Team Jamaica Bickle marks 21 years of involvement with Penn Relays

Jamaican athletes typically dominate at the Penn Relays.

Jamaican athletes typically dominate at the Penn Relays.

New York, 3/31/15: As the Penn Relays roll around for its 121st staging from April 23 to 25, 2015; Team Jamaica Bickle (TJB) is once again getting into gear to host Jamaica’s high school athletes.

It’s the organization’s 21st presentation at these Relays. Numerous activities are on tap, some new, to assist in its fundraising efforts. TJB Philadelphia kicked off its slate of activities on Sunday, March 8, with a brunch. This was a huge success as evidenced by the large crowd which showed up at the Calabash Restaurant in Philadelphia. As in previous years, TJB, New York and the Philadelphia chapter will hold their annual awards receptions, mid-April. The event honors sterling contributions to track and field and is the official launch-event leading up to Penn.

Twenty one years ago when the idea to feed athletes stirred in the brains of Irwine Clare, Snr., and Blane Stoddart, (Young Friends of TJB), never in their wildest dreams could they have imagined the growth. What was once a `shoe- string and glue operation,’ is now a `well-oiled machine’— an organization which juggles several events each season, a handful of volunteers in tow, as it wends its way down the track to the relays.

Athletes listen intently and strategize at the Penn Relays.

Athletes listen intently and strategize at the Penn Relays.

In addition to the afore-mentioned happenings, there are several church services, across the tri-state and Philadelphia; two breakfast events (New York & Washington D.C./Maryland/Virginia); the annual (and very popular) community forum in Philadelphia, and the newest addition this year, “Champs Live,” which will be streamed courtesy of Caribbean Television Network (CTVN TV) to over 40 venues across the Diaspora. Magnet Lounge in Elmont L.I., will be the place to be for New York area residents. TJB has also seen interest for its activities from Diaspora organizations in other cities among them, Houston, Texas and continues to receive strong support from Boston JUMP in Massachusetts.

“Twenty-one years later, I can say unreservedly, that we have laid a solid foundation,” says TJB’s CEO, Irwine Clare, Snr., “We are at the point where we can now expand our platform of providing basic amenities, to include issues such as the health and lifestyle of our athletes. We decided to pay keen attention to health in light of incidences in recent years, where a few of our athletes have suffered fatal heart attacks in competition. To that end we have partnered with medical entities in the Diaspora, primarily, JAHJAH (Jamaicans abroad helping Jamaicans at home) Foundation to provide defibrillators for schools in Jamaica. The goal is one in every school.”

For more information on Team Jamaica Bickle or to lend your support, please call 718.523.2861.–OnPointPress.net.

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