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Minister with responsibility for Sport, Hon. Natalie Neita Headley, says a co-ordinated system is to be established for high school athletes entering international events such as the Penn Relays.

This includes training and advice to potential participants to ensure that they represent Jamaica in a manner that will reflect positively on the country.

The Sport Minister made the announcement on Wednesday, June 5, in her 2013/14 Sectoral presentation in the House of Representatives.

“We have been holding discussions with the Inter-Secondary Schools Association (ISSA), the Jamaica Amateur Athletics Association (JAAA), and principals of secondary schools, with a view to streamlining and regularising our participation in the Penn Relays and other overseas high school meets,” she stated.

She noted that while schools enter the Penn Relays individually in response to an invitation from the University of Pennsylvania, to those who attend the events, the public and the media, these are Jamaican entries.

“At these meets, our youngsters represent Jamaica much more than the schools they attend. The entire country is impacted not only by their successes or failures, but by their demeanour, discipline, sportsmanship and their ability to express themselves well,” she stated.

She noted further that recognising, the earning potential of these meets, “we believe that the Jamaica high school sport programme should benefit beyond the exposure of individual athletes.”

Contact: Alphea Saunders