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The Government has earmarked some $27 million through the Sport Development Fund (SDF) for the fifth staging of the Jamaica International Invitational Track and Field Meet.
The event, which will be held on Saturday, May 1, at the National Stadium, will attract a number of top local and international athletes. The budget for the staging of the meet is $61.9 million.
At the press launch held today (March 9), at the Hilton Kingston hotel, Chairman of the Organising Committee and President of the Jamaica Amateur Athletic Association (JAAA), Mr. Howard Aris, said that the meet is one of the earliest on the world athletic calendar, providing the opportunity for athletes to showcase their talents.
“We hope to have another outstanding event with our top athletes. Our high school athletes will be participating in the relays,” he informed.
Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Hon. Olivia Grange, encouraged Jamaicans to support the track and field meet, while urging other sponsors to come on board.
She stressed the Government’s commitment to the development of sports in the island and commended all those who have worked over the years to ensure that a “solid foundation” has been laid.
Noting that a lot of progress has been made over the last three years, Minister Grange said: “we have moved from a position of being respected for our outstanding tradition in track and field to a position of being the centre of attraction in the world of sports.”
She noted that a number of athletes from around the world have expressed an interest in training in the island because of the calibre of the country’s athletes and coaches.
Chairman of the SDF, Mr. David Mais, in his remarks, noted that the Foundation’s contribution “is really one that we look at in a development concept.”
In addition to showcasing top talents, he said that the event provides a launching pad for the nation’s athletes, who have served the island well.
The Jamaica International Invitational Track and Field Meet will get underway at 7:00 p.m. with the high school sprint relay.
Tickets for the meet will go on sale on April 28 and will be reasonably priced to boost spectator support. They will be available at the Hilton Kingston hotel in New Kingston; the SDF office on Phoenix Avenue; York Pharmacy in Half-Way-Tree; and at the National Stadium ticket office.
Finish line tickets will cost $2,500; the area next to the Royal Box, $2,000; grandstand (A & B) $1,500; last section to the starting line, $1,000; while bleachers seats will cost $300.