DIRECTOR of sales and marketing at National Baking Company Craig Hendrickson said his company's $10-million sponsorship of Jamaica's Sunshine Girls forms a huge part of the business's commitment to nation-building and the development of sports in Jamaica.
Hendrickson handed over his company's cheque to members of the Sunshine Girls team at a press launch which was held at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston recently.
Hendrickson said his company is pleased to be sponsoring the Sunshine Girls on their journey to South Africa for this year's Netball World Cup, which will be held July 28-August 6 in Cape Town.
"Sports — like music, food and other cultural markers — have been a tested way to put Jamaica on the global map. From track and field to cricket, we've seen the rise of stars and a number of our very own becoming household names. Sports in Jamaica just has a way of unifying us as a people and provides an opportunity for us all to show our national pride," said Hendrickson.
"For those of you who don't know, the National Baking Company is big on national pride. It is a concept that we've built on over the years — staying true to, and meeting the demands of the Jamaican people. But even more than that, at its simplest, national pride for us means supporting our own. And as a country always looking to our national sports teams to represent us well, to give us 'bragging rights' and to raise the flag high, it is our duty to support the Sunshine Girls," he noted.
Hendrickson added: "So, it is with great pride that we announce that National has joined on as a major sponsor to the Sunshine Girls. This funding will be put towards the team's development programme and to support the coaching efforts."
President of Netball Jamaica (NJ) Tricia Robinson said the sponsorship is a massive boost to the coffers of her association ahead of the World Cup.
"This was a huge boost for us because it came at a time when we really needed it — especially as we were headed out to England for our three-Test series last week — and so we are very grateful to the National Baking Company and I just want to big them up," said Robinson. "I also want to say thank you very much and we will wear the brand with national pride," she added.
Robinson said she is encouraging other sponsors to come on board and support the Sunshine Girsl in their quest to win the gold medal in South Africa.
"We appreciate every dollar that corporate Jamaica gives to us and we are encouraging other entities to come on board and join the partnership on our journey to Cape Town, South Africa, for the Netball World Cup," she said.
— Robert Bailey