Champsy gets new outfit - Manager insists mascot is not frowsy
The highly anticipated ISSA-GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Athletics Championships is set to begin today, and its mascot, Champsy, is equally ready to entertain and enhance the five-day track and field exhibition.
According to the mascot's handlers, Champsy is ready to perform like he has always done to enhance the event.
The mascot is played by fifth and sixth-form boys from various high schools on a shift basis.
Richard Bowen, managing director of Laribo Marketing, which manages Champsy, told THE STAR last year that the company had plans to change the costume this year.
At the time, he also vehemently said that it had nothing to do with suggestions which had arisen about the general hygiene of the mascot.
During an interview with THE STAR yesterday, Bowen said: "All is fabulous with the mascot. There is an additional costume. There is no image change because we can't change the image of the face of Champs. So, the additional mascot suit itself, there is a new one. Yes, there is."
THE STAR also understands that the new suit was introduced at the 2018 launch of the sporting event.
But when asked if the new costume had anything to do with reports last year that the mascot was frowsy, Bowen did not mince his words.
"Let me be very very clear, that report was disingenuous and not true. We put that to rest. We submitted pictorials to indicate that people are friendly with Champsy. Us getting a new suit had absolutely nothing to do with that disingenuous statement from whoever that person was. I refuted that then, and I am refuting that now," he said.
He insisted that the Champsy suit was introduced to Champs in 2011, and now is the time for it to be refreshed.
Bowen explained that international standards are applied in dealing with a mascot's hygiene, and Champsy is no different.
"At no time has anyone said to me or any of our managers that Champsy was not being embraced. Champsy has been embraced by kids, athletes, patrons and with pregnant moms who had a fabulous time," he said.