Netball

Alumni sporting festival aims to score with sponsors for 10th anniversary

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida — Head of the Jamaica High School Alumni Sporting Network (JHSASN) Lavern Deer has called on more corporate sponsors to throw their backing behind the annual two-day sporting extravaganza held at Lauderhill Sport Complex.

The event, staged on the US Labour Day weekend over two days, has grown as a football and netball competition for Jamaican high school alumni.

Additionally, the sporting dimension is seamlessly interspersed with a mix of music and food, plus a general display over the two days of some of the homeland's defining cultures and traditions that underpin the Jamaican experience.

And as she called on potential sponsors and partners, Deer paused to lift up those who have seen the value of the growing Diaspora activity which has given expatriates an outlet for nine years to come together in a spirit of competition and unity.

“I would like to thank Caribbean National Weekly, Irie FM, Jamaica National, which is now JN Bank, the Convention and Visitors Bureau here (Florida) through their sports department, new sponsor Jamaica Tourist Board, and the City of Lauderhill for seeing the value of what we have,” she noted.

“Having diaspora organisations support us speaks volumes, but having Jamaican-based companies sponsoring the event on US soil, that to me is priceless as they are showing that they are investing in the Diaspora,” Deer told the Jamaica Observer.

“Last night (Monday) reminded me of our first year in terms of the turnout and while we had more last night, it goes to show that if more corporate sponsors come on board then the sky is the limit,” she added.

The event is preparing to enter its 10th year in 2018, and Deer and her team are promising “something special”.

“We are preparing to go into the 10th year, and if you think you have seen anything yet, just wait and see what we have in store for you. and I guarantee that we are going to make that experience triple that of anything you have seen since we have started nine years ago,” she said.

In Monday night's final of the football action, Bridgeport became the first urban school to lift the title when they defeated former champions Cornwall College 6-5 on penalties, after an entertaining 2-2 regulation draw.

In an exhibition match, an All-Manning side edged All-daCosta 1-0 in an affair for players 35 years and older.

In the netball final, Denbigh High pounded the Queen's School 19-6.

In last year's edition, no champion was crowned as a lightning storm common in South Florida at this time of year severely interrupted the day's proceedings.

On Monday, there were prayers that Mother Nature would have given a reprieve, and that she did even as powerful Hurricane Irma barrelled Florida's way.

to be able to hand out trophies and the winner's cheque of US$2,000 to the football champions, was a “priceless moment” for Deer.

“I don't think there are words to truly express it. Prior to the event, I was watching the weather and praying as I know what it means to these guys as it is not about the money — it's the bragging rights for them to raise the Caribbean National Weekly Cup.

“I am must congratulate Bridgeport for a job well done as they made history to become the first school from the urban area Manning Cup zone to lift that cup, and I could see the pride in the team manager's face and in the players and I share that excitement with them,” Deer beamed.

— Sean Williams

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