Major sponsorship increase for JTA/Sagicor championship
Ryon Jones, Gleaner Writer
Sagicor's 50 per cent increase in sponsorship has alleviated all fears that the 27th staging of the JTA/Sagicor National Primary, All-Age and Junior High Schools' Athletic Championships would not materialise this year.
The meet will be held over two days on May 13 and 14 at the National Stadium, starting at 10 a.m. each day, and will feature 1,260 athletes from all 14 parishes.
Sagicor's vice-president for group marketing, Tanya Miller, yesterday handed over a cheque for $4.5 million to a very grateful Jamaica Teachers' Association (JTA) president, Michael Stewart, at the JTA conference room.
"This meet is critical for the JTA and we were quite worried earlier this year when we could not come up with sponsors," said Stewart. "We were wondering whether or not we were going to be able to host this meet but we are thankful to Sagicor and our other sponsors who have come on board," he added.
However, the JTA president has concerns about persons trying to take over the meet and plans to copyright their ownership.
"What we want to do is patent this meet because this meet really belongs to the JTA, and that is what we will be doing in the not-too-distant future."
This is Sagicor's second year of sponsorship and Miller believes that the public does not yet recognise the value of the meet.
"I think that the importance of this meet is not truly appreciated by the public as yet. This meet has been the development meet for a lot of our athletes, especially from the rural areas," said Miller.
"The Sagicor Pan Caribbean Foundation was recently formed and we have taken the decision to make this event one of three major activities for this foundation, so I can say it is a long-term commitment," she added.