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$10-million deal!

Supreme Ventures Limited returns as title sponsors of JAAA National Championships

BY HOWARD WALKER
Senior staff reporter
walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Supreme Ventures Limited (SVL) is back as title sponsors of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) National Senior and Junior Championships set for June 21-24, with a whopping $10-million deal.

Meanwhile, the Association of Chinese Enterprises in Jamaica (ACEJ) became first-time partners pumping $3 million into the event, while Calabar High School stand-out athlete Christopher Taylor will bypass the Junior Championships and match strides with the seniors over 400m, it was revealed at the launch at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel yesterday.

Simone Clarke-Cooper, Supreme Venture's Assistant Vice-president Group Corporate Communications, said SVL's love affair with the JAAA is alive.

“Most of you would be aware that last year our company took some time off the track to focus on our track at Caymanas and we are happy to report that things are back on track with the JAAA,” said a beaming Clarke-Cooper.

“Some may say it's a low-key year for track and field. Strategically some may have argued that we should have waited until next year to renew our sponsorship, as next year would be a World Championships year.

“But we feel that coming back on board this year is demonstration that we are doing it for the love, not for the likes, and the love is not fickle and seasonal, it's strong and supportive,” she noted.

“So strong is this love that we are putting $10 million behind the event this year and many more millions in execution that is an addition to the $125 million that we have spent or invested in these championships over the last 13 years,” she added.

Dangran Bi, the representative of ACEJ, quoted the great former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, as saying, “Sports has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does.

“The 2008 Beijing Olympics shone a great spotlight on the supreme talents in track and field that were being nurtured in this country. It was during that Olympics that many Chinese people learnt the true meaning of little but tallawah. ACEJ strongly believes and stands by the work that JAAA does to aid in the development of talented young Jamaican athletes,” said Bi.

For the first time in eight years the JAAA will merge both the Senior and Junior Championships over four days from Thursday June 21 to Sunday, June 24.

With no Olympic or World Championships in 2018, the senior athletes will be hunting spots for the IAAF World Cup in London between July 14-15; the Central American and the Caribbean Games (CAC) in Colombia between July 19-August 3 and the North America, Central America and the Caribbean Games (NACAC) between August 10-12 in Toronto.

The junior athletes will be vying for spots to the IAAF World Junior Championships in Finland between July 10-15 and the Youth Olympic Games between September 11-23 in Argentina.

JAAA's president, Dr Warren Blake, reiterated that athletes who wish to represent the country must take part in the championships or trials.

“Our selection policy which has served us well has allowed us to consistently field the best available team and we have made no changes to this policy this time around,” he pointed out.

“We continue to have good fraternal relationships with our Caribbean neighbours and again have extended to them the invitation to send athletes to us if they so desire and we are hopeful that we will see another of our Caribbean nationals taking part in our Trials,” said Dr Blake.