Sport

Boyz shift into gear with Petrojam top-up

Sean Williams

Friday, July 20, 2012    

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AS Jamaica's Mission to Rio World Cup qualifying campaign moves into higher gear, it will need fuel of all kind to sustain its momentum.

And the Reggae Boyz got a top-up from the state-owned national petroleum refinery Petrojam, which has committed $4.8 million worth of the precious commodity to keep the wheels turning for the 2014 World Cup, slated for Brazil.

The four-year deal, which actually started last year, will see the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) getting a monthly supply of fuel valued at $100,000 to keep the team bus and "selected JFF vehicles" runnning.

Petrojam has been a longstanding supporter of the national football programme, and manager of logistics and marketing, Michael Hewitt, said the eight-year partnership represents "value for money".

More importantly, the refinery's executive said the company's association runs deeper than just business.

"It's very important for us because we want to foster the development of the youth in general, and more specifically, the national programme," said Hewitt following a symbolic cheque presentation at the JFF offices yesterday.

"As you know, everybody buys fuel and we are the national institution that is responsible for the distribution of fuel, so it's important for us for the country to grow in a sustainable way, and the way to underpin all of this is to have the youth participating in sports and being able to grow along with us," he added.

Over the years, the sponsorship has grown and Petrojam is satisfied with the progress of the relation so far and has given its commitment to the Reggae Boyz going forward — win, lose or draw.

"We value the relationship that we have had and it's more than value for money, which is why we are back with the programme and we will continue as long to support...

"We have been with the Reggae Boyz through thick and thin, so it's not only about winners as we think that institutions like us should support national institutions like the Reggae Boyz.

"We fully support them and we fully expect them to advance to the World Cup in 2014, and even if they don't, as long as they do their best, we are going to be there with them," Hewitt declared.

Meanwhile, national head coach Theodore 'Tappa' Whitmore reiterated the importance of corporate support in the endeavours of the programme.

"Everyone knows it's expensive to run the national programme and the Federation needs support from fans and corporate Jamaica, and we applaud PetroJam...

"A well supported programme is not only for the players and the technical staff, but will benefit all Jamaica," said the France World Cup hero at yesterday's brief function.

The Reggae Boyz have started their CONCACAF World Cup qualifying campaign with two games — a 2-1 win over Guatemala at home, followed by a goal-less draw against perceived minnows Antigua and Barbuda in St John's.

The Jamaicans will next face the mighty USA at 'The Office' on September 7.

Until the big showdown against the North Americans, the Boyz will have a warm-up match against Central America outfit El Salvador in Washington on August 15.

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