By NAN Sports Editor
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. March 13, 2020: On the heels of a ban of Jamaican high schools and college athletes participation at the by the annual Penn Relays by the Jamaican government, Team Jamaica Bickle has announced it too will be cancelling its participation at the Relays this year.
In a statement today, the US Diaspora non-profit, TJB, said its officials “too share the concerns about the threat of COVID-19 to ‘Our Athletes, Our Ambassadors,’ and various communities and stand in support of the decisions made.”
The non-profit organization, founded by Jamaican immigrant, Irwine Clare, Dr., O.D., in 1994, is the leading organization in sports providing support services for Caribbean athletes who compete at the annual Penn Relays Carnival at the University of Pennsylvania.
The group provides ‘bickle,’ or food, transportation and other support to Caribbean high school athletes at the longest running relay carnival.
As such the group said it will cancel all its events leading up to the Penn Relays as well and “look forward to next year being even bigger and better.”
“We are equally mindful that the athletes have trained hard to showcase their prowess not only for bragging rights but most importantly to secure scholarships to colleges and universities overseas,” TJB added. “We understand their disappointment, but are confident that for those athletes non-participation in any of these events will not stymie the opportunities in front of them.”
But it said that while the Penn Relays season is over for 2020, the group’s fundraising efforts for its ‘Defibrillator In Schools Program’ will continue as they work to outfit more high schools with these units in 2020. Donate here.
The Jamaican government as well as ISSA and Sponsor, GraceKennedy have also canceled this year’s staging of the Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/GraceKennedy Boys’ and Girls’ Athletics Championships in Jamaica.