Sport

Petrojam, Milo splash out $7.5m for swimming

BY SHERDON COWAN

Friday, March 21, 2014    

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THE State-run oil refinery Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (Petrojam) and Nestle Jamaica have combined for a total of $7.5 million to sponsor the Amateur Swimming Association of Jamaica (ASAJ), it was disclosed at a briefing held at the National Aquatic Centre on Wednesday.

The sponsorship deal will assist the association in getting the national age-group swim team to the 29th staging of the CARIFTA Swimming Championships in Aruba, set for April 22-26.

Petrojam, after providing funds to fix the National Stadium's pool for last year's CARIFTA Games, returned to partner with the association as the official title sponsor to the tune of $5 million.

Human resource manager at Petrojam, Andrea Bent, said her organisation is always committed to the development of youth in Jamaica.

"Sports, education and health, those are the three main areas that we focus on. Swimming falls within the area of sports and because it also helps with developing the young persons in the nation, then it just slides right into our corporate research responsibility programme," she said.

Bent went on to say that as an energy company, Petrojam was happy to assist in sending the team to the championships.

"We the sponsors are here to give you that extra push and energy that you need to take you where you can go, and we look forward to great things from you our future Olympians," she said.

Meanwhile, Nestle Jamaica through its Milo brand is the official nutrition partner and has committed $2.5 million, of which $1.7 million will be in cash and the remainder in nutritional products.

The company will also be hosting three sports, nutrition and lifestyle clinics between April and December, with the first set to take place on April 5.

Karen Willis-Mussington, consumer and marketing manager of Nestle Jamaica Limited, outlined that the company has been in partnership with ASAJ for over 15 years, but notes that it was the first time that the brand Milo was officially associated with the sport.

"MILO is the energy food drink of champions and we are into sports sponsorship. We have sponsored a number of athletics meet

and when they (swimming) contacted us we thought it was a good way to get in, especially, to bring more persons to our Milo sports nutrition and lifestyle clinics," explained Willis-Mussington.

President of ASAJ, Martin Lyn, expressed his excitement at the sponsorships as they will go far way in easing the financial burdens the association bears.

"It is a great asset to have these two big sponsors, especially the amount given by Petrojam because without a big donation like that we probably couldn't have fielded such a big team to go down to Aruba, because the cost is very expensive," said Lyn.

Syreeta Daley-Biggs, one of the team's coaches, said she has high expectations for the team as they have been doing extensive preparation and is ready to compete.

The 30-member delegation will depart Jamaica on April 19.

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