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JPS revs up JNA with new bus

Published:Thursday | August 26, 2010 | 12:00 AM
Jamaica Public Service Company Limited's president and CEO Damian Obiglio (left) stands on the step of the new bus that his company presented to the Jamaica Netball Association (JNA) yesterday at the Sunshine Chalet in Barbican. Also sharing in the moment are JNA president Marva Bernard (centre) and permanent secretary in the Ministry of Sports, Maria Jones, along with members of Jamaica's netball programme. - Ian Allen/Photographer

The Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) yesterday presented a 2010 Toyota Coaster 29-seater minibus, valued at $6 million, to the Jamaica Netball Association (JNA), during a light-hearted handover ceremony on the lawns of the JNA's Sunshine Chalet players' house in the Barbican area.

The donation was actually made to the Netball Foundation of Jamaica, for use by the JNA towards the development of the sport in Jamaica.

The bus will be used to assist the JNA with its transportation needs for the national programme and is expected to significantly offset an area that has cost the association a great deal of funds over the years.

Huge transport bill

Between the period September 2008 and August 2009, the cash-strapped organisation forked out $4.2 million towards transportation expenses, particularly bringing players from all across the island into Kingston for training sessions, camps and other commitments.

Speaking after the presentation, JNA president Marva Bernard described the contribution from the energy company as an important step towards the objective of the organisation.

"This is really a wonderful gesture by JPS. It's a very important part of the puzzle that is being put together by the JNA," Bernard said. "There are talented girls all over the country and we need to see them; plus getting our girls from all over to come in for training sessions and so on is really back-breaking on our finances."

Bernard added: "Our netball family has also grown in the last couple years as we have added the nursery programme and we now start our pre-World Championships programme much earlier, so we certainly have a great need for transportation."

JPS president and CEO, Damian Obiglio, was also proud of his company's involvement with the JNA and stressed their belief in sports as a driving force for community development.

"We have been supporting the JNA for a long time. This is a step up. The Sunshine Girls needed transportation and they came to us and we were happy to assist them. I think it's an excellent sport for young girls to keep them encouraged and we are very proud of sponsoring the association and we will continue our partnership," said Obiglio.

"Our company has enjoyed a long partnership with the JNA dating back to 2005 ... . Our relationship with the JNA has been a huge success and we will continue to find new ways to expand the partnership and extend our support to this organisation," he added.

- Andre Lowe