The Institute of Sports (INSPORTS) will be continuing its initiative to develop track and field in Junior High Schools with the annual staging of the popular INSPORTS Junior High Athletics Championships from April 13-15.The meet, to be held for the second consecutive year at the National Stadium East, will see some 2,000 athletes vying for top honours.Through its regular coaching seminars, the government-run sports agency recognised the necessity for a constant supply of sporting equipment to enhance proper development at this level and as such, they have allocated $500,000 for the purchasing of spikes for the champions.”We’re going to give the winning school half a million dollars’ worth of running spikes,” said Ian Andrews, administrative director, INSPORTS.”That will go towards their development. If they want to keep them or give them to the athletes, it’s up to them,” he added.Andrews noted that their aim is to increase participation on a national scale.”We only have 22 schools participating,” he pointed out. “The number of schools have been dwindling because many have been upgraded to high schools.”Hopefully with this initiative, next year, we will be able to attract other schools from outside the Corporate Area and St Catherine. Right now, Osborne Store is the only school outside Kingston and St Catherine that will be participating,” he observed.In keeping with that plan, the INSPORTS administrative director said they have formed a union with the heads of institutions.PARTNERSHIP WITH PRINCIPALS”We’ve developed a partnership with the principals with a view of developing the meet and, hopefully, they will spread the word and influence other principals for their schools to take part at the meet,” said Andrews, who listed more plans to increase popularity.”We’ll be going into the schools to try to sensitise them between now and next week. We’ll be looking to highlight the top athletes, who invariably will end up going to high schools,” he noted.The majority of those athletes are generally fielded by Windward Road Junior High and John Mills Junior High, which have dominated the championships.During the recent staging, Windward Road successfully defended their title ahead of John Mills, the many-time champions.The top teams prepare at the National Stadium East and meet director, Maureen Chin-Miller, said expectations are high because a larger portion of the student body will now contribute to the overall outcome.”So far, it’s looking good, we’re getting everything in place,” she said about their preparedness.”What has heightened the competition is because we’ve added the primary school component as well.”Windward Road and John Mills will be renewing their rivalry again, and it should be very exciting,” said Chin-Miller.
A declaration that boxing fans will be able to see regular shows, by both professional and amateur boxers over the next 12-month period, was made by Boxing Board president Stephen Jones on Wednesday as he officially launched a Pro-Am Boxing card scheduled for Saturday, November 5, at the Barbican Beach Sports Complex on East Kings House Road. The card will have two professional bouts, with the feature being a six-rounder between Sakima Mullings, the Wray and Nephew 2014 Contender champion and Courtney McCleave from North Carolina. The other fight between two Americans will be announced early next week he said. The joint promoters of this section of the card will be I-Fight Promotions led by Chris Joy from the USA and Creative Sports led by Donald Lyeow from Jamaica. The Jamaica Boxing Board will be promoting the amateur section of the card, which will see five Jamaican boxers going up against boxers from the Cayman Islands. Speaking at the launch at the Usain Bolt Tracks and Records complex at Market Place in St. Andrew, Jones said that the boxing board now has a network of partners who have pledged to work with the board to foster both amateur and professional boxing. The two promoting companies he said, were firm in their promise to get that section of the sport moving once more, and the board was in touch with several sister overseas boxing associations, who have agreed to have home and away cards, so as to get their amateur boxers ready for competition. The Jamaica versus Cayman dual meet, he said, was preparation for a Caribbean tournament that will take place in Barbados in December. Solidifying the pledge, Junior Lincoln who represented I-Fight Promotions, pointed to the fact that his principal Chris Joy, had fallen in love with Jamaica’s boxing, and not only would he be bringing good boxers here, but he would be inviting celebrities such as members of the Floyd Mayweather camp to attend his shows as an added attraction. . Speaking for the sponsors, David Shirley, chairman of the KLE Group under which the Usain Bolt Tracks and Records fall, and who also has links with the Barbican Beach complex, said that his companies were pleased to be associated with the promotion. Boxing he said was one of the sports with which they wanted to be associated, and they would do everything to help it to move forward over the next 12-month period and beyond.