Remembering Charlie Fuller
January athletics meet to honour late statistician
MANDEVILLE, Manchester — The annual Puma Track and Field Development Meet which has helped to nurture some of Jamaica's leading athletes including mega star Usain Bolt will take place on Saturday January 11 at the Kirkvine Sports Club grounds.
Organisers say they expect the event to attract competitors from scores of the country's top high schools as well as tertiary institutions and professional clubs.
It will also serve as a special tribute to late track and field statistician and administrator Charlie Fuller who died in July.
He was one of the founders of the Puma Track Meet, according to Chairman of the organising committee Pat Anderson.
Anderson said that there are plans for a name change to the Charlie Fuller/Puma Development Meet.
He said that there will be a citation for Fuller to be collected by his wife Olive.
"...She is all excited about coming to this track meet... she was never here before. This lady, we call her a heroine, because she was there all along supporting Charlie here and there. In supporting Charlie it made (him) the kind of man that he was.
According to Anderson, Fuller spearheaded the 'rebirth' of track and field at the Manchester High School and managed the team for several years.
Technical leader for the development meet Maurice Wilson said that the success of athletes from Manchester High including Tulah Robinson, Beverly Langley, Lorraine Fenton, Sherone Simpson, Nesta Carter can be credited to Fuller's contribution.
"We cannot speak enough about Charlie Fuller," he said.
Track coach Danny Hawthorne, track starter Linford Myers and General Secretary at the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) Garth Gayle will also be honoured at the event.
Anderson's son Richard, in his capacity as public relations officer, said the twenty-three year old meet started with four schools and now has in excess of a hundred schools participating.
"We expect most of the top schools to be here ... Holmwood, Manchester High, Jamaica College, Kingston College, Munro, STETHS," said Richard Anderson.
Competition at the January 11 meet will focus on the 3000m, 5000m, 800m, 400m and 200m. There will also be an open 4x800m relay.
Bolt apart, the annual meet has also been credited for helping to develop top performers such as Jermaine Gonzales, Rosemarie White, Aneisha McLaughlin, Anastasia Le-Roy and Schillonie Calvert.
German multinational company Puma, one of the world's largest sports wear suppliers, which has a multi-million US dollar endorsement contract with Bolt, has been sponsoring the development meet since 2003.