The Package Company (PACO), Jamaica's largest delivery company and parent to Mailpac Express and Airpak Express, recently announced its commitment to extend sponsorship support in the amount of $500,000 to Boys' Town Football Club, one of the front-running teams of the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL).
The announcement was made by the company's Managing Director and former Boys' Town player Khary Robinson, and comes in time for the start of the 2012-2013 RSPL season.
According to Robinson, the company is happy to have the opportunity to contribute to development of sports in the inner-city. "We have always supported the development of sports because we view it as an outlet for inner-city youth to participate in wholesome activities and eventually develop on a talent. Football clubs create a structured environment for thousands of youth with coaches playing a father figure role in keeping the players focused on activities that are positive in nature. It is also an outlet for the broader community as they unify towards a goal of supporting their local teams."
Robinson pointed out that he was a member of the Boys' Town Football Club for three years at a time when the celebrated team won the Super League, granting them a position back into the NPL.
Robinson went on to detail the scope of change that occurred as football became the central positive focus of the community. "My first year at Boys' Town in 2003 was one of the most violent for the community of Rema, as warring factions challenged each other. However, the team's growing success encouraged unification in the community as they rallied behind the team at every practice and game. A year later, Boys' Town brought home the Super League trophy (and the automatic bid into the RSPL) to thousands within the community cheering and celebrating together as one. The community today is still bonded by football and nothing gives me greater pleasure than to support the continuation of such an effort."
Robinson added that football clubs in Jamaica were significantly underfunded despite their positive impact on communities, its residents and enabling youth to ascend above the significant challenges within the inner-city. "Many of the players from Boys' Town and other such clubs have gone on to earn scholarships to study and play football abroad, have found employment from the club or its supporters, and many others have successfully represented the country or international football clubs. That said, almost all clubs remain underfunded limiting their potential impact. "
In his own statement, technical director, Andrew Price, said: "The return of Boys' Town to the RSPL was a historic time for the players and everyone else affiliated with the club. Boys' Town is a club that is filled with a rich history and so we are happy that today, the team can remain a shining example of what can be achieved if you work hard enough despite facing numerous challenges."