises," Aris added.