The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, recently launched the National Athletics Junior Championships for Boys and Girls at the primary school level.
Minister Grange announced the ‘Junior Champs’ at a press launch at the Institute of Sports at the National Stadium.
The Sports Minister said:
“The National Athletics Junior Champs will be the counterpart at the primary school level to the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association’s Boys and Girls Champs. We are branding it the National Junior Champs. It will be up and running as we continue to provide a ‘nursery’ to produce future generations of outstanding track and field athletes.
Between May 2 and 4 we will have the Eastern Championships at Stadium East to start us off; followed by the Central Championships between May 9 and11 at the GC Foster College; then the Western Championships at STETHS between May 12 and14; culminating with the grand finale, the inaugural staging of the National Athletics Junior Championships for Boys and Girls in the National Stadium from May 26 to May 28.
I am making an appeal to the private sector to provide sponsorship for these Championships in the same way support is given to the ISSA Boys and Girls Championships. There will be as many as 500 participating schools and so I am inviting the private sector to come on board now with support for the primary-level event.Minister Olivia Grange
Over time, the Government has invested millions of dollars at the primary school level in track and field, and Insports can take credit for laying the foundation on which the careers of many of our outstanding athletes have been built. Athletes the likes of World and Olympic 100m gold medallist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce; Olympic and World 400m hurdles champion Melaine Walker, Olympic bronze medallist Warren Weir; 2008 Olympic 100m silver and 200m bronze medallist Kerron Stewart; Carifta Games Under-17 200m champion and record-holder Jazeel Murphy; 2007 World Youth 200m champion Ramone McKenzie and many others.
More recent stand-out athletes at Primary School Champs have been Christopher Taylor, Tyreke Wilson, Raheem Chambers and Brianna Lyston.
In the just-concluded Carifta Games, Jamaica won a record Ninety-Two medal. It begins at Insports.