IN keeping with the pledge to supply the pre-Olympic Training Camp in Birmingham with Jamaican food, Grace Foods and Services, the official nutrition sponsor of the Jamaica Administrative Athletics Association (JAAA) recently shipped a container of approximately 22 different food products to the United Kingdom.
Among the items were the two new commemorative editions of Tropical Rhythms -- Sprinter and Legend -- as well Grace Instant Porridge, Grace Oats, Grace Tea, Grace Chicken Soup and Grace Cock Soup, all of which will bring the welcome flavours of Jamaica to the athletes while they are away from home. A range of other Grace Foods products readily available in Birmingham will supplement goods in this shipment.
Tania Christie, marketing manager of Grace Foods and Services who was on hand to witness the consolidation of the container, said: "We are delighted that Grace Foods will be integral in providing not only great nutrition but a real sense of home as our athletes ready themselves for the Olympics."
The athletes will be housed at the University of Birmingham where they will have a chef on call to prepare their meals utilising a combination of products from Jamaica and UK. "What we are sending today will ensure that our athletes are comfortable while they are away. Together with our partners at the University of Birmingham, we have created a meal programme that will give our athletes comfort to deliver great performances," Christie added. "Imagine our athletes waking up to ackee and saltfish, mackerel and boiled bananas, fried dumplings," she exclaimed, while observing employees at the GraceKennedy Distribution Centre in Spanish Town load the container.
The shipment being sent to Birmingham is one in a series of initiatives taken on by Grace to assist Jamaican athletes. In January this year, Grace Foods and Services made a pledge of a minimum of $5 million to the JAAA to support athletic programmes across the island from the donation of 10 cents from the sale of seven of Grace's flagship products: Grace Vienna Sausages, Grace 5-5 oz Mackerel, Grace Corned Beef, Grace Franks, Grace 16 oz Tropical Rhythms, Grace Tomato Ketchup and Grace Cock Soup.
Grace has also hosted several Food and Nutrition Seminars, in collaboration with Dr Heather Little-White to brief established and upcoming athletes about the importance of good nutrition, and to highlight the importance of having healthy meals to foster good health and facilitate high performance, as well as to assist coaches and family members in understanding the importance of proper nutrition for athletes.
Christie was elated at the culmination of sponsorships that have been made to the Jamaican athletic community. "We feel extremely proud to have kept our promise, and that we were able to deliver on such a large scale. This shipment consolidates the Grace commitment to athletics, we are in full support of our standard bearers of the Jamaican flag as they take the world stage and go for gold."