Approximately $10 million is being invested into this year’s 38th INSPORTS Primary School Athletics Championships, Sport Minister Honourable Olivia Grange announced on Thursday, 3 May.
From that budget 400 pairs of athletics spikes will be donated to the 89 competing schools at the May 9-12 Championships, set for the National Stadium, a slight dip compared to the 94 primary institutions that took part last year.
More than a $1 million in medals, trophies and prize money has been allocated for this year’s top performers, with the champions bankrolling $200,000. Second-placed will receive $150,000, third-placed $100,000, while the teams finishing between fourth and 10th positions each guarantee $50,000. The prize moneys will be in the form of sporting gear and equipment.
Speaking at the official launch of the event at the National Indoor Sports Centre the Minister said “the championship has proven to be a very important development arena for many athletes” such as World and Olympic 100m gold medalist Shelly- Ann Fraser; Olympic and World 400m hurdles champion Melanie Walker and World and Olympic silver medalist Javon Francis, who was among the many invited guest present.
“The importance of these meets cannot be overstated. We as a country must ensure that the requisite facilities and resources are allocated to them,” Grange said.
“I am urging Jamaicans to lend support to the meet and to come out to see the wonderful performances that we know these youngsters are capable of,” added Grange, who is also Minister of Culture, Gender and Entertainment.
The championship starts 9:00 am each day with defending champions Naggo Head aiming for a ninth title.