This Caribbean American Sports Organization Is Reinventing Itself In The Pandemic

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News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Oct. 9, 2020: A Caribbean American organization is reinventing itself in the COVID-19 era, thanks to some creative thinking and technology.

Every year, for the past 9 years, the New York-based Team Jamaica Bickle, TJB, has hosted an annual 5K Run/Walk. That is in addition to its annual participation at the annual Penn Relays for the past 26 years, catering to the meals, accommodation, transportation and other needs of Caribbean athletes who participate at the relays.

But with the COVID-19 pandemic shuttering the relays and putting a halt to the traditional 5-K, TJB founder and Chairman Irwine Clare, Sr., O.D., and his group determined to reinvent itself this year and overcome a fundraising loss of J$22 million.

TBJ has now launched a virtual 5-K, using the app Strava, which allows anyone, anywhere in the world, to participate in the TJB 5-K this year.

The “event” will run for two weeks – through October 24th. For a small donation, anyone can register here and choose a distance. You can also register with someone else a group.

Then download the Strava APP from the Apple or Google Play Store.  and hit ‘record,’ or use a timer and begin your run or walk outdoors or indoors – mask on – for a continuous 5K.

When you are complete, take a picture and upload along with your time on the site. You can upload up to five photos.

On October 25th, TJB will have a virtual raffle drawing of all participants’ race numbers for prizes. A minimum of 10 prizes will be given – 5 each to the top male and women finishers. The announcement of these prizes will take place on Sunday October 25, 2020 at 12 noon and will be streamed live on Jamaicans.com, on TJB’s Facebook Page and its other Social Media Platforms.

The last day to register and post times is Oct. 24th.  

Olympian Sherone Simpson will serve as patron for the event.

“This virtual 5K fits perfectly with what we are trying to get accomplished because, at the end of the day, we serve something that is greater than any individual,” Anderson said. “How we maximize the virtual space will be critical in how we move our sporting sector forward.”

The President of the Olympian Association of Jamaica (OAJ) Marvin Anderson, OLY commended TJB for its innovative move in using the virtual space to promote sports, offering some kind of normalcy against the background of the Covid-19 Pandemic. The two organizations recently signed a memorandum of understanding from which they hope to derive mutual benefit as they seek to broaden their reach. 

Participants will have until October 24 to register and complete their run or walk and upload their times accordingly. Registration is now open at https://events.elitefeats.com/bickle20. You can also buy a T-shirt and support the group and the young Caribbean athletes and future Olympians here

As supporting sponsor, the Reggae Marathon which is celebrating its 20th Anniversary this year, is awarding automatic entry to two lucky entrants from the 5K to participate in its annual event which will be held virtually on December 6, 2020. Diane Ellis, Sponsorship Director, offered the Reggae Marathon’s full support to the event and their commitment to its promotion.

Other sponsors are: Grace Kennedy, Jamaica Tourist Board, Energice, Jamaicans.com, Awesome Power Track Club, Joseph Sports LLC and True Tribute Organization.