Team Jamaica Bickle marks 20 years at Penn Relays

Written by Red Carpet Shelley. Posted in Red Carpet Shelley Home, Sports

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Published on April 23, 2014 with No Comments


This year marks 50 years of Jamaica competing at the Penn Relays

The effort started with the provision of meals and expanded overtime to include transportation, medical and chiropractic care, and the negotiation of favorable hotel rates, resulting in what is essentially a team hotel for the entire Caribbean contingent.

Widespread Enthusiasm
“The idea to provide some creature comforts for the athletes was not met with widespread enthusiasm,” according to Irwine Clare, Snr., “ it was scoffed at; maybe the name was not so endearing as ‘Bickle’ is not universal language but [we] Jamaicans get it, so that familiarity appealed to us. It was grassroots. We are happy we were persistent and are proud of what we have been able to accomplish.”

Twenty years later the program has grown from providing for dozens to (now) hundreds of athletes. Additionally, the ‘Bickle’ umbrella now covers several other Caribbean nations and [some] US based Jamaican athletes who compete for various colleges. “They see the Bickle tent, the familiar colours, hear the sweet strains of the music and it says ‘home’ to them,” said Clare.

TJB’s sponsorship and presence at the relays has also opened the door for several Jamaican brands who were introduced to an event with [arguably] one of the largest gathering of Jamaicans in the Diaspora. TJB is proud to see the ascent of the Grace Brand to the position of lead sponsor at these prestigious relays.

Vincent HoSang and [his] entities, Caribbean Food Delights, Royal Caribbean Bakery and the Vincent HoSang Family Foundation embraced the vision then and now anchor the operations in Philly.

TJB has also established an expansion plan with plans currently in the works to have both a medical and dental centre in the TJB village. The medical centre will be named in honour of the life of Cavahn Mckenzie, the young St. Jago athlete, who died in competition while representing his country in Trinidad & Tobago. More details will be announced soon.

Olympian Dennis Johnson, will be honoured at its annual reception in New York, Thursday, April 17 (6 pm – 9 pm), at St Francis College auditorium, Downtown Brooklyn. Johnson’s accomplishments for Jamaica both on the track and through a life devoted to its development have helped to raise the profile of Jamaica and elevate its standing on the world stage. Johnson will also use the occasion to launch his foundation.

Sponsors for this year’s programme are: founding partner, Caribbean Food Delights, Western Union, Grace Kennedy, Grace Kennedy Remittance Services, Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), Trans Continental Shipping, Dennis Shipping, Tower Isles, Union of Jamaica Alumni Association (UJAA), and Young Friends of Team Jamaica Bickle.




regional schedule »

There are other teams Caribbean competing as well:

Good luck to ALL the Caribbean teams and athletes!!!




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