Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Hon. Olivia Grange, has praised the outstanding performance of the Jamaican student athletes in the 116th Penn Relays held at the Franklin Field Stadium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, over the weekend.
Minister Grange, who addressed the Team Jamaica Bickle reception held in honour of the athletes following the games on Saturday (April 24), had high praise for three-time Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt, who anchored the Team Jamaica Gold sprint relay, which set a meet record of 37.90 seconds. “Setting this new record was a team effort and I want to commend the team members,” she said. The record-breaking team also included Mario Foresythe, Yohan Blake and Marvin Anderson.
Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Hon. Olivia Grange (2nd right), shares a moment with Pennsylvania Governor, Edward G. Randell (2nd left); Jamaica’s Honorary Consul to Pennsylvania, Dr. Alston Meade (left) and United States Senator, Vincent Hughes at the 116th annual Penn Relays on Saturday (April 24) at the Franklin Field Stadium in Pennsylvania.
The more than 54,000 spectators were made up of approximately 40 per cent Jamaicans and the millions more watching at home on their television sets got a taste of brand Jamaica.
Ms. Grange stated that the athletes and their administrators are deserving of the nation’s support and praise at all times.
She said Jamaica possesses a cadre of young athletes that “we are now nurturing, who will take their rightful place on the world stage. We need to give them all our support whether we are at home or abroad. My Ministry is doing everything possible to support them, but we need your help so they can continue to make us as a nation proud,” she said.
Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Hon. Olivia Grange (centre); Jamaica’s Consul General to New York, Genevieve Brown Metzger (2nd left); and Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Anthony Johnson (right) celebrate with members of the winning Jamaica Gold sprint relay team at the annual Penn Relays held on Saturday (April 24) at the Franklin Field Stadium in Pennsylvania. The members of the team, which set a meet record of 37.90 seconds are (from left) Usain Bolt; Mario Foresythe, Yohan Blake and Marvin Anderson.
Minister Grange also had high praise for President of Team Jamaica Bickle, Mr. Irwin Clare and President of Caribbean Food Delights, Mr. Vincent Hosang, who have been providing accommodation and meals for the athletes for the last 15 years.
A total of 29 Jamaican high schools and colleges participated in this year’s Penn Relays. Wolmer’s Boys and Holmwood Technical High Schools were awarded prizes by Team Jamaica Bickle for their outstanding performances over the three-day meet. Together, they captured five of the seven Championship of America relay events.
The Sports Minister watched the final day of competition at the Ben Franklin Stadium along with Pennsylvania’s Governor, Edward G. Rendell; Senator Vincent Hughes, who is the husband of Jamaican-born actress, Cheryl Lee Ralph; Philadelphia’s Mayor, Michael Nutter; veteran actor and comedian Bill Cosby; Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Anthony Johnson and Mrs. Johnson; Jamaica’s Consul General to New York, Geneive Brown-Metzger; and Honorary Consul to Pennsylvania, Dr. Alston Meade.
The meet drew a crowd of 117,346 fans over the three days, breaking the old record of 114,194 set on 2006.