Dairy Industries provides healthy $3m backing for U-21 Sunshine Girls

Observer staff reporter

Friday, June 16, 2017

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An exhibition of dancing skills and a game between the young Sunshine Girls and employees of Dairy Industries Jamaica Limited (DIJL) marked the renewal of a 'Really Great' partnership between the Dairy Company and Netball Jamaica.

The DIJL, through its “This is Really Great Yogurt”, delivered a healthy $3-million boost towards the Under-21 Sunshine Girls Netball World Youth Cup campaign in Gaborone, Botswana, set for July 6-16.

It is the first time the International Netball Federation (INF) is hosting an international event on the African Continent and the young Sunshine Girls will be aiming to win the country's first gold medal at the event.

With Jamaica's best ever performance at the tournament being a second place finish in 2000, followed by consecutive third place finishes in 2009 and 2013, the Kadie-Ann Dehaney-captained team will be carrying the hopes of their sponsors when they depart the island on July 3.

The young Sunshine Girls are drawn in Group C alongside the host nation, Cook Islands, Malaysia and Uganda.

Andrew Ho, general manager of DIJL, explained that the sponsorship deal will be part cash and the remainder in products containing high protein which is essential for any athletic team.

“Dairy Industries has been associated with Netball Jamaica since the early 2000s; we supported the Under-21 team at that time before that was discontinued. But in hearing again of the needs of the netball programme and especially the Under-21 team, we decided to renew that sponsorship this year.

“The brand 'This is really great' fits very well with a young netball team striving for world recognition and excellence, so I think it's a win-win for us,” he told the Jamaica Observer during a media briefing at their Washington Boulevard plant yesterday.

Ho added that budgetary discussions will continue in a bid to extend the sponsorship and in the same breath pointed out that a stellar performance from the team would make the process easier.

“We really hope that it is something that we can do on a long-term basis. It (a good performance) will be added incentive, it would really make it compelling to continue the sponsorship, but we just hope they do their best. If they win it or reach the final that would be a bonus for us, but we just want to support them,” he noted.

For Paula Daley-Morris, president of Netball Jamaica, the sponsorship came in a very timely manner.

“I stand here in a state of jubilation and gratitude. Thank you for coming on board as a partner and supporting the girls. We are very happy because it is going to be helping us going forward and it certainly has helped us to get to the World Champs.

“So apart from the support that we get from the government and the other sponsors that we have around, this has really added to the kitty, so I am just happy and grateful to corporate Jamaica for the overwhelming support that they have given us in helping the team, the programme and Netball Jamaica in general,” a beaming Daley-Morris stated.

Meanwhile, Vice-captain Carlalee Tingling, standing in for Dehaney, who is currently playing in Australia, also expressed gratitude on behalf of the team.

“We are delighted to have you on board as our major sponsors and as we journey to Botswana we are grateful to carry your brand 'This is Really Great' Yogurt with us. I stand here very tall and proud to say that your nutrition products have assisted in our recovery and building healthy bones, and we will certainly make Dairy Industries and Jamaica proud,” said a confident Tingling.

Team: Shimona Nelson, Simone Gordon, Abbi-Gail Linton, Titanya Blackstock, Mischa-Gay Creary, Suzan Douglas, Carlalee Tingling (vice captain), Kestina Sturridge, Hasana Williams, Kadie-Ann Dehaney (captain), Latanya Wilson, Taishai Pryce, Kimberly Thomas (reserve).

Officials: Janet Guy (coach), Conrad Parks (assistant coach), Elsie Shaw (manager), Toni Spicer (performance analyst), Wendi Peart (physiotherapist).




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