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A proposal for assistance for Team Jamaica Bickle (TJB) is to be presented to the Government of Jamaica in time for the 2010 running of the Penn Relays, said Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Olivia Grange.
Speaking at an awards reception for the Jamaican athletes, who participated in the annual athletic meet at the Ben Franklin Stadium, University of Pennsylvania on Saturday evening (April 25), Miss Grange said that the proposal would incorporate assistance from at least three ministries – Sports, Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, and Tourism.
“Minister (of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade) Ronald Robinson and myself, we have come up with a proposal that we are going to make it manifest itself next year. It will be a joint approach to see how we can make this thing even bigger and better next year,” she stated.
She indicated that the proposal would target the area of hospitality and in particular, air and ground transportation and accommodation.
In the meantime, Minister Grange commended TJB and the Diaspora for their commitment to the athletes.
“I am overwhelmed by the love, the affection, the attention and the dedication and commitment that you show to our athletes and to Jamaica. Whatever the legal issues surrounding dual citizenship, you have the capacity and the ability to contribute to the USA (United States of America) and to appreciate what this country can do and have done for you and you have the passion to love and cherish your homeland, Jamaica, and that’s what is so beautiful about us as Jamaicans,” she stated.
In the meantime, she informed that a national sports policy would be unveiled very soon, which she said, “is going to enhance the achievements that we have seen so far.” She recognized Women’s Olympic 100 metres champion, Shelly-Ann Fraser, who was at the event.
Powered by the sister pair of Nikita and Ristanna Tracey, Edwin Allen High School won the ‘outstanding girls’ team award for impressive victories in the 4 x 400 metres, and 4 x 800 metres relays at the championship.
The boys’ equivalent went to Calabar High School for their record breaking performance in the sprint relay, posting a record 39.91 seconds, and becoming only the second schoolboy team in the Century-plus history of the Penn Relays to go under the 40 seconds barrier.
Nikita Tracey was named and TJB champion female athlete, while K’Don Samuels of Jamaica College, who leapt 4.80 metres in the pole vault, to record Jamaica’s first ever win in the event at the relays, was the TJM male athlete of the meet. The coaching prize went to Michael Dyke of Edwin Allen.
Other special presentations were made to Minister Olivia Grange; co-founder of TJB/Philadelphia Blane Stoddart and chairperson in charge of community activism and philanthropy, Barbara Wilson.
TJB received a cheque for US$10,000 from the HoSang Family Foundation and Royal Caribbean Bakery, while the Edwin Allen High school team also made a contribution.
Other members of Jamaica’s delegation to the Penn Relays were Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Dr. Ronald Robinson; Consul General to New York, Geneive Brown Metzger; Special Advisor to Minister Grange, Ali McNab; Honorary Consul in Philadelphia, Dr. Alston Meade; and, Chief Executive Officer of GraceKennedy Limited, Douglas Orane.

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