JN Jamaica Invitational gets Budget Hike
The budget for hosting the 2012 JN Jamaica Invitational Meet has been set at $118 million, says Ludlow Watts, Chairman of the Organising Committee.
The top track and field event in Jamaica, the Meet’s budget has been boosted from the $110 million set last year, Mr. Watts said. He was addressing a press conference, hosted by the Jamaica Athletic Administrative Association (JAAA), at the Wyndham Kingston Hotel last Friday (March 16) to announce the athletes signed to the event.
“We have also moved from an International Association of Athletics Federation IAAF Area Permit Meet in 2004 to the IAAF World Challenge series in 2011,” he stated. “This was achieved through the good quality of athletes we attracted and good organisation.”
Underpinning those achievements was the funding provided by sponsors, he pointed out. He thanked Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS), main sponsors for this year’s event, along with long term sponsors, The Sports Development Foundation and Puma. Mr. Watts said, “There are a number of others who have been our partners and we expect some new sponsors to join us in 2012.”
Leon Mitchell, Assistant General Manager at Jamaica National, said that, as title sponsor of the event, Jamaica National would be working with the JAAA to ensure that this year’s Meet is of the highest standard.
As Jamaicans celebrate the 50th Anniversary of their Independence; and, Jamaican athletes prepare for the 2012 Olympics, “the JN Jamaica Invitational Meet becomes even more meaningful,” Mr. Mitchell stated. “As Title Sponsor, we welcome all the other sponsors; and thank them for maintaining their unswerving commitment to the JAAA.”
Jamaica National had a three-year financial partnership with the JAAA from 2010, he stated. The agreement also provided development support for the Association, beyond support for the Invitational event that the JAAA is staging.
Donald Quarrie, Director of the JN Jamaica International Invitational Track Meet, disclosed that
double world record holder Usain Bolt and 100m world champion Yohan Blake would feature at the meet. Additionally, former world record holder Asafa Powell; world champions Carmelita Jeter and Kirani James, as well as Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce and Melaine Walker have signed on to attend.
“Those seven could show up at any Meet and be the cream of the crop,” Mr. Quarrie stated. “Fortunately for us, we still have a lot more who are interested in coming.”
There will be 19 events this year, which will be streamed live to approximately 100,000 households across 25 countries. Following on the record attendance of more than 25,000 at the Stadium at the last event, Mr. Ludlow Watts added, “I am confident that our sport loving public will play their part.”