Bolt is patron of 50th Gibson/McCook Relays
Track and field legend Usain Bolt will be the patron of the 50 staging of the Gibson/McCook Relays on February 25, according to Chairman of the Organising Committee Professor Rainford Wilks.
Speaking at the launch at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel on Friday, Wilks boasted that the Gibson/McCook Relays bring together different age groups of athletes to perform together in a grand spectacle of breathtaking relays.
"We are thrilled and delighted that the alumnus par excellence, Dr The Honourable Usain Bolt, has consented to be our patron for this year's renewal and its week of celebration, February 19-25," said Wilks.
"We also would like to thank his legendary coach, Honourable Glen Mills, his managers and agents and also his parents and extended family for producing this national treasure.
"We are honoured and humbled to be custodians of this event and it marks the 50th anniversary of the first staging. Today, we salute the visionary of the Hon 'Teddy' McCook and his friends and advisers who were inspired by the Penn Relays, held annually in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, conceived of this event.
"We salute those who agreed to name the event in honour of the contribution of the Gibson/McCook Relays to track and field athletics, sport and nation-building.
"We dedicate this 50th-anniversary celebration to Gibson, McCook and pledge to sustain this legacy, the honour of the country's first native Bishop, Percival William Gibson founding headmaster of Kingston College (KC)," added Wilks.
Wilks also thanked the various sponsors over the years, which include Puma; Wisynco; Digicel; North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Athletics Association; and sponsors of individual races.
He welcomed the return of Television Jamaica (TVJ) to the Gibson/McCook Relays family. TVJ will be the broadcasting partner after a multi-year agreement was signed. Wilks stated that the impact of the partnership will enhance the lustre of the event.
Wilks also had a special welcome for Floral Products Ltd, Evergrow Garden and CEO Burrell Scarlett and Dr Paula Dawson, the island's first specialist physician in physical medicine and rehabilitation.
The week of celebration will begin on Sunday, February 19, at a church service at the Boulevard Baptist Church, where the KC Chapel Choir will perform.
Two days later, on Tuesday, February 21, will be the Howard Aris Memorial Lecture in memory of the former Organising Committee Chairman.