With another competitive and intriguing Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships just over three months away, Excelsior High School’s athletics fraternity is looking to make its 13th annual Wesley Powell Heart Institute of the Caribbean (HIC) track and field meet a massive one that will help them rally momentum to do well in 2016.
The event, which was launched at Excelsior High yesterday, is set for Saturday, December 12.
It is open to clubs and institutions, high, junior high and primary teams, with a total of 40 track and 28 field events billed for boys and girls from Classes One to Four.
A team from The Cayman Islands has been specially invited for the meet. Olympian Grace Jackson will serve as meet director.
Yesterday’s guest speaker, legendary sprint coach Glen Mills, who has conditioned six-time-Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt at the Racers Track Club, said his charges won’t be participating but gave the meet high marks.
“It’s too early for us,” said Mills of his Racers charges.
“I think it’s an excellent meet. I was here last year, and I was very impressed, and it’s the kind of meet that you would need at this time of the year to evaluate where you are and how your training programme has been going,” he told The Gleaner in an interview.
“Excelsior must be congratulated for maintaining the format over the 13 years,” Mills said yesterday.
Excelsior’s team is coached by Michael Vassell, while competitions directors are David Riley and Xavier Gilbert.
Heart Institute of the Caribbean is in its second year of a $10-million sponsorship, and will be awarding gift certificates to winners.
“At HIC and HIC Foundation, activities such as these form a very important part of our outreach to the nation. We are keen on this because it concerns the care and well-being of our young people,” said Lisa D’Oyen, executive director of HIC.
The meet was first staged in 1998 to honour Wesley Powell, the founding principal of Excelsior High School.
Previously Published: Jamaica Gleaner