After a successful staging on Saturday, Ian Forbes, chairman of the organising committee of the Purewater/Jamaica College (JC)/R Danny Williams Invitational meet, said that they are aiming to attract a lot more international participation next year.

Forbes said that the meet, which saw over 2,200 athletes from across the island taking part and almost 4,000 spectators exceeded his expectations. He is now hoping that they will be able to attract schools from the United States and the Caribbean next year.

“For that to happen, we will need more communication and more marketing,” Forbes noted.

INTERNATIONAL PARTICIPATION

The meet, held last Saturday at Ashenheim Stadium on JC’s school ground, was in its 27th staging and, in fact, had some amount of international participation.

“From overseas, we had unattached athletes and we also had masters athletes, females who are over 35 years old,” Forbes noted.

The organisers are now planning to increase the numbers and to include clubs and institutions.

“We are hoping to attract more athletes from outside of Jamaica, some from possibly US high schools and colleges, because in certain parts of the US, it is pretty cold presently. It would offer them an opportunity to get some early season competition. And of course, we are looking towards our Caribbean neighbours to participate as well,” added Forbes.

“We need to insist on the benefits of competing in Jamaica - we have a good facility, there are some islands which do not have a synthetic track for their athletes to compete; we have the best coaches in the world; we have talented athletes, who offer very good competition and we have very knowledgeable track and field spectators,” Forbes stated.

Forbes underlined that the newly built track is a welcome addition and will help towards preparations for the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships, which will be held from March 24th to 28th at the National Stadium.

“The new track has been a huge difference. We used to have coaches complaining about the previous surface but now, there is no complaint. They are all very happy and excited to compete here,” said Forbes.

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