Digicel puts big bucks into Grand Prix Athletic Championships

January 21, 2016
@Normal:Michelle Burger of Camperdown High leads the field on her way to winning the girls Class One 800 metres during the 2015 Corporate Area Development Meet, part of the Digicel Grand Prix Athletics Series.

Telecommunications company Digicel has almost doubled the sponsorship for this year's Digicel Grand Prix Athletics Championships from $8.5 million to $16 million in cash and prizes in this, the second year of the six-meet high school series.

The Grand Prix, which gets under way on February 6 with the Western Championships at the Catherine Hall Sports Complex in Montego Bay, as well as the Youngster Goldsmith National Classic at the National Stadium in Kingston, was launched yesterday at the Terra Nova Hotel in Kingston.

The other meets in the series are the Corporate Area Development Meet on February 11 and Camperdown Classic on February 13, both at the National Stadium, and the Central Championships on February 16 and the G.C. Foster Classics on February 20, both at the G.C. Foster College in Spanish Town.

long-term development

The events to be contested over the course of the series will be the 100 metres, 200m, 400m, 800m, long jump, high jump, discus, and 4x400m.

Digicel's Chief Executive Officer David Butler told STAR Sports that the company is committed to the long-term development of Jamaican sports.

"Since Digicel has been in Jamaica, we have been involved in many grass-roots schemes. Last year was such a success we just felt that after a huge opportunity we could see that people really loved the Grand Prix and the idea was to put more back into the schools," he said.

"This year, we included a scholarship fund of just over $1 million, and that was really important, and it's also about what kids are doing after athletics," Butler added.

Butler also revealed that the company had extended its three-year sponsorship of the meet, which began in 2015, until 2019.

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