Perennial INSPORTS All-Age and Junior High Athletics champions John Mills yesterday penned a one-year sponsorship deal with Virginia Dare Limited through its Hi-Lyte Sport drink brand that will see the school's athletes receiving hydration products for one year.
The announcement at John Mills' Retirement Crescent base, made in the presence of Jamaican sprinter and Hi-Lyte brand ambassador Kerron Stewart, is a major boost for the school preparing to seek a 19th straight hold on the title.
Hi-Lyte brand manager Julette Fox-Hosang explained that the partnership with the school is "the start of things to come" and promised a "longstanding relationship with John Mills".
She added that the partnership is split in two parts — one is aimed at providing fluids and refreshment for the 20-time All-Age and Junior High champions during their training, as well as in competition and also hydration for the coaching staff.
The other specific focus is placed on sponsoring outstanding students for the remainder of the academic year.
Selected for the special package were 15-year-old nine- grader Kristoff Darby and the 11-year-old sixth grade standout Jonie Morgan. Both were chosen based on their admirable work in track and field, good academic standing and exemplary disciplinary record.
Stewart, an Olympic and World Games silver medallist, was also handed a symbolic cheque worth $250,000 from Fox-Hosang during the morning's presentations and announcements.
A former student of John Mills, Stewart endorsed Hi-Lyte's move and gave words of inspiration to the young boys and girls at the launch.
"Hi-Lyte is a part of my family and I'm thankful for their involvement at John Mills. I encourage all you youngsters here to work hard and be committed. I never always liked working hard but I knew that's what I had to do and I did it. At school I didn't think I had the talent that others had so I had to put in the work," the runner said.
Meanwhile, John Mills' principal, Jennifer Reynolds, welcomed Hi-Lyte's inter-vention, while noting how difficult it has been for the school to maintain their success amidst the economic challenges.
"Looking at the upcoming season we were wondering how we would manage. It is so difficult for us now and we understand because of the situation in the country," she said.
"We can't even hear from some of our usual sponsors. I have to just thank Hi-Lyte that there is light," Reynolds quipped.
Also in attendance at the launch was John Mills' head of sports, Dorette Henny, and long-serving coaching guru Ransford Spalding.