New stars prepare to shine at JTA/Sagicor Primary Champs
The 2016 staging of the Jamaica Teachers' Association (JTA)/Sagicor National Primary Schools Athletics Championships gets under way today at the National Stadium, starting at 10 a.m.
All 14 parishes will be represented at the two-day meet, which ends tomorrow. Last year's winner is St Andrew.
Leon Nash, JTA communications and public relations officer, said that the meet would bring together the best from the parishes and should be highly competitive.
"We are expecting a very competitive meet. Defending champion St Andrew could be dethroned as St Catherine and Portland are among the teams coming all out," Nash told STAR Sports yesterday.
The Sagicor Foundation has pumped $6 million into the staging of this year's meet and will also provide two five-year academic scholarships at the secondary level to the champion boy and champion girl of the meet.
"The Sagicor Foundation as a partner of this event is not by accident. We see this as an investment in sports, in our youth, and recognising what this event has and continues to advance the development of sports in Jamaica," Nadene Newsome, Sagicor's public relations and corporate social responsibility manager, said.
The meet is expected to attract approximately 1,200 athletes between ages six and 17 from 800 schools across the island. They will compete for the coveted parish champion title.
Some of the biggest names in Jamaica's Olympic history have been nurtured by the championships over the years. They include Usain Bolt, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Kerron Stewart, Veronica Campbell-Brown, Germaine Mason, Nesta Carter, Sherone Simpson, Aleen Bailey, and Brigette Foster-Hylton.
Sagicor apart, additional sponsorship comes from the Jamaica Co-Operative Credit Union and the National Baking Company.
There is no cost to enter the National Stadium today, but tomorrow, it will cost $200 for adults and $100 for children.