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Grace Chairman and CEO loves Champs vibes

By: Kimesha Walters
Mr. Douglas Orane, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of GraceKennedy Limited is in full support of the ISSA GraceKennedy Boys’ and Girls’ Championships, and to show this, Mr. Orane was inside the National Stadium making his presence felt on the final day of Champs. 
GraceKennedy is a major sponsor of the annual event, and Orane revealed that he has been present since the official opening of Champs 100 on.
“It’s very exciting, I’ve been coming since Tuesday the official opening and it has been a good vibes the whole time, very orderly and I’m very pleased with how organized it is and how well behaved people are,” confessed Orane.
He was specifically pleased with the attendance on the final day. “I’ve never see a turnout like this before, usually the stadium is empty on a Thursday evening but the grandstand had a lot of people and it just goes to show how popular the event is.”
He said he has been an avid supporter of Champs and Wolmers’ Boys School since he was at prep school, and Champs was at Sabina Park. 
However, Orane is not biased in any way, as he likes to see the young ones shine. “Whatever the result is, everybody is a winner,” he declared.

 

Energetic crowd keeps the vibes alive at Champs

By: Kimesha Walters

As the finals of Champs 100 continue at the National Stadium, the spectators are more upbeat and energized. As each race begins, the cheers, screams, shouts and excitement ring throughout the venue, sending chills down your very spine.

Only a few empty spaces are visible in the stands, and even more people are pouring in to witness the remaining events of Champs 100. No doubt, it must be very exciting (and envious for anyone outside), to pass near the National stadium, as there is no place for calm inside.

As the runners approach the finish line, the spectators get on their feet, shouting, screaming and whistling. There appears to be an endless energy in the stadium, and this is absolutely amazing.

The crowd is busy doing the “wave”, and two sealed rounds circled the entire stadium, a fascinating aspect of Champs. More energy, more vibes, the excitement continues.

Chillin: The official drink of Champs 100

 

Final day at Champs- Event poised for Climatic end

By: Kimesha Walters
Approaching the stadium on Saturday, the final day of the ISSA GraceKennedy Boy’s and Girls’ Championships, one thing is clear, something extraordinary is happening.
The traffic crawls along upper Mountain View Avenue and as you pass along the roads, youngsters in worn out clothing and dirty feet beckoned drivers to park at an open space.
Several adults were seen running alongside cars selling tickets to the event. “Bleachers, Bleachers, a di last four ticket lef’, cheap cheap!” yelled one of them.
Meanwhile several vendors who had invaded the sidewalk along the stadium had souvenirs for the various schools. They know that they cater for a diverse fan base. They had flags, handkerchiefs and even school ties! 
There was a myriad of other item and they shouted the names of each to passersby, hoping to grab a sale.
Inside the stadium compound, the vendors were busy selling their wares, as the smoke from under their pos rose higher and crazier than the previous days. 
But it was the vibrant fans inside the stadium that topped it all. The best attendance in the four day Championships and more people are still arriving.
The Grandstand is almost full, and several schools have set up camp in the Bleachers stands, the most vibrant being Kingston College as they beat their ‘bam bams’ in rhythm to celebrate their athletes, and erupt in excitement and cheers whenever their ranking is announced. On their side, there is never a dull moment, as they always keep the energy flowing.
There are over 20 finals left to be contested, and as the schools continue to gain points with the events taking place, there is no telling how the tables will turn. Until then, the celebration continues here at the National Stadium.
Chillin-The official drink of Champs 100

 

Campion College high jumper finally gets first gold after 6 years of Champs

By: Kimesha Walters
Damon McLean has proved that with determination, anyone can achieve what they desire.
The 19 year old Campion College student has been participating at Champs for the past six years without winning a gold medal, and while he won two other medals, they did not suffice. He came to this year’s ISSA GraceKennedy Boy’s and Girl’s championship to break that chain.
This is his last season at Champs, and he had his mind set on the top prize. He entered the Boys Triple Jump Open Class 1 event, which was sponsored by Grace Foods, and his dream became a reality. He   jumped 15.28 metres, beating Jonathon Reid of Kingston College who jumped 15.25m and placed third, and Demar Robinson of Calabar High who scored 14. 75m. 

“It’s a good feeling because I finally achieved the gold and I have been working so hard for it over the years and I finally got things right,” said McLean on Day three, shortly after he collected his gold medal from Gabrielle Sang, Marketing Manager of Grace Foods.
“I know it’s the last year and there should be no mistakes so I wanted to get everything right,” he added.

McLean said he went over the tapes of last year’s Champs and made the necessary adjustments to avoid injuries, and is overjoyed that his efforts paid off.
With joy of his victory, he shares a few works for others who have had the goal elude them, and for those who might be nervous when performing. “It’s something that you have been doing all season, so just be confident and it will all work out, “ he said.

“Everything happens for a reason. If it’s a case where you didn’t put in enough work, you just need to work harder to achieve.” 
Chilling- The official drink of Champs 100
 

Assistant City Manager of Miramar, Florida visits Champs

By: Kimesha Walters
As a former track and field athlete, Vernon Hargray had mounting concerns that children did not have a place to practice. About eight years ago, he decided to change that. 
In his position as assistant city manager of the city of Miramar in Florida he approached his commission and senior management and convinced them that they need to build a facility that will be able to house track and field athletes. 
He said he saw the move as a form of service and with a burning desire to do something positive he went for it.  

But while the idea seemed great, Hargray said everyone did not get on board immediately, as there was some skepticism. “It started out with a lot of question marks about whether it could do what was presented,” revealed the Assistant City Manager, as he observed the proceedings from the VIP section at the ISSA GraceKennedy Boys’ and Girls’ Championships at the National Stadium.

However, as luck would have it, the commission believed that something special was in the making. Hargray explained that what he envisioned as a dream, became more of a vision from God and everything began to fall perfectly into place. “With that facility now, what appears to be something for a local or state meet, it’s designed now to take on an international profile.”

Channel 7 from Florida and Boston made a contribution of US$1m and with other assistance, the facility as built at a cost of US$16m. Now the Ansin Sports Complex in the City of Miramar, Florida stands proud. The 5000 seating stadium facility has the ability to go to 9000. There is a Mondo Surface, and facilities for steeplechase, long, triple and high jump, pole vault among others. Additionally, there are two press boxes, a multi-purpose room, offices, computer labs, classrooms.

With the facility in place, Hargray said he is committed to improving the lives of children from all walks, through his “track and learn” programme which includes educational field trips, information of the different occupations associated with sports, and empowering them. A camp is hosted by the Ansin Sports Complex, and a grant is extended to further assist those without the means of moving forward by themselves. “We’re not going to neglect any kids of the opportunity,” he said. 

   

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