Regional

JPS increases sponsorship of Western Primary Schools Champs

BY HORACE HINES
Observer West reporter

Thursday, May 18, 2017

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MONTEGO BAY, St JamesThe Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) ,title sponsors of Western Primary Schools Championship, has pumped $2 million into the 9th staging of the event, which will be held at the Catherine Hall Sports Complex on June 9 and 10.

This year's funding more than doubles the $800,000 spent by the light and power company last year.

“If you thought last year was good, (then) you are in for a treat this year because, not only have we upped the sponsorship to $2 million in cash, but we have also upped the execution fee for that event. What that means is that we are pumping a lot more money into making sure that the event is an exceptional one this year,” T' Shura Gibbs, director JPS Region West, remarked. “We are very excited to be partnering with this year's staging of the JPS Western Primary School Athletics Championship,” she added.

Gibbs was speaking at the media launch for the event held at the International University of the Caribbean in Montego Bay on Tuesday.

According to meet director Albert Ferguson, this year the event will not only be staged over two days for the first time, but will also see most of the events contested over three rounds — heats, semi-finals and finals.

He also announced the introduction of new events, namely sprint hurdles and high jump.

Additionally, for the first time in its nine years, there will be a revolutionary change of the class structure. Class 4 will be renamed Class 8; Class 3 will now be Class 7; Class 2 will be called Class 6; and Class 1 changed to Class 5.

“We have made a paradigm shift by renaming the existing classes at the primary level with a collective view of creating a numerical order to foster a seamless transition for student athletes into high schools,” Ferguson explained.

He added: “With these changes student athletes at the primary level will enter respective high schools in Class 4 or 3, depending on their age. This, we hope, will be replicated across the island.”

Meanwhile, Cleopatra Eubanks who has contributed 46 years of her life to developing sports in western Jamaica and St James in particular was named patron of the meet.

JPS apart, Ferguson had high praises for three other sponsors: Gateway Co-op Credit Union, Sports Development Foundation and Taylor's Art Media Medals and Trophies.

A number of athletes who started to compete in the event have gone on to represent Jamaica at the CARIFTA Games.

Corinaldi Avenue Primary in St James are the defending champions.

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