LIME pumps $3m in teams heading to Penn Relays
TELECOMMUNICA-TIONS firm LIME, a major sponsor of the Boys' and Girls' Athletics Championships, yesterday through its charity foundation handed out a combined $3,350,000 to secondary and tertiary level institutions participating at the April 24-26 Penn Relays in the United States.
LIME Foundation chairman Errol Miller said all the schools that made formal approaches for assistance received $150,000, except the MICO University. According to Miller, that institution, looking to send one athlete and a coach, was given a "special" grant of $50,000.
During the presentation at the company's Carlton Crescent base in Kingston, Miller wished athletes "all the success", but stressed the importance of youngsters matching good performances on the track with exemplary behaviour off it.
"I know that you guys have all trained hard and that you will give of your best in competition. Carry yourselves in a manner in which Jamaicans can be proud of you both on and off the field. You are representing, not only yourselves, but also your schools, your families and Jamaicans everywhere in the world," he told students and others in attendance yesterday.
He explained he was "personally disappointed" when a prominent young star athlete used a "mock gun salute" with his fingers when he won a race at the recently held Boys' and Girls' Championships. He advised athletes to instead "raise hands" in triumph when celebrating.
Albert Corcho, the principal of Calabar High and the treasurer at the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA), was grateful for the assistance from the mobile company, though conceding it is a small fraction of his school's overall trip expense.
"Speaking on behalf of all the schools, we are extremely happy. We just do not have enough resources at schools to send teams off to the Penn Relays. The gesture from LIME will go a far way in helping the schools.
"We hope that other corporate citizens will come on board. It (the contribution from LIME) covers a very small percentage because we have 22 young men going and about eight members of the coaching staff... but every little counts," Corcho told the Jamaica Observer.
Wolmer's Boys outstanding high jumper Christoff Bryan said that the increase in LIME's contribution from $100,000 last year to $150,000 this time around could give schools the chance to take larger teams to the relay festival.
"It's a boost for the school. We are facing challenging times economically, we all do this so it will help us to carry more athletes. Last year it was only a 4x100-metre team but perhaps this time we can carry two relay teams," the towering jumper said.