Christopher Taylor receives the baton from Rosean Young at Penn Relays 2018 on April 27

Penn Relays director Dave Johnson is admitting Jamaican schools absence from this year’s carnival is a massive blow.

The fast-spreading coronavirus (COVID-19) is affecting international sports events around the globe. Several sporting events have been cancelled or postponed.

The Jamaican government has advised schools against attending the annual Penn Relays in Philadelphia.

“Yes, the Jamaican teams will surely be missed, and this is a big blow,” Johnson was quoted by the Jamaica Gleaner.

Johnson said Penn Relays is a meet that brings families and friends together each year.

“It is like a reunion for the Jamaicans,” he explained.
The event, set for April 23-25, is still on despite the world health issue affecting the world.

“The University of Pennsylvania is continuing to evaluate the decision to host the 126th Running of the Penn Relays,” the organizers said in a release.

“Although the 2020 Penn Relays is more than 30 days away, the health and safety of our participants, spectators, officials, volunteers, sponsors, and staff are our utmost concern.

“While the evolving situation is fluid, we remain hopeful that there will be a result which allows for a safe Penn Relays, and we will continue to provide updates,” the release said.

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  1. Long overdue and they must not return unless Penn relay is subsidising their trip (air fare and accomodation for team 5hat make final in previous year).
    The meet earn 4 to 5 million each year I hope the Jamaican schools do not attend that substitute meet.

  2. Penn relay has done very little to accommodate our athletes. It breaks my heart to every year watch our countries’ gems laying\sitting on the cold floor of the Penn stadium as they try to get some needed rest between events. Without the constant support of the Grace team ” daag woulda nam the pickney dem suppa” at the Penn relays.

  3. He’s right, it’s the biggest Jamaican re-union anywhere on earth. But they don’t care about that, they’d like to have the games even without the Jamaicans so they can keep the prepaid ticket funds.

  4. Big blow to their money kitty. If they go through with Penn without the West Indian crowd they would realize where the bulk of their money come from. It is cancelled anyway

  5. As one who has been there, yes, big blow if ever Jamaican schools not participating or the international challenge.

  6. Without the Jamaican contingent Penn Relays stands will mostly be vacant. Whatever the sporting event is, without the noise making crowd, excitement whether at the actual event or on television coverage is nonexistent. This will be a big loss for some of the kids who would get a chance to be seen by a college coach where otherwise it would not happen.


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