Off to the Penn Relays

Off to the Penn Relays

West-end high schools receive support form Digicel

Four of Jamaica’s western high schools can breathe a sigh of relief as telelcommunications leader, Digicel, have stepped in to provide support for their Penn Relays team.

Listed as the oldest track and field meet in the USA; thousands of high school and collegiate athletes from across the world will converge at the University of Pennsylvania at Franklin Field in Philadelphia to compete  in various athletic meets.

The Petersfield, Ruseas, Green Island and Herbert Morrison high schools have each received a cheque for $150,000 which will be used to offset travel, accommodation and nutrition costs for their contingent of athletes.

According to Digicel’s senior sponsorship and development manager, Kamal Powell, this is a part of its continued commitment to supporting and developing youth athletics in Jamaica.

Rodrick Miles, coach of the Ruseas High School, who will be sending a 9-member contingent to the relays said, “This sponsorship is filling a big gap for us because as you can imagine going to the Penn relays isn’t a cheap thing. So, I really want to thank Digicel for supporting not just us but schools across the island in a real way, especially with other programmes such as the MVP clinic and the Grand Prix. These are investments that are real and give direct benefit to the schools and the athletes.”

Top performers

Ruseas will be participating in the girls 4*100M, 4*400M, high jumps and triple jumps. Of the four events, Miles is expecting to definitely medal in the high jump through Lamara Distin who is the 2015 CARIFTA bronze medalist for the event. She made a throw of 1.68M in the recently concluded games where Jamaica dominated.

Also expecting results from their throwers is Petersfield High.

“We have a very good throwing programme here at the school, we did great at the national championships and will be looking to continue this at Penns,” said Machell Wollery, coach of the team.

Their standout athlete is Sanjae Lawrence, who won bronze at CARIFTA with a throw of 17.92m. In addition to the shotput Petersfield will also be competing in the boys 4*100M, 4*400M, 4*800M and discus; while for the female they will be competing in the discus.

As for Herbert Morrison Technical, they are looking to have Sashane Hanson, who won bronze at the 2014 Penn Relays continue her winnign ways this year.

“Sashane is jumping much better this year and is far healthier, so we are expecting good results from her,” commented Claude Grant, coach of the track team.

In the meantime, Kamal Powell said, “As you can imagine, being able to compete at an international level is a great achievement for these young athletes as they not only get to show their talent, but it’s also a huge confidence and developmental boost for them. So Digicel is very happy to be help to make this happen.”

In addition to these schools, Digicel will also support an additional six, bringing the total sponsorship to 1.5 million dollars. 

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Off to the Penn Relays